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Choosing a Shotgun for Hunting Mountain Grouse at 10,000 Feet

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October 11, 2012

Choosing a Shotgun for Hunting Mountain Grouse at 10,000 Feet

By Phil Bourjaily

This week I was in Utah chasing blue and ruffed grouse across mountain tops. We caught up with a few and in the process I learned a lot. Mostly, I learned that if you live at 750 feet above sea level and you go grouse hunting at 10,000 feet it wears you out even if you have been diligently going to your flatland gym three to four times a week. I was told that after three days I would get used to the altitude but that wasn’t much solace on a three-day hunt.

Mountain grouse don’t see nearly as many people as do the birds I have hunted in Minnesota and Iowa. The biggest difference in terms of wariness is that mountain grouse don’t fly as far when they flush so they are easier to mark down and follow up. They also live in fairly reasonable cover: aspens and some low understory, not the thickets you sometimes have to fight your way through where I am used to hunting them. Blue grouse live in the pines which are not difficult to walk through. On the other hand, mountain grouse are few and far between and they have a formidable home-field advantage.

Blues grouse are bigger than ruffed grouse and live higher up in the pines although you do find both species near one another at times. When you find one blue grouse you have usually found several.  Blue grouse tend to flush and go downhill which can make shooting them difficult.

Which brings us to mountain grouse guns. In the interests of full disclosure, Benelli (that photo is of Benelli’s George Thompson with a mountain ruff) was among the hosts of the trip. That does not change the fact that if I were to go mountain grouse hunting again my first choice of shotgun would be a lightweight 12 or 20 gauge semiauto not unlike, say, a Benelli Ultralight or M2.

You want a gun that is easy to carry; one that won’t make you cry if you drop it on some rocks; and one that will shoot three times reliably and be quick to reload in case you run into a gaggle (or whatever you call a group of blue grouse) of blues. The choke would be Improved Cylinder and the ammunition would contain good quality 6 or 7 ½ pellets. The gun could also be a Beretta 391, a Franchi 48 AL or a Winchester SX3. You could also be really cool yet still deadly and take a 16 gauge Ithaca 37 or Winchester Model 12 on your mountain grouse hunt.

If I were toting a double gun it would be my SKB 100, a 20 gauge side by side that weighs under 6 pounds. I bought it used for not much money and it had been abused enough by its previous owners that I could probably live with whatever scars it brought back from the mountains.

Comments (26)

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from ishawooa wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

For decades I have used my Winchester Model 42 on mountain grouse and never wished for a more perfect gun for that unique setting. Before my son went away to college he would accompany me with a Benelli SBE loaded with buckshot and slugs just in case of a grizzley encounter.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

When you speak of a gun that won't make me cry if I drop it on some rocks, I have to say I have never owned a gun in that category.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My creaky joints and back don't allow for much blue grouse hunting any more, but when I did I used one of my Model 12s in 16 gauge, bored modified, 28" barrel, and usually shot 1-1/8 oz. of No 6s.

By the way, I agree with 99 Explorer--I have never owned a gun that wouldn't make me weep if I dropped it onto rocks.

I have a Model 12 in 12 gauge that recently "rolled" a quarter turn in my gun safe, rubbing the left side of the receiver against the hand-checkered bolt handle of an old .300 Weatherby. The result is an ugly, two-inch scratch on the Model 12s receiver. But I learned a lesson--jam all checkered bolt knobs up against the left inside edge of the safe so they can't scratch anything!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I shot a truckload of mountain grouse in my time and almost all with a .22 pistol while elk hunting. Should have been some spruce grouse in the neighborhood if there were blues and ruffs? These days I use my first gun, a 16 gauge Model 12 but it's mostly flatland hunting around here and in the thick stuff Phil was talking about. Usually I spot them off a trail or the road.

