Mountain grouse, including ruffed, spruce, and dusky (or blue) grouse, are fun to hunt and good to eat. The last few years have been good for these birds in FWP Regions 1 (northwestern Montana), 2 (western Montana), 3 (southwestern Montana) and parts of 4.
In Region 5, Mountain grouse fared better than prairie birds throughout south central Montana this spring. Brood sizes for all mountain grouse species appear to be about average, so hunting opportunity likely will be similar to last year.
Success of broods can vary from year to year, particularly with spring weather. Biologists in northwest Montana have seen good numbers of birds and broods through the summer.
So, if you’re favorite spot had dry weather when grouse were hatching this year, you might see good numbers. If not, it could be a tough season.
The nesting season in western Montana was unusually wet, which may have been hard on hatchlings.