The North Woods of New Hampshire are some of the best grouse cover in New England. Our terrain is mountainous but has river bottom, areas of various stages of growth after logging, and numerous logging roads. Mountain ash, high bush cranberry, fern, raspberry, chokecherry and partridge berry are some of this area’s preferred grouse foods.
Look for areas with these food sources, a water supply, and protection from predators such as fir trees, and you will find grouse in the north woods.
When is the best time to hunt grouse? There is not one answer. The first week of October is good because the birds are not yet used to hunters and dogs in the woods. There is an element of surprise opening week. The leaves are coming down this week. The second week of October is good. The weather is a bit cooler. This is the week of the Columbus Day Weekend and an extra day hunting is always a bonus. Fishing season is open until October 15th so bring the fly rod and the 20 gauge. Also we are seeing flight birds at this time usually best 7-20th depending on weather.
The week of the 20s (October 20-30) can have the highest daily flush rates for grouse. If there has been a cold snap and the trend is towards a few days of indian summer (40-50) the hunting can be outstanding. November and cold weather signal yet another change for grouse and their patterns change. When the snow comes, grouse are easy to track as their tracks are large and distinct and they sometimes drag their tail. Snow is hard on a hunting dog as their pads get packed with snow and depending on how long a dog’s leg is, deep snow and hunting over dogs does not work well. Edges of roads, wall, berms are excellent places to look for winter grouse and their tracks. The season in NH is open October 1 to December 31, with Sunday hunting permitted in New Hampshire.
We offer upland bird hunting guide service to our guests during the month of October. A full day begins at approximately 8 am and ends 4-5 pm and a half day (mornings only) begins at 8 am and ends at 12- 12:30 pm. A wood lunch is provided for full day hunts and a morning snack is provided for half day hunts.
Join Lisa and her hard working bird dogs for a day in the Great North Woods!