Whatever gun you choose for true mountain grouse hunting, I would HEARTILY recommend a sling be mounted on it. Man, they make a big difference! Never had one on a shotgun until I upgraded my old 870 goose gun to synthetic a couple of years ago. Best piece of "gear" I have acquired in my lifetime! Very handy when I hike around and jump shoot ditches for ducks between the morning and evening geese flights. Also, I'm pretty loaded up when going to and from the fields (I don't drive on the farmers' fields as a rule). Carrying a limit of honkers, my decoy bag, and my gun off the field in the same trip was dang near impossible!

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from ishawooa wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

For what it is worth I once killed a blue grouse with a thrown stick. Made a tasty camp dinner.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Shewt. You want a lightweight gun you can drop on rocks without feeling miserable, so you picked some damb Benelli? I have a better idea. Go to a shop and buy any used break-action external hammer single. Won't run you more than $150 bucks, will drop 'em dead, and you can jack up your truck with it when you're done, in a pinch, without feeling too bad about spoiling the appearance.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

jUST KILL THEM WITH A STICK OR A HANDY ROCK LIKE JEREMIAH JOHNSON'S GIRLFRIEND DID IN THE MOVIE. I DON'T THINK ANYONE WOULD CRY OVER A DROPPED STICK LOL.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

You zeroed in on the best gun out there. Phil !! I just talked my brother into getting one. He shoots an 870 20 ga. to hunt high country grouse in Utah, side hill high country chuckars as well. He just came to Idaho recently, and hunted the high country with me for mt.grouse...ruffs. We both proudly carried our Benelli's..20 ga. Montelfeltro's that I have solved the shell chamber lock problem I was having every once in awhile because my hand would hit the bolt knob. No problems anymore, and that lt. wt 5 lb. 6 oz. thin profiled auto was a pleasure to carry. And we did get 4 mt. grouse.

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

And Deils notion? Does the guy hunt grouse, or Chuckar. WE hunt them with dogs, and a lot of them that get flushed you only hear, can't see, and hopefully once in awhile you get a glimpse. That Benelli comes up fast, and the 2nd quick shot comes in handy!...and nice to have 3 more in the mag. if others flush after the first salvo. We can take out the plug legally for the upland game being they are not migratory.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I don't want to drop any gun on the rocks or anything if I can help. I don't care how inexpensive or expensive the piece may be,it would suck either way to me. For carry choices targeting grouse at 10k+ feet in elevation... I would take my Browning BPS Upland Special in 16 gauge, 24" barrel open choked shooting 6's or 7.5's. Or my Auto 5 in 16 gauge shooting the same. They are lightweight but durable, and just feek right in the grouse woods. Hmmmm I can smell the fermenting wild grape and lagging hazelnuts now.

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from dick mcplenty wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Or a Browning A-5 Light 20.

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I imagine many areas in the West are the same for my high country forest grouse hunting. I definitely prefer the Ruff for eating quality..no comparison to a Blue, or now called a Dusky Grouse. But most forest grouse get little respect, and are killed by deer, big game hunters who are bored with unseccessful outtings, and rifle shoot a grouse for something to take home. Some bow hunters shot some this year that I know of. But you can give them the respect they deserve, and hunt them with a shotgun like they are highly regarded back East. In my area that I hunt them I have not seen a shotgun hunter pursuiing them accept one road hunter on opening day. A number of hunters, but all deer, now elk hunters headed off somewhere. We make great sport out of it using flushing dogs.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I guess I would have to suffer through toting a 1970's 16 gauge 870. Poor me. Cheers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crowman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Do you ever wonder about all the fuss about trimming a pound to a pound and a half off your shotgun or rifle for hunting and look at the guy holding it and looking at a 30 pound gut hanging over his belt buckle? I'm 61 and use a SBE to hunt chukars with no problems in the rocks at 6,000 feet. I do use a sling on the way out but is everyone getting that out of shape that that pound means that much. I will agree with Phil that at 10,000 feet will slow you down for a few days but then aren't you suppose to hunt slow anyway?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Crowman, that's about it in a nutshell! +1

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

You guys can be in all the good shape you want, and put wheels on those beastly guns, and wheel them up the mt. sides. I'll take a quick mounting, thin profile lt. wt. 20 ga. to carry, and shoot in those conditions. Wouldn't mind having your beastly guns in a duck blind though. Right gun for the right kind of hunting.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Hey Deadeye, Jeremiah married that Indian girl that rocked the grouse. They had a nice Native/Catholic ceremony. Shame on you for accusing them of living in sin. :)

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

10,000 ft eh? your next blog should be on the best oxygen tank to carry haha!

