I’ve hunted a lot of upland game, but there are many other I’ll probably never take a shot at. The Black Grouse is one of these birds. I came across it a few weeks ago and I’ve been fascinated with it ever since.
Black Grouse used to be hunted throughout Great Britain and Europe up into the first World War. Since then, their population has fallen drastically. Today, efforts are underway to restore these birds throughout their original ranges and there are still large, huntable numbers in Scandinavia and Russia, and shooters do take a few on estates in the UK.
Black Grouse used to be hunted in the spring when the males gathered on “lekking grounds” to display, fight, and court females. Lekking grounds are open areas in the woods. Beaters used to drive the birds off these grounds and towards hunters waiting in stands.
You can go Black Grouse UK to learn more about efforts underway to save them these birds in Great Britain, Scotland, and Wales.
Go here to see a fantastic video of male Black Grouse lekking. It’s well worth it.