BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
WOODS CROSS – December may bring ideal weather conditions for some hunters, but it’s still considered a great month to hunt Forest Grouse.
Those still looking to take a few more before the season ends; will have to hurry. Hunting season for the bird ends on Tuesday, Dec. 31.
The forest grouse hunt is a popular one due to the birds’ habitat being “in small pockets, which hunters can easily focus on,” said Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, in a press release sent to the Clipper.
“Once you know where to look, you won’t have to spend energy covering large expanses of land,” he said.
Winter time for forest grouse means they put a high priority on food and shelter. Of two species of forest grouse Рdusky and ruffledР the dusky tend to move into the mountain.
Dusky grouse, said Robinson, stay near aspen tree stands that have a mix of both young and mature trees.
It also helps hunters to know that they don’t move very far once they’ve found a spot.
“They have small home ranges,” Robinson said. “In the winter, you’ll find them in the same general area than you did earlier in the season.”
The best times to hunt are during the mid-afternoon hours. The birds won’t move far and it would take them awhile to get them going.
Hunting them later in the afternoon won’t do a hunter any good, said Robinson. The birds typically try to move back into their original resting place, and hunting them into the darker hours of the day will only push them further away from their original site.
Guidebooks for hunting the birds are still available at wildlife.utah.gov/guidebook. It is free to download.