Grouse Hunting on Vancouver Island

Anything you need to know about the best time, places, outfitters, and regulations of Vancouver Island grouse hunting, you can find them here. We are ready to help you make a rewarding BC hunting opportunity.

The content is valid until June 30, 2024.

Are you thinking of going hunting on Vancouver Island and adding a new challenge to your vacation? Well, every hunting trip on Vancouver Island offers a different magnificent challenge. However, if you are a small game hunting fan, we recommend you first choose the upland game birds and then select grouse, curious, and sometimes dumb birds, which are abundantly found all over BC and Vancouver Island. The profusion of these upland birds and their density on Vancouver Island have turned them into one of the best and most challenging choices for harvesting.
Grouse includes many subspecies, amongst which two that inhabit Vancouver Island are blue grouse and ruffed grouse. Genetically speaking, they are the same. However, if their appearance is the subject of the discussion, well, they sure are different. The only difference they have is their plumage colour. The blue grouse has darker plumage than the ruffed grouse, which is one reason they are easier hunting targets. They can be spotted as considerably more manageable due to their dark colour. The blue grouse are acknowledged as the most hunted upland bird on Vancouver Island and even BC. Not to mention that BC is home to over 50% of the blue grouse in the whole world; amazing, right?
On the other hand, ruffed grouse is not much found on Vancouver Island, but you can quickly locate them in the spots where food and escape cover are easily accessible for the birds. While their population is not as much as their blue counterparts, ruffed grouse or "ruffies" hunting is not prohibited.
In the following, we are going to explain all the necessary details regarding your grouse hunting trip. Stay with us!

History of Grouse Hunting on Vancouver Island

The History of grouse hunting on Vancouver Island probably goes back to 1804-1806, when the two ornithologists, Lewis and Clarke, were on an expedition and identified blue grouse on the island for the first time. The blue grouse subdivides into two groups: Sooty and Dusky grouse. Back then, they weren't unified, and people had been hunting them as separate species for about a hundred years. At the beginning of the 20th century, Sooty and Dusky grouse were classified as one group: the blue grouse, which went on for another century. Once more, in 2006, an American Ornithologist Union split the species into two subspecies due to their behavioural differences:
Sooty Grouse (Birds living in wet coastal forests)
Dusky Grouse (Inhabitants of the dry interior parts of the province)
The significant subject for grouse hunting on Vancouver Island is sooty grouse because, as mentioned earlier, they occupy the wet, and Vancouver Island is one of these lands. But generally, when we say blue grouse, we mean both of its subspecies. And don't worry! If you are lucky enough, there is a chance to harvest both sooty and dusky grouse on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island Grouse Hunters

But let's see why grouse hunting is enjoyable for Vancouver Island hunters. Well, first of all, harvesting grouse is one of the most challenging hunting amongst upland game birds. They sit tight on the trees even if you are walking by, or they can scare the heck out of you by jumping on your feet and believe that's not a joke! However, if you make the birds flush from its cover, you may be the winner of the "game." So, it is almost clear why a hunter might like harvesting grouse; because of that proud moment when you shoot, it hits the aim. That would be like hunting chicken in the sky!
Grouse are unpredictable, and that is why your hunting experience will be full of surprises. Some of them, as mentioned earlier, stick to the trees and don't flush even if you look straight into their eyes. On the contrary, some of them would flush from their cover as soon as they hear dry leaves breaking beneath your feet.
Note that a dog will be beneficial in this hunting trip, where you cannot easily spot the bird or predict its next move.

Book Your Guided Grouse Hunting Trip

Reasons to Hunt Grouse on Vancouver Island

Grouse are hilarious birds, and the challenge behind hunting them is one more reason you would crave to hunt grouse on Vancouver Island. However, let's talk about other benefits grouse hunting can provide you with:
First of all, their delicate meat. Grouse can provide you with a mouth-watering meal, and of course, enough! Talking about the size of a grouse, they are considerably big amongst other upland game bird species inhabiting Vancouver Island. Males weigh about a kilogram, and females weigh slightly less. In some cases, they can resemble a chicken n size and weight, for what grouse meat can be a good winter supply.
Other than the luscious meat, the open season for grouse hunting is during fall. Imagine what beautiful and virgin scenery you can enjoy while spotting and ambushing these naughty birds.

Vancouver Island Grouse Hunting Highlights

• The total number of the species (i.e., blue grouse) in BC is estimated to be 500,000 – 1,500,000.
• The males are territorial, meaning that they would fight other males if they entered their territory.
• For the hooting sound grouse makes when looking for its mating partner, they are also referred to as "hooters." That is one way through which you can track the bird for hunting too.
• There is a bag limit of five for hunting upland game birds every day.

Where to Hunt Grouse on Vancouver Island?

As grouse are not migratory birds, and once they settle somewhere, they live their whole life there, you won't have serious problems locating them. However, during the open hunting season, these husky birds prefer upper elevations. And that is why the Canadian distribution of grouse mainly inhabits mountainous areas. While driving slowly along the mountain roads of Vancouver Island, you can gaze upon numerous grouse.
Other than high elevations, another preferred location for grouse hunting is second-growth forests; because they are the best places for them to cover, and they can find enough food to feed on.
You must know that grouse is a gallinaceous bird; thus, one of the prime locations wherein you can spot these birds on Vancouver Island for hunting is gravel roads, where you can find a plethora of them all over the province. For now, the management units (MU) or the hunting areas designated by BC regulation for hunting grouse are 1-1 to 1-15 on the region 1 (Vancouver Island) map. By the way, hunters should be aware of no hunting and shooting areas on Vancouver Island.

When to Hunt Grouse on Vancouver Island?

