Grouse and Antler Hunting in Montana

Got an invite from a friend to spend some time in the mountains looking for antlers. He’s a dedicated antler hunter and had done some serious research to find spots that could be productive. So we took off yesterday and hiked our tails off, from the absolute bottom of a canyon to nearly the top of the mountains. It was a tough, tough climb and I’m paying for it today via the aches and pains in my knees and feet. It was a productive hike, however, as we actually found eight whitetail deer antlers that had been shed the previous year or even the year prior to that.

A bonus to the hike was getting to watch a yellow labrador, Cracker, work the timber and slopes for grouse. He has an amazing nose and ended up finding a half dozen grouse for us. We had our shotguns along and my friend was able to hit three birds, two ruffed grouse and a blue grouse. Yours truly? Goose-egg. To my defense, I never had a clear shot at any of those birds so I’m not feeling too inferior today. Here are some pics from yesterday. If you’re looking for exercise and, possibly, some good eating, hike into the mountains before December 15 (when grouse season closes in Montana) and work the ridges for birds while keeping your eyes open for sheds. Could be a great weekend activity with friends or your kids.

Cracker is a great dog to hunt with and just an all-around well behaved and nice animal. Had a blast watching him work.


Not the easiest terrain to hike straight uphill in. But there were birds and antlers so it was worth it.




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3 Responses to Grouse and Antler Hunting in Montana

  1. Les Kish says:

    What a beautiful adult bird. Those red phase ruffs sure are pretty.

  2. Jim Nave says:

    That is a nice looking ruffed grouse. Check your regs Greg, grouse season goes until Jan. 1 this year. Although late season grouse hunting is pretty hit or miss since they spend most of their time up in the trees now where they do not flush so readily.

  3. Bob Powell says:

    Great pics Greg, Yes it was a fun day. That Jan. 1st for grouse to go out is a new thing.

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