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Sorry about that Ithaca, forgot about that nice wedding ceremony. Still she was pretty good with that stick

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Don't think I'll hunting birds at 10000 FT, but JIC I do, I have a 20gauge Benelli pump with a black plastic stock..nice and light in weight and recoil.

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from crowman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I don't know where you other guys are hunting chukars at but where i'm at you have about 3 to 5 seconds to shoot before they're in a new time zone. I don't hunt with dogs so I shoot a 1 3/8 oz of 5s that at 1330 fps anchors them down 98 percent of the time. Most of the shots are from 30 to 65 yards out after I regain my footing, twist around to an angle my body isn't supposed to be able to do before torching off a shot. The thing that's amazing to me is the guy's that are using 28 ga with a 3/4 oz load taking limits. The only thing I can figure out is the chukars that they're hunting upon seeing the hunters put blind folds on and put their backs up against the wall to be shot. This is why I use a so called 12 ga duck blind shotgun. Like a guy said to me when I started hunting chukars " The first time you hunt chukars it's for sport, the rest of your life it's for revenge and having a 12 ga feels more like revenge than a light weight gun and ga.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Fact is today, my lt wt. 20 ga. Benelli auto can reach way out there, and has this season. The modern shells have improved to where there is good variety, and I can shoot an 1/4 lead in a 3 inch shell, and basically have a 12 ga. field load, and yet have a gun that comes up fast, and can fire multiple rounds very fast. The other day it was the 3rd shot that brought down a hun from a small covey that got up at a fairly good distance. I attributed it to not being able to get my feet set well on the first two shots. And the 28 ga.? Shouldn't be used unless those Chuckars were planted birds you can walk up on.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

And CROWMAN...look at the area I am covering hunting those tough to get to birds, but not that hard to bring down. Me, then a dog 20 yds out to the side, and the other dog 20 yds out to the other side. If I have a hunting partner I cover even more area. You make it very tough by not having dog, or dogs, and tough on a retrieve as well.

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from crowman wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

clinchknot your beyond right about hunting chukars without dogs being tough and when I think logically about it I probably shouldn't do it but you know us chukar hunters will listen to the voices in our heads before logic. When I started using the heavy field loads in 5s I upped my DOA to about 98 percent so there a lot easier to find when they don't run.

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Sure, But I also have another view. And it concerns patterns. I think it is somewhat over considered. A lot depends on how your gun patterns, and that isn't easy to determine believe me. You just do not go to the gun range, and shoot one shot at the paper target, and determine your guns pattern. I ordered a LIGHT MOD. extended choke for my 20 ga. because a very good Master shooter at Sporting Clays at the club uses lt. mod in his gun. That should mean NOTHING to me, but I accepted it as a great choke for all around usage, and it gave me a positive attitude about shooting with it!! Lt. Mod is more open slightly than Mod., and slightly tighter than Improved Cylinder. My 20 will drop birds at long ranges with that choke when the old wisdom was you needed a full choke for longer range shooting. Two factors I am convinced on...ONE, be on target! You can't hit anything if you aren't on target. Full choke does not perform better at long range just because it is full choke. It is the notion that the pattern is tighter(more density of pellets at longer ranges) With the new modern wad cups the old notion of patterns when they used paper wads in the shell becomes obsolete. I kid you you not, the other day, a covey of huns get up, at some distance, not right close to me, and flushed by my lab. I missed the first two shots, as I was ackward getting a foot base established, then a long third shot at a specific bird as well as the other two shots were also at a specific bird, and down he came with that lt. mod choke. I shot 1 oz. of #6's in a pretty high speed load for a 20 ga. 1,275 FPS. In my mind I want more pellets that #6's will give me in a pattern than #5's, and 6's have some mass that produce an energy blow to birds like chuckars and slightly smaller. A pheasant at that range?..I would say not unless it was a head/neck shot, and should not even been taken.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from crowman wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

