Winter hunting for grouse
The black grouse is a coveted and valuable trophy for any hunter. A large red-browed bird with blue-black plumage makes you experience the moments of excitement and excitement that accompany grouse hunting. Production of valuable poultry is carried out at different times of the year.
Hunting for black grouse in winter with the approach has some features. Exciting, highly sporting hunting forces the hunter to be extremely careful and cautious. At the same time, you need a quick reaction to catch a grouse in the sight, with the noise of wings and “chufykanem” flying out from under the snow.
Behavior of black grouse in winter
It is quite easy to find a black grouse in the vast expanses of Russia. It settles on the edge of the forest, near a swamp or in thickets of low bushes. There are no holes in open areas. Hunting in winter from the approach is only necessary in forests. Black grouse is often extracted in the forests of the Moscow region, in the Tver and Smolensk regions, in the South of Siberia.
In winter, grouse gather in large flocks and look for food. I must say that they do not tolerate severe frosts. If the snow does not fall, the temperature in -20C can kill the birds. The main food in winter is pine needles, juniper berries, birch catkins, buds and shoots that freeze in the cold. Eating frozen food is not very pleasant. But the grouse adapted to extreme conditions and found a way to keep warm in the winter and not stay hungry. They fill the goiter with everything that is suitable for eating in the birch trees, and literally “fall” from the tree into the snow, burrowing into it. The black grouse sweeps the outer hole with its tail. It turns out a kind of hole (hole), which after a while becomes warm.
In such a “snow house” birds can stay for about a day. Food will melt, be absorbed. By morning, there is already litter in the hole. During the day, grouse again go out to feed, breaking through a thick layer of snow.
Features of hunting on holes
How to hunt for grouse in the hole? Winter hunting from the approach to the holes is very interesting. The hunter can show his best skills and qualities. The hunter must not only find a cluster of grouse, but also be able to approach them at a distance of a shot, without frightening away the cautious birds that perfectly catch the voice of a person. It is forbidden to speak even in whispers. No special disguise is needed. The main protection of a black grouse is good hearing. You need to go skiing carefully, calm and measured step.
In severe frosts, most of the time black grouse spend under the snow and go out for a maximum of an hour, but not on the edge, and 30-40 meters from it. Every 100 meters in a pair of binoculars to carefully inspect the snow. If you notice a slight bump or a few bumps that differ in color from the General background, this is a signal to prepare for shooting. In General, you must be ready to fire during the entire approach. The snow thrown out by a black grouse differs from the outer snow cover in a leaden hue. It is possible that you took a group of bumps for holes. However, approach the bumps carefully.
How do I know that a grouse is in a hole? The abandoned holes can be seen immediately, as if there was an explosion inside, and the starting black grouse flew out of it like a rocket, leaving only droppings and wing prints for memory.
What we need looks completely different. There are no tracks nearby, because the bird dives into the snow from the tree and carefully masks the exit. Look attentively. If you can see a small depression in the snow in the form of a trail from a ski pole and there are no holes (exit holes), then the black grouse has not yet taken off from the shelter, it is inside!
If you notice a hole, do not stop and do not change the pace of your movement, go to it, preparing the gun for shooting. Come close to the hole for three meters and slap your ski on the snow, black grouse flies out, raising a cloud of snow dust. It often happens that behind you can escape from under the snow unnoticed mower. This happens so suddenly that you want to turn around, but you should not do it. All attention should be focused on the holes that are in your field of vision.
Hunting at the evening dawn is remarkable in that the nature of the departure of grouse from the holes is often different from the morning dawn. In the evening, disturbed grouse are raised at long intervals, which allows for more meaningful shooting. Sometimes some black grouse rise in the form of a birch “pencil”, catching on the branches with their wings and getting confused in them. This is a convenient moment for a shot, but it is better to refrain from a shot when the bird is far up, since it is likely to make a cut due to the ricochet of the shot on frozen branches. It happens that grouse begin to burrow in the deep twilight, almost in the dark. Then the hunt must be moved to the morning.
Wounded animal necessarily zabirayte. During the hunt, you can get two or three grouse. More — not very real, and there is no need. Next time, choose this dynamic and exciting hunt for a new trophy.
When hunting grouse
The best time for hunting from the approach to black grouse is frosty weather (not lower than-20C). The snow should be soft and loose. If a crust is formed, the grouse will not be able to get into the snow shelter and will stay overnight on the ice crust. Closer to sunset, looking for a pack of grouse, which sat on the branches and prepare to dive in the hole. Grouse feed for about half an hour, sometimes longer. With binoculars, you can see birds from 500 meters away.
Do not draw their attention to you and do not approach. They will stay for the night in the same place or next to it, 100 meters away. It is necessary to hunt grouse from the approach until 10 o’clock in the morning, while they are still sleeping peacefully and have not come out to feed.
Teterka or Kosach
Teterki are located on the edges of the flock, and kosachi (roosters) are located closer to the Central part of the cluster of birds. A hunter never knows where a grouse can take off abruptly. The unexpected rise of a black grouse on the wing makes you shudder. It is important at this point not to lose concentration and consider who is in front of you – a female or a killer whale.
Among hunters, it is considered shameful to beat a teterka. Some admit that they sinned in this way when they were young. But, having become more experienced and having learned the laws of nature, most self-respecting hunters refuse to shoot a female. Even in winter, many consider this occupation unworthy.
Guns for hunting
Try to use rifled weapons for grouse hunting. Take “melkashka”, a rifle under cartridges .22 LR-5.6 mm ring ignition.
In Russia, until recently, this type of weapon for sport hunting, including black grouse, was banned. In 2007, the General restrictions were lifted by the Supreme Court, but even now local legislators are regularly thrown from side to side, so find out how it is in your region. Actual effective shooting distance c .22LR – up to 100 meters. With more serious high-yield small-caliber ammunition, it will increase by one and a half times.
In European countries and on the American continent, for hunting small animals and feathered game, “melkashka” has been used for a long time and successfully. In any case, the most suitable option is a conventional smoothbore double-barreled shotgun. If you have a semi-automatic machine, the chances of getting a killer whale increase.
When winter hunting for a killer whale from the approach, it is important that the shot is sharp. High accuracy of the battle and a large size of the fraction for the extraction of black grouse from the holes are not needed. It is enough to use a fraction with the number from 6 to 5, or number 4. Large numbers, such as number 3, should not be used. The accuracy of aiming and the timely response of the hunter to the black grouse, which breaks out from under the snow cover, is much more important.
There are a lot of connoisseurs of winter hunting from the approach to the noble black grouse. Adrenaline, the possibility of a duel with a careful and smart bird attract hunters of different ages. The man is left alone with Kosach. Each time the rivalry ends differently. More often the hunter wins, showing skill and accuracy of shooting.
The video below fully shows the skill of the hunter, who managed to save a cartridge with a great result…