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Grouse Hunters

Best breed for ruffed grouse?

gsp
25
23%
ep
9
8%
britt
21
19%
DD
7
6%
english setter
38
34%
Weim
3
3%
Vizsla
2
2%
other (sorry to whichever breeds i forgot)
6
5%
 
Total votes : 111

Grouse Hunters

Postby Gridiron and Grouse » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:04 am

I live in Northwest Pa and I'm ready to get back into grouse hunting. I thought I had my breed picked out, but now I'm starting to reconsider. I completely understand that to some degree this question is a matter of opinion and personal preference. However, I'd like to hear what you think is the best breed for ruffed grouse and why. Thanks
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Postby KY Grouse Hunter » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:59 am

The King of Birds deserves being worked by the King of Dogs, The setter. :lol:
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It depends

Postby 2britts » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:35 pm

I chose britts because I have 2 but I think it depends more on where you are and the cover you hunt.
Last edited by 2britts on Sun May 11, 2008 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bean1031 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:26 pm

I put English setter but you need to put down Ryman setter. Even though they are a "type" of english setter there is a big difference.
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Postby Grouse Dog Guy » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:32 am

I have coverdog bred setters and pointers, they our pretty hard to beat in the grouse woods, believe me I have tried them all.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Gridiron and Grouse » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:09 pm

The cover I hunt around here are the woods that have been clearcut in the past 2-5 years with a lot of that thick cover, brush piles, with downed tree tops, and log roads looping throughout them.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Dave » Sun May 11, 2008 10:54 am

Unless you insist on having your birds pointed, you should strongly consider an English cocker spaniel from field trial lines. They have been bred to hunt woodcock for generations and as you know woodcock and grouse have a lot of overlap in their habitat. If you can train just basic obedience (hup/sit, and here) and get him into some birds, you'll have a first rate grouse dog and affectionate hunting companion by his first year.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby mudhunter » Fri May 23, 2008 10:02 am

English setters, personally love the llewellin, find a cover dog bred and you can't go wrong. I would stay away from the Rymans, they were bred for Grouse origanly but a smaller faster setter works better.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby PAHunter » Wed May 28, 2008 10:07 am

GridIron

I am also a grouse hunter, teacher from NW Pa and a former football coach, drop me a PM and I tell you all about my experience with my DD, and then the choice is yours . Good luck!!
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby 3Britts » Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:16 pm

I agree it depends on where you are hunting.
I have watched, with a smile on my face as the bigger dogs try to keep up with my Britts in in heavy cover. Britts tend to have an easier time finding and retrieving Grouse.
But, as has been said several times, find a good grouse line.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby gunner » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:28 am

Grouse hunting in south central Indiana still holds some grouse but nothing like it was in the late '70's-early 80's.
Always hunted with pointers and setters. Pointers are pretty much my breed of choice now. They seem to develop so much quicker than other breeds, and I love their style, athleticism, and endurance. They seem to be much healthier than some of the other breeds. Low maintenance.

And pointers have won 7 out of the last 10 Grand National Grouse Championships.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Englishsetterhunter » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:01 am

i would say definetely english setter i read an article about the king of game birds the grouse being hunted by the king of bird dogs (english setters) and since i have a setter i'd agree. and yes who ever wrote about the Ryman setter is correct thier usually what people hunt grouse with but thats not always the best bet look at grouse ridge setters thier great grouse dogs and have llewellin ryman sports peerless etc and make amazing hunting dogs (my setters from their) and have numerous field titles on grouse and wood cock but yeah most people use setters and DeCoverly setters are good because they are methodical hunters and good for tracking down grouse i dont know what exactly makes the setter a better grouse dogs than others but i read in a gun dog article not all dogs are good goose dogs but chesapeake bay retriever usually turns out to be a good goose dog. same thing setters usually turn out to be good grouse dogs obv not all setters are good grouse dogs it is infact hard to get an exceptional grouse dog but with the right breeding and training thier great dogs for any game bird
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby ceadmin » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:25 am

gpblitz wrote:Having hunted grouse for 43 yrs. of my life and spending a fair amount of that time guiding as well i've seen alot of dogs in the grouse woods. there are good dogs and bad dogs in all the breeds. Go with the breed you like. Not what some one tells you, you should like. Buy your pup from dogs that are grouse dogs. By that I mean dogs that are hunted hard on grouse constantly . Not dogs that only hunted on grouse 3, 4 times a year and called grouse dogs. Look for dogs that are raised in grouse and bred in grouse country, not quail or pheasant country,imo. you'll be better off. I have GSP's, but have had darn good English Pointers and setters in my strings as well.A good dog is a good dog!! :D Howie Hill http://www.northwatersgsps.com