clinchknot We must be twins separated at birth at the way your thinking as it's pretty close to mine. I use an extended mod choke most of the time hunting and also have the light mod and the improved mod in case I have to tweak my pattern a little on both sides of mod but generally use straight mod. I do pattern my loads on paper and one thing I've noticed is the larger the shot the tighter the pattern. When I use 5s instead of 6s in the same payload not only do you get more energy at a given distance to penetrate deeper you get a tighter pattern that makes up for the less amount of shot compared to 6s. The other thing of course is the 1 3/8 oz 5s load compared to a 1 1/4 oz of 6s makes up a little less of the bb count difference between the two. Next time your at the pattern board try the same shell in 7 1/2s, 6s, and 5s to see the difference on how your pattern will shrink as you shoot heaver shot sizes.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Shewt. You want a lightweight gun you can drop on rocks without feeling miserable, so you picked some damb Benelli? I have a better idea. Go to a shop and buy any used break-action external hammer single. Won't run you more than $150 bucks, will drop 'em dead, and you can jack up your truck with it when you're done, in a pinch, without feeling too bad about spoiling the appearance.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My creaky joints and back don't allow for much blue grouse hunting any more, but when I did I used one of my Model 12s in 16 gauge, bored modified, 28" barrel, and usually shot 1-1/8 oz. of No 6s.

By the way, I agree with 99 Explorer--I have never owned a gun that wouldn't make me weep if I dropped it onto rocks.

I have a Model 12 in 12 gauge that recently "rolled" a quarter turn in my gun safe, rubbing the left side of the receiver against the hand-checkered bolt handle of an old .300 Weatherby. The result is an ugly, two-inch scratch on the Model 12s receiver. But I learned a lesson--jam all checkered bolt knobs up against the left inside edge of the safe so they can't scratch anything!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from crowman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Do you ever wonder about all the fuss about trimming a pound to a pound and a half off your shotgun or rifle for hunting and look at the guy holding it and looking at a 30 pound gut hanging over his belt buckle? I'm 61 and use a SBE to hunt chukars with no problems in the rocks at 6,000 feet. I do use a sling on the way out but is everyone getting that out of shape that that pound means that much. I will agree with Phil that at 10,000 feet will slow you down for a few days but then aren't you suppose to hunt slow anyway?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

When you speak of a gun that won't make me cry if I drop it on some rocks, I have to say I have never owned a gun in that category.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

For what it is worth I once killed a blue grouse with a thrown stick. Made a tasty camp dinner.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

