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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I'm not necessarily qualified to argue whether or not this grouse season has been as good as the DWR has advertised it should be, I certainly can't complain about it. I decided to target grouse for the first time this weekend and saw over 25 birds and ended up taking 4. I was surprised at how tough the shooting can be. Although our pup bumped quite a few of them, even the close flushes were challenging. Knowing that I would probably need all the help I could get, I dropped the cash on some Prairie Storm #6s, but still half the birds I shot hit the ground running. Any recommendations on shot sizes/shells for grouse? Would something a little larger be more effective? Anyone out there shoot a Citori as well and have any preference in shells? Overall I wasn't completely disappointed with Prairie Storm in how it patterns etc... but I'm not sold on it yet.

Here's a pic with the 2 birds I shot our second day hunting.
 

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7 1/2 federals this weekend dropped all the birds- 2 schools of thought though
7 1/2- lead in your birds- 6's go thru no lead. I would never use your storms for grouse. Later season pheasants in Idaho yes. Over all for a mid priced shell that patterns well I like the Rio's. When I go to a 3" mag it's usually a Rio because they are a so much less expensive than the storms but I have a few boxes of the storms.
 

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I'd never shoot expensive shells at ruff/blue grouse..no need. Prairie Storm....are those not $18-20 a box? Their just not that hard to kill. Mostly shoot a 28 ga loaded with 6's and have never had issues with them getting away.
 

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I use my 410 side by side shooting #6 shot. It has bagged more grouse than I can count. It is a great little shot gun to have while deer or elk hunting or thrown behind the seat of the truck during bird season.
 

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who shoots grouse on the fly anyways? wait for them to flush into the tree and a cheap trap load to the head! :)
That's one nice thing about hunting them in Colorado. A .22Lr to the head while they are still on the ground. If you are careful you can limit out in a hurry.
 

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28 1/2 inches long 400 grain oh wait.. :) shot size doesn't matter to me anytime I'm toting a shotgun I can never find the dang things! I always see them while chasing deer and elk with my bow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree 7 1/2s would work if you were plucking them from tree branches, but most of the shooting I did was with the grouse flushing through thick cover and they weren't landing in trees anywhere close to where I was. I suppose I'll lighten up, pocket some cash, and see how that works next time out.

And Jedidiah it was down in Dixie National Forest
 

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That's one nice thing about hunting them in Colorado. A .22Lr to the head while they are still on the ground. If you are careful you can limit out in a hurry.
It's dumb that you can't use a .22 on grouse here. I use the Kent Fasteel in 7 1/2 12 ga. for upland game, there's a lot more chance I'm going to start a fire with that stuff than Blazer .22s out of my Ruger. I watch carefully and always have a gallon of water in my hydration pack to douse embers of course. Plus half my grouse shots end up with flappers or runners that I have to chase. Nailing rabbits with my .22 they get a kill shot every time. Is there some reason I don't know beyond wildfires and bad shots for requiring a shotgun? I suspect it's just so they can charge us more tax.
 

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What shotsize is a rock, about baseball size? Cuz that works pretty good at times.

-DallanC
That is a problem with Utah's regs, technically you can't use a rock the way that they are written. And a rock is diffidently larger than #2 shot
 

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I usually hunt in pretty thick stuff and the 7 1//2 doesn't seem to deter many hits- now my ability to shoot at times can certainly be questioned- how can one go so many in row with out a miss and then just stink ?
After a bit of shooting this summer and watching some CD's I have come to the conclusion that how I mount the gun is consistent 90% of the time and then the 10% kicks in and I get a lot bad looks from the dogs.
 

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I use my 410 side by side shooting #6 shot. It has bagged more grouse than I can count. It is a great little shot gun to have while deer or elk hunting or thrown behind the seat of the truck during bird season.
2 3/4" or 3"?

Another question..

So the gun I'll be using are savage 24s. In Utah you can't use a rimfire on grouse but I won't be using the rimfire barrel.
What would a game warden say?
 

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2 3/4" or 3"?

Another question..

So the gun I'll be using are savage 24s. In Utah you can't use a rimfire on grouse but I won't be using the rimfire barrel.
What would a game warden say?
All I purchase is 3" rounds for it.

As for what a game warden would say if you are not using a shotgun or a pistol shooting bird shot is "sign here and tell it to the judge"
 

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Prairie storms are overkill for grouse, you won't have any meat left. Plus they will break your arm. They also pattern really tight (at least from my guns). I use Kent fastlead 6 shot for everything. If you're using open chokes and leading a little, you'll be dropping grouse like a sack of bread!
 

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I think 7-1/2s will do a better job for you on flushing grouse in thick cover. More pellets in the pattern increase your chance of getting some through to the grouse. I predict your cripples will go down if you go to 7-1/2s on forest birds.
 
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I used #7 1/2 for over 20 years with good success. then got tired of spitting out so many BBs. now I use #6. also no problems.
Grouse are not hard to put down.
 

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Prairie Storm uses the flight stopper wads, which is what Black Cloud steel shot uses. The wads are designed to hold a tight pattern to further distances. In all likelihood, you were only hitting part of the bird because your shot pattern was so small. That stuff is designed to be shot at birds out to 25-40 yards, and when a grouse flushes at that distance, you rarely see it through the trees.

If you're shooting a 12 gauge, here's what I recommend. Stick with your number 6 shot. It will carry enough energy to blast through the trees. If you can find a 1 oz load of number 6, you're set. If not, 1 1/8 oz will work fine. Most manufacturers label a load like this as light or heavy game. Stick with the lighter stuff for Ruffs, and use the heavy game loads for blues. Put the Improved cylinder, or light modified chokes in your gun, and have at it.
 
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