I agree. Hunt what you have and enjoy hunting with it. I have a brit and she came from the Northwoods of WI however, I live in IA and only get back a few times a season for grouse hunting but she does fairly well, transitioning from grouse to pheasant/quail.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby KY Grouse Hunter » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:08 pm

In my travels I have found that smaller lighter, rougher dogs handle well in the thick briar, mountains where I live. I breed for a small setter with tons of drive and like to breed dogs that don't mind to run face first into briars. My largest setter weighs in between 40 and 45 pounds.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby JasonW77 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:38 pm

Brittany - watching how easy it is for them to get into thick cover compare to larger breeds
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Re:

Postby Beecher » Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:08 pm

KY Grouse Hunter wrote:The King of Birds deserves being worked by the King of Dogs, The setter. :lol:

AMEN BROTHER, AMEN!
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Mountaineer » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:21 am

Heading to the 46th season for ruffed grouse.
Potential is present in many breeds...like the perfect scattergun or gauge or boots to put on your feet, that perfect does not exist.
I would suggest tho...an English Setter...the type of english setter dependent upon how you hunt and what you prefer to watch afield.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby bwjohn » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:08 am

you could really put down any breed, b/c it just depends on if a dog has been raised on hunting the "eastern" ruffed grouse. I say eastern b/c since I have moved out west I have found that the birds here are really stupid, almost as bad as pen raised birds.

But any breed can make a really good ruffed grouse dog, depends on exposure and training.


But if pressed, I would go with my Vizsla, when I lived in vermont he did an outstanding job on working the grouse.

brandon
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby SHORTFAT » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:11 am

Any of the established bird dog breeds... pointer or flusher. Just spend the time and effort to train the dog right and you will have a fine grouse dog! :D I also live in NW Pa & I have had a Lab, & now an EP... I have friends with Setters, GSP's & even one with a Wiem... Britts are great too. They all do just fine! 8) Whatever you decide... keep us posted!.. Good luck!
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby northern cajun » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:04 pm

gpblitz wrote:Having hunted grouse for 43 yrs. of my life and spending a fair amount of that time guiding as well i've seen alot of dogs in the grouse woods. there are good dogs and bad dogs in all the breeds. Go with the breed you like. Not what some one tells you, you should like. Buy your pup from dogs that are grouse dogs. By that I mean dogs that are hunted hard on grouse constantly . Not dogs that only hunted on grouse 3, 4 times a year and called grouse dogs. Look for dogs that are raised in grouse and bred in grouse country, not quail or pheasant country,imo. you'll be better off. I have GSP's, but have had darn good English Pointers and setters in my strings as well.A good dog is a good dog!! :D Howie Hill http://www.northwatersgsps.com



AMEN
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby ridgerunner » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:11 pm

I would have to say a setter is my choice...well, I should've said a llewellin setter..wouldn't have any but that breed, for the type of bird I'm after and the topography on which I hunt.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:44 pm

G&G,
In reality there is no such thing as the best dog breed for hunting Grouse, when it comes down to it, it all depends on the individual dog. However there are different breed lines that have been repetivitvely bred for hunting Grouse and are proven dogs for actually hunting Grouse. I train Grouse dogs here in Pa and we have developed a breeders list for our clients to pick from, identifying breeders who are suppling repetatively proven Grouse hunting dogs, for the foot hunter. We by no means have every good Grouse dog breeder on this list, however the breeders on the list have proven repetative Grouse dog stock which we train, and our clients Grouse hunt with each season.
RGD/Dave

Just a few of the different Grouse Dogs in our home kennel, Ryman Setter, Gordon Setter, GSP
Image


Training with the SM & GSP
Image
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby northern cajun » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:56 pm

Ryman Gun Dog wrote:G&G,
In reality there is no such thing as the best dog breed for hunting Grouse, when it comes down to it, it all depends on the individual dog. However there are different breed lines that have been repetivitvely bred for hunting Grouse and are proven dogs for actually hunting Grouse. I train Grouse dogs here in Pa and we have developed a breeders list for our clients to pick from, identifying breeders who are suppling repetatively proven Grouse hunting dogs, for the foot hunter. We by no means have every good Grouse dog breeder on this list, however the breeders on the list have proven repetative Grouse dog stock which we train, and our clients Grouse hunt with each season.
RGD/Dave

Just a few of the different Grouse Dogs in our home kennel, Ryman Setter, Gordon Setter, GSP
Image