jUST KILL THEM WITH A STICK OR A HANDY ROCK LIKE JEREMIAH JOHNSON'S GIRLFRIEND DID IN THE MOVIE. I DON'T THINK ANYONE WOULD CRY OVER A DROPPED STICK LOL.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from crowman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I don't know where you other guys are hunting chukars at but where i'm at you have about 3 to 5 seconds to shoot before they're in a new time zone. I don't hunt with dogs so I shoot a 1 3/8 oz of 5s that at 1330 fps anchors them down 98 percent of the time. Most of the shots are from 30 to 65 yards out after I regain my footing, twist around to an angle my body isn't supposed to be able to do before torching off a shot. The thing that's amazing to me is the guy's that are using 28 ga with a 3/4 oz load taking limits. The only thing I can figure out is the chukars that they're hunting upon seeing the hunters put blind folds on and put their backs up against the wall to be shot. This is why I use a so called 12 ga duck blind shotgun. Like a guy said to me when I started hunting chukars " The first time you hunt chukars it's for sport, the rest of your life it's for revenge and having a 12 ga feels more like revenge than a light weight gun and ga.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Sure, But I also have another view. And it concerns patterns. I think it is somewhat over considered. A lot depends on how your gun patterns, and that isn't easy to determine believe me. You just do not go to the gun range, and shoot one shot at the paper target, and determine your guns pattern. I ordered a LIGHT MOD. extended choke for my 20 ga. because a very good Master shooter at Sporting Clays at the club uses lt. mod in his gun. That should mean NOTHING to me, but I accepted it as a great choke for all around usage, and it gave me a positive attitude about shooting with it!! Lt. Mod is more open slightly than Mod., and slightly tighter than Improved Cylinder. My 20 will drop birds at long ranges with that choke when the old wisdom was you needed a full choke for longer range shooting. Two factors I am convinced on...ONE, be on target! You can't hit anything if you aren't on target. Full choke does not perform better at long range just because it is full choke. It is the notion that the pattern is tighter(more density of pellets at longer ranges) With the new modern wad cups the old notion of patterns when they used paper wads in the shell becomes obsolete. I kid you you not, the other day, a covey of huns get up, at some distance, not right close to me, and flushed by my lab. I missed the first two shots, as I was ackward getting a foot base established, then a long third shot at a specific bird as well as the other two shots were also at a specific bird, and down he came with that lt. mod choke. I shot 1 oz. of #6's in a pretty high speed load for a 20 ga. 1,275 FPS. In my mind I want more pellets that #6's will give me in a pattern than #5's, and 6's have some mass that produce an energy blow to birds like chuckars and slightly smaller. A pheasant at that range?..I would say not unless it was a head/neck shot, and should not even been taken.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

For decades I have used my Winchester Model 42 on mountain grouse and never wished for a more perfect gun for that unique setting. Before my son went away to college he would accompany me with a Benelli SBE loaded with buckshot and slugs just in case of a grizzley encounter.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I shot a truckload of mountain grouse in my time and almost all with a .22 pistol while elk hunting. Should have been some spruce grouse in the neighborhood if there were blues and ruffs? These days I use my first gun, a 16 gauge Model 12 but it's mostly flatland hunting around here and in the thick stuff Phil was talking about. Usually I spot them off a trail or the road.

Whatever gun you choose for true mountain grouse hunting, I would HEARTILY recommend a sling be mounted on it. Man, they make a big difference! Never had one on a shotgun until I upgraded my old 870 goose gun to synthetic a couple of years ago. Best piece of "gear" I have acquired in my lifetime! Very handy when I hike around and jump shoot ditches for ducks between the morning and evening geese flights. Also, I'm pretty loaded up when going to and from the fields (I don't drive on the farmers' fields as a rule). Carrying a limit of honkers, my decoy bag, and my gun off the field in the same trip was dang near impossible!

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

You zeroed in on the best gun out there. Phil !! I just talked my brother into getting one. He shoots an 870 20 ga. to hunt high country grouse in Utah, side hill high country chuckars as well. He just came to Idaho recently, and hunted the high country with me for mt.grouse...ruffs. We both proudly carried our Benelli's..20 ga. Montelfeltro's that I have solved the shell chamber lock problem I was having every once in awhile because my hand would hit the bolt knob. No problems anymore, and that lt. wt 5 lb. 6 oz. thin profiled auto was a pleasure to carry. And we did get 4 mt. grouse.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I don't want to drop any gun on the rocks or anything if I can help. I don't care how inexpensive or expensive the piece may be,it would suck either way to me. For carry choices targeting grouse at 10k+ feet in elevation... I would take my Browning BPS Upland Special in 16 gauge, 24" barrel open choked shooting 6's or 7.5's. Or my Auto 5 in 16 gauge shooting the same. They are lightweight but durable, and just feek right in the grouse woods. Hmmmm I can smell the fermenting wild grape and lagging hazelnuts now.

