Winter 2017 Feature: The Great Canadian Grouse Experiment

By on October 18, 2017


An excerpt from The Great Canadian Grouse Experiment…As far as the Great Canadian Grouse Experiment (GCGE) goes, it begins with the familiar adage, “You train a bird dog by getting it into birds.”

Also, seemingly forever, bird hunters in the upper Midwest have heard about how grouse hunting in Ontario is ridiculously easy. One drives the roads looking for birds dusting themselves, gets out and blasts away. Then there are the stories about these birds being so unafraid of humans that at worst when they flush they’ll alight into low branches of nearby trees. That’s when the shooters break out the .22s.

To be fair about things, though, one should realize that the locals are, as Toni Moroz put it, “hunting for food not for sport.” And forget about hopping out of your truck to shoot birds. Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry forbids “possession of a loaded firearm within eight metres of the travelled portion of a road … AND no discharge of a firearm from or across a right of way for public vehicular traffic at any time.”

But one look at the impenetrable bush that the forest roads traverse reveals a topography that is for the most part impossible to hunt in the traditional “charge through the cover” way.

Read more in the Winter 2017 Issue of Upland Almanac. <Buy the Upland Almanac Winter 2017 Issue> or <Subscribe to Upland Almanac>