Black grouse hunting
Grouse, in communication with his ladies, is very different from other representatives of his squad (except, perhaps, only a capercaillie). Males of the grouse family can be called feathered knights in the matter of bird “love.” Mating is a mating ritual of grouse – rather like a medieval stage with competitions between rivals and the obligatory performance of vocal parts in honor of the “Beautiful Lady”. To do this, feathered gentlemen every spring gather from all around to their favorite currents, where during the current they proudly demonstrate all kinds of bird poses, drag out mating songs and engage in fights with each other.
Chickens during these actions males try to stay at a distance, watching the applicants for their reciprocity. But, nevertheless, the right of choice always remains with them.
From the side, as it may seem to the hunter, the current roosters are not much different from each other, but very often some of them are ignored by the aunts, while several feathered beauties curl around their rivals at once. It is clear that grouse females choose those males from whom it is possible to obtain full and healthy offspring, but according to what criteria the assessment occurs, it is still practically unknown.
Hunters have long used wedding games of feathered knights to shoot males. With a reasonable and careful attitude, this does not significantly affect the reproduction and conservation of the grouse population.
In spring sunny days, the streak of Kosachi can be heard already in early March, but this is a kind of rehearsal, a test of voice, fragments of mating singing, sounding quite short, chaotically and not at full strength. Birds begin to fly to their original places of currents much later, in late March – early April. First of all, it depends on the area of habitat, temperature and weather conditions.
Currents are located in open places (clearing, edge, swamp, field or clear-cutting) in the immediate vicinity of the usual habitats of black grouse. Sometimes, in the taiga zone, black grouse even flow on the ice of unopened lakes, which, apparently, attract birds with their open space, which is quite difficult to find among the vast forests.
Finding grouse current is not particularly difficult. In the early morning, a resounding murmur of killer whales spreads around the district for many kilometers. The hunter only needs to determine (by ear) the approximate place of the largest concentration of running birds and closer to noon (when the roe will fly away) to find it. The meadow glazed by birds, traces of droppings, lost feathers will accurately indicate the place of current.
After this, it is necessary in advance, in the most secluded place of the current, but with the condition that all the current is clearly visible and the rising sun does not blind in the eyes, from the materials at hand (branches, spruce branches, straw) to build a hut, possibly masking it, attaching to a tree, bush, etc. In this case, it is necessary to observe the simplest rules of camouflage, for example: if there are no growing fir trees and pines around the current, you should not build a hut from the spruce – the black grouse is careful, it will be afraid of an unfamiliar structure and the current will take place away from a dangerous place. If the current is open, you need to bring material to it in advance, put it in heaps in the right place, and after 2-3 days, when the birds get used to it and stop paying attention to them, make shelter. After the construction of the hut, again, for two or three days you should not visit the current, let the pigs get used to it.
The hut is arranged in such a way that there are no more than 2No grouse on the black grouse at a current of 0-30 meters. It must be made dense enough, especially at the bottom. If the walls of the hut are loose, then against the background of the morning dawn, any movement of the hunter will be clearly visible. The hut should be quite spacious, for warmth and convenience, a sufficient layer of straw or lapnik should be laid on the ground. A small stool doesn’t hurt.
The most intense currenting usually occurs in the second half of April. At this time, the females regularly flock to current places, so that after the males’ performance, they retire with their favorite scythe to the nearest forest edge.
It is necessary to come to the current in advance, even in complete darkness, and even better in the evening, as grouse flies to the current in the wee hours and can notice the appearance of a late hunter.
Just before the dawn of the black grouse, I begin to fly off into the current, sit on nearby trees, look around, after that they go down to the ground and begin to flow, at first uncertainly, but with the approach of other birds, more selflessly and recklessly.
You should not shoot in the dark, in the spring, especially on fine days, the dawn comes early and the hunter will always have time to make several effective shots. In addition, it’s very interesting to watch the development of current, the rooster tournaments and time is running fast. In most cases, the sounds of the shots do not scare the birds much; they become silent only for a moment, then continuing to stream with the same excitement.