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from dick mcplenty wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Or a Browning A-5 Light 20.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I guess I would have to suffer through toting a 1970's 16 gauge 870. Poor me. Cheers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Crowman, that's about it in a nutshell! +1

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Hey Deadeye, Jeremiah married that Indian girl that rocked the grouse. They had a nice Native/Catholic ceremony. Shame on you for accusing them of living in sin. :)

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

10,000 ft eh? your next blog should be on the best oxygen tank to carry haha!

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Sorry about that Ithaca, forgot about that nice wedding ceremony. Still she was pretty good with that stick

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Don't think I'll hunting birds at 10000 FT, but JIC I do, I have a 20gauge Benelli pump with a black plastic stock..nice and light in weight and recoil.

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

And CROWMAN...look at the area I am covering hunting those tough to get to birds, but not that hard to bring down. Me, then a dog 20 yds out to the side, and the other dog 20 yds out to the other side. If I have a hunting partner I cover even more area. You make it very tough by not having dog, or dogs, and tough on a retrieve as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crowman wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

clinchknot your beyond right about hunting chukars without dogs being tough and when I think logically about it I probably shouldn't do it but you know us chukar hunters will listen to the voices in our heads before logic. When I started using the heavy field loads in 5s I upped my DOA to about 98 percent so there a lot easier to find when they don't run.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crowman wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

clinchknot We must be twins separated at birth at the way your thinking as it's pretty close to mine. I use an extended mod choke most of the time hunting and also have the light mod and the improved mod in case I have to tweak my pattern a little on both sides of mod but generally use straight mod. I do pattern my loads on paper and one thing I've noticed is the larger the shot the tighter the pattern. When I use 5s instead of 6s in the same payload not only do you get more energy at a given distance to penetrate deeper you get a tighter pattern that makes up for the less amount of shot compared to 6s. The other thing of course is the 1 3/8 oz 5s load compared to a 1 1/4 oz of 6s makes up a little less of the bb count difference between the two. Next time your at the pattern board try the same shell in 7 1/2s, 6s, and 5s to see the difference on how your pattern will shrink as you shoot heaver shot sizes.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

And Deils notion? Does the guy hunt grouse, or Chuckar. WE hunt them with dogs, and a lot of them that get flushed you only hear, can't see, and hopefully once in awhile you get a glimpse. That Benelli comes up fast, and the 2nd quick shot comes in handy!...and nice to have 3 more in the mag. if others flush after the first salvo. We can take out the plug legally for the upland game being they are not migratory.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I imagine many areas in the West are the same for my high country forest grouse hunting. I definitely prefer the Ruff for eating quality..no comparison to a Blue, or now called a Dusky Grouse. But most forest grouse get little respect, and are killed by deer, big game hunters who are bored with unseccessful outtings, and rifle shoot a grouse for something to take home. Some bow hunters shot some this year that I know of. But you can give them the respect they deserve, and hunt them with a shotgun like they are highly regarded back East. In my area that I hunt them I have not seen a shotgun hunter pursuiing them accept one road hunter on opening day. A number of hunters, but all deer, now elk hunters headed off somewhere. We make great sport out of it using flushing dogs.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

You guys can be in all the good shape you want, and put wheels on those beastly guns, and wheel them up the mt. sides. I'll take a quick mounting, thin profile lt. wt. 20 ga. to carry, and shoot in those conditions. Wouldn't mind having your beastly guns in a duck blind though. Right gun for the right kind of hunting.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Fact is today, my lt wt. 20 ga. Benelli auto can reach way out there, and has this season. The modern shells have improved to where there is good variety, and I can shoot an 1/4 lead in a 3 inch shell, and basically have a 12 ga. field load, and yet have a gun that comes up fast, and can fire multiple rounds very fast. The other day it was the 3rd shot that brought down a hun from a small covey that got up at a fairly good distance. I attributed it to not being able to get my feet set well on the first two shots. And the 28 ga.? Shouldn't be used unless those Chuckars were planted birds you can walk up on.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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