Training with the SM & GSP
Image


Long tailed shorthair?
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:35 pm

NC,
That particular GSP is a lot more Pointer than GSP, if you know what I mean. She is a Grouse hunting machine even at 10 years old, and my brothers pride and joy.
She is mentor to her Ryman buddy Shawnie, and even with his talent it will take him many many years to become the Grouse dog that old German Short Haired Pointer is.
Pine Creek

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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby DogNewbie » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:51 pm

I'm surprised no one has mentioned a wirehaired pointing Griffon. When I think of the stereotypical Minnesota grouse dog it's is definitely a Griffon. Small enough to get into the thick stuff, warm enough coat for late season but still doesn't collect the briars like a long haired dog would. Plus that beardy old man look just fits in the northwoods! I don't remember who first said it but I'm sure whatever dog you choose, if time is put into it, it will be a fine grouse dog!

Tim
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Firemedic » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:27 pm

I think it's more about who's driving the truck than it is what's in the dog box.

I can shoot them over a lab:
Image
Image

I can shoot them over GSP's:
Image
Image


I can shoot them with a friend:
Image

I can drop em over a fat EP:
Image

5 shot over these 3:
Image

Heck, I even shot one over a Vdog once!
Image

My point is, it doesn't matter what kind of dog you have, all of them are capable of shooting grouse over, as long as you take them to a spot that holds grouse. They will learn the proper manners once they bust a few.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:34 am

Firemedic,
No doubt you can shoot Grouse over lots of different dog breeds, however a dog that hunts spooky Grouse and repetatively sets them correctly for gunning is a very special animal, especially a V dog, most labs flush Grouse for their masters gunning, which is a completely different way to hunt. I have a very old Small Munsterlander that my brother believes can sneak up on a Grouses Ghost, he has pointed, flushed on command and retrieved to hand sense he was about a year old. He does not have the incredible style my Ryman or Gordon dogs have, however if I neeeded to put meat on the table each day, the SM Versatile dog really gets the job done.
RGD/Dave

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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Firemedic » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:32 pm

Yes, my lab is a flusher, and a very efficient one at that. I have no problem killing a few dozen grouse over him every season. The Vdog belongs to a buddy of mine, and I have killed a few over it. Every GSP I have are all good grouse dogs, light on their feet, silent, fast and eficient at covering the ground and likely objectives.

That white and liver one you see pictured, that was his second time in the woods. He was broke and trained in a field over pen raised quail. I shot those three grouse and two WC over him in less than 2 hours, he pointed and held them like a pro. People that I have hunted with tell me he is one of the most natural grouse dogs they have seen. He turned 2 last month, and I cannot wait to get him back out there.

When you refer to your dogs having "incredible" style, what are you referring to?
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:27 am

FireMedic,
The style of my Gordons and the style of my Ryman dogs is quite different, the SM has completely different than either of the Setters, my Gordon dogs are very quick without being jerky, head high hunters, shift gears as they become closer to setting the bird for gunning, and have beautiful high tails. The Ryman Setters glide thru the woods with their head high, on their long legs, and move quicker than most hunters actually perceive, walk spooky Grouse to a point without busting the bird into flight, and have big half moon tails on Grouse point, and low tails when point a Woodcock. The Small Munsterlander has a style all its own head high about 1/2 the time when scenting calls for it, and head low 1/2 the time, for tracking when scenting calls for it, is very aggressive in the woods, has the ability to sneak up on birds & fur without any jerky motion, without wild game knowing he is around. Has a big sweeping Setter type tail , half moon and high when on Grouse, low on Woodcock point and way down when pointing fur.
Most dog breeds have their own style of hunting and an owner must be able to read that style to determine what his dog is doing while hunting in the woods.
Prior to purchasing a dog a prospective owner needs to know what different gun dogs styles happen to be, so he or she can make an educated decission as to the style
they would most like to hunt behind.
RGD/Dave

Penny Our Gordon Grouse dog showing her point style
Image

Daisy with some of the Ryman Style, pointing a Grouse in the snow
Image
Daisy Pointing a 6 bird Grouse Covert in the Pa woods early fall
Image

Sampson our SM pointing a Woodcock in the Pa woods.
Image

Sampson on Grouse Point
Image
Last edited by Ryman Gun Dog on Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby MATT4126 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:54 am

RGD,

You have some awesome looking dogs and great pictures.
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby DonF » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:05 pm

I just noticed the poll results. Hey Steve, your only allowed to vote on :mrgreen: ce!
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Re: Grouse Hunters

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:19 pm

Matt,
Thank you sir for the very nice complement.
RGD/Dave
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