According to BC Government's hunting and trapping synopsis, the open season for hunting this upland game bird is from Sep 1 to Dec 31. Also, there is a separate bow open season for grouse hunting, from Aug 20 to Aug 31. Note that on the Gulf Islands, no bow hunting is allowed except for Gabriola Island.
Heads up! Keep in mind that if you are wandering on Denman Island for grouse harvesting, there is no open hunting season for this upland game bird in that region, and if you hunt a single grouse on Denman Island, there will be consequences.

Protected Areas of Vancouver Island, Based on the BC Act

Conditions for Hunting Grouse on Vancouver Island

Weather conditions: Well, based on the hunters' experience out there hunting grouse more often, hunting grouse is possible in any weather. However, the bird has shown more interest in being out in the wild on sunny days. Maybe a little wind can come in handy in the process of your grouse hunting.
Temperature conditions: Based on the ideal weather conditions for grouse hunting we discussed in the previous part, the desired temperature for hunting grouse is about 35-70 degrees.
Besides the last two above-mentioned factors, the time of the day can effectively boost your grouse hunting success. The best time of the day to take down one of these chicken-like birds is the first and the last light of the day. These are the most active times for grouse since they are the avian predator's transitional time.

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Grouse Hunting Methods on Vancouver Island

All the methods we are about to introduce for grouse hunting on Vancouver Island are based on what was announced and presented by BC Government in its hunting and trapping synopsis.

Rifle (rimfire & centrefire) Hunting

Depending on the game you are going to hunt, choosing the most fitted rifle is the primary thing to do. Rifle hunting is fast and relatively easy, but it needs accuracy, especially in cases like grouse hunting, in which you may have to shoot the bird in the sky. Try to identify the best rifle weapon for your grouse hunting and prepare it for your journey on Vancouver Island.

Shotgun Hunting

Shotguns are a little too much for hunting grouse, although not banned. We recommend the best shotgun weapon preferred by professional hunters for hunting grouse, a 12-gauge.

Bow Hunting

Bowhunting (or bow hunting) can be the best choice you make as your grouse hunting method. Why is that? Well, the big good reason is that you create absolutely no sounds when you shoot the bird in the bowhunting method. So what? When grouse hunting with a bow, other grouse won't flush from their covers, and the field remains yours. The worst-case scenario is that you miss your targets and don't get any, which can apply to all the methods, by the way. Remember, for bow hunting, a separate open season is set.

Hunting with Falconry

In this approach, you will hunt the poor bird getting help from one of its own. You benefit from birds of prey in this method for hunting only small game.

Hunting with Dogs

Dogs can come in handy on every hunting trip; it doesn't matter whether it is a big game or a small game animal. The only difference is that dogs must be kept on a leash in big game hunting, while in small game hunting, they can be unleashed. But why can they be helpful during your grouse hunting on Vancouver Island? You see, grouse doesn't inhabit the desert, and when it is down, it may get lost in between the vegetation; the dog's strong smell does the rest and will find your bird.

Hunting from a Blind

Some ways of hunting from a blind like blinds treestand or ground blind can be available on request for a small game animal such as grouse. We offer ground blinds for some who cannot hunt from a tree stand. Guides try to keep very close contact with you while you are on the stand.

Grouse Hunting Regulations on Vancouver Island

Regulations for BC Grouse Hunts | Region 1

Vancouver Island Grouse Hunt Cost

The cost of hunting trips may differ depending on variables such as services and timing for the hunting adventure. However, our grouse hunting price starts at $600 and may increase according to your expectations.

Choose Among the Best Guide Outfitters for Grouse Hunting in BC

To experience a successful grouse hunting tour on Vancouver Island:
1- Plan for your grouse hunting in advance.
2- Choose the areas where you intend to hunt for your grouse hunting on Vancouver Island.
3- Apply for and obtain the necessary licence for your grouse hunting.
4- Select the right outfitter to be by your side in a grouse hunting adventure.
But why does choosing the right outfitter matter before starting a grouse hunting adventure? They provide their guests with appropriate gear, excellent accommodation, and adequate scouting knowledge to ensure that every hunter involved in that trip would have the best chance of successful grouse hunting. If you want to make sure that your grouse hunting adventure on Vancouver Island is going to be the best experience ever, choosing the right outfitter is a MUST! If you need help or have any questions regarding the choice of the best outfitter, please feel free to contact us.

Vancouver Island Grouse Hunting Tips

• Safety when closing your gun ought to usually be a priority. Always hold barrels pointed down when closing your gun and carry the stock up to meet them. Under no situations, raise the barrels to the stock.
• Always wreck your gun when you are taking walks and preserve barrels pointing at the ground. This reduces any possibilities of weapons going off accidentally.
• If you have to climb a tree, fence, style, or alternatively, if you have to hand your gun over to some other person or a loader, always unload and spoil it first.
• Never shoot into hedges or woods, as this is the place the beaters will likely be. Only shoot when you can see the sky around the bird.
• Safety equipment is a must. Hearing protection, eye protection, and strong, sturdy boots are imperative.

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Vancouver Island Grouse Hunting Common Questions and Answers

Yes, there is a large population of grouse on Vancouver Island, including two subspecies out of five: the blue and ruffed grouse.
The blue grouse is the subspecies with the largest population on Vancouver Island.
There is a bag limit of 5 for grouse hunting every day on Vancouver Island.
Every grouse weigh about one kilogram (2.3 lbs).
They have the same meat portion as chicken, but the taste is different. The breast has a tender texture and a mild gamy taste. Sometimes the excellent taste is the reason for hunting grouse.
After hunting the bird, you can eat fresh grouse meat or freeze it later. It has delicate, lean white meat that you can use instead of chicken in every chicken recipe.

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