The Grouse Hunting Gear You Need To Have For This Fall
OutdoorHub Reporters 09.13.18
As you prepare for your first or next grouse hunt, you need to do something that you should do with any other kind of hunt, and that is to make a checklist of all of the gear items that you need. If you don’t know where to start, then this article should be of some help to you. Below, we go over the most important grouse hunting gear you need to have if you’re hitting the woods this fall:
FIRST AID KIT
This is first on the list for a reason, and it’s not just for you. If you’re hunting with dogs, make sure you have the proper first aid equipment for your four-legged hunting partner. Chances are you’ll be using it more on them rather than yourself, but it’s always a wise idea to bring basic items such as bandages, gauze pads, neosporin, ibuprofen/tylenol, a tourniquet, and so on.
Ask an experienced hunter who hunts with dogs, or check with your vet to make sure your first aid kit is on the up and up.
Again, this is important to bring ESPECIALLY if you’re hunting with dogs. You might get tired walking through the thick covers that grouse hunting requires, but your dog is working twice as hard and will appreciate a nice gulp of water from time to time.
Go with a water bottle that can keep your water cold for several hours, and that is made out of either stainless steel or a high quality plastic. It should also have a capacity of anywhere from sixteen to thirty two ounces.
BIRD HUNTING VEST
Hunting grouse is just like hunting any other upland game birds, and a bird hunting vest will be an essential item to have. Bird hunting vests are noted for their large sized pockets that allow you to carry a variety of items along with the actual birds that you manage to shoot.
Go with a vest that comes with a variety of pouches and pockets, along with shell loops and warmer packets as well.
You don’t have to pack energy bars specifically, but you should absolutely bring food with you. And to be more specific, you should bring food that is high in calories and can provide you with a badly needed energy boost while also being compact, portable, and not requiring refrigeration or freezing or anything like that.
Good alternate choices to energy bars would include protein bars, granola bars, jerky, or mixed nuts.
This is a standard survival item that is always wise to bring with you outdoors, even if you’re just going on a quick grouse hunt. If anything, it may be a good idea to bring at least two different kinds of fire starters. Matches, lighters, and magnesium flint strikers represent three of your best options.
This is another standard survival/outdoor item, but it absolutely belongs on your list of grouse hunting gear you need to have this fall. A small, tactical outdoor knife with a folding, serrated blade would be a good option here – trust me, a larger fixed blade knife makes for a tough time when cleaning birds.
Proper boots (or footwear in general) is another important item on our grouse hunting gear list. The best boots will offer you superior traction in addition to being lightweight and comfortable to wear. Often times, boots with leather uppers and nylon mesh, along with a tight lacing system, represent the best for grouse hunting.
Shooting gloves that can also keep your hands and fingers warm in cold and wet conditions will also be a good thing to have. The more insulated your gloves are the better, but you also want to make sure that they give you fingers plenty of room to work as well. Gloves that are loose fitting will likely get in the way of your trigger finger making a clean shot, and in the grouse woods, every little second matters!
Also, remember that you’ll be moving a lot of sticks and branches out of your way, so having a glove that keeps your hands protected is super important.
Last but not least, don’t forget your shotgun! You won’t be able to shoot any grouse without it.
Virtually any kind of shotgun will work for grouse hunting, but the two most popular options are a twenty gauge or a twenty-eight gauge. Both calibers offer moderate recoil, while also being small enough that they won’t ruin the meat of a bird in a significant way.
Twelve gauge is also an option, but you’ll want to use lighter target loads for grouse so you don’t mess up the meat.
Sixteen gauge is another option, though not nearly as popular as the others, so finding ammo may not be an easy task.
One more choice would be the .410 bore, which is sufficient for grouse and produces less recoil of all the other choices (just note that .410 may not be a wise choice for larger sized birds, so as a whole, it’s not as versatile).