The black grouse is a medium-sized bird: its weight ranges from 700 to 1600 g. It is quite slender and mobile. Grouse spends most of its life on earth, although in winter it feeds almost everywhere on trees. It moves fast on the ground, and usually cranes its neck forward. Sitting on branches, the body holds horizontally. Grouse flies quickly and fairly easily, making frequent flaps of strongly curved wings. Take off freely both from the ground and from trees; take-off from the ground is accompanied by a lot of noise, while from a tree it comes off almost inaudibly. He never flees from pursuit, but takes off and, as a rule, flies away. The grouse has a pronounced sexual dimorphism: males are larger than females and have a sharply distinct plumage. The male is black, with a metallic-blue or green sheen on the head, neck, goiter and lower back. On the wing, a mirror is more or less noticeable – a white transverse strip. Extreme steering strongly bent lyre outward. The female is reddish-gray, her tail is carved. Young grouse in color plumage similar to a female.
Black grouse is an inhabitant of the fringes of forests and forest-steppe. In nesting time, black grouse prefers birch forests alternating with grain fields, aspen and linden trees in the vicinity of extensive felling and burnt areas, forest edges and sparse woodlands with the obligatory presence of berries and dry places necessary for nesting; avoids dense high-stemmed forests.
black grouse on current
Grouse hunting on currents from a hut. From year to year, Kosachi, like capercaillie, flow in the same places – at the edge of a forest, in a field, in moist meadows with separate trees and bushes, on hillocks in the forest. In swamps covered with pine and birch. The current location is not difficult to determine by a far-fetched grouse song.
The number of birds on the current ranges from a few to tens, the size of the currents – from 0.5 to 5-6 ha. Often, black grouse flow not in one place, but separately, in separate groups.
To hunt for grouse current, the hut is set up in advance, if possible in the center of one of the grouse cluster sites. The correct choice of a place for a hut is sometimes helped by traces of fights between black grouses (last year’s taken grass, feathers).
Material for the hut must be taken at the place of hunting, so that it does not stand out on the current. The basis for it can serve as a bush or tree. The hut is made small, but for convenience it is better to put it over the dug hole. In the walls for observation and shooting loopholes are provided. To protect yourself from dampness, it’s nice to throw lapnik, or straw, or hay into a hut. Experienced hunters put several tents in different places and use them one at a time. The same current should not be hunted more often than in a day or two.
They go into the hut in complete darkness and remain in it until the end of the morning hunt. Go to the hut when the black grouse has already begun to “mumble”, it is impossible. You should not leave the hut when the current has already begun or is about to begin. In order not to disperse the scythes, it is better to start shooting only at the height of the current. You need to shoot slowly, aim carefully. Pick up a dead bird during the hunt should not be.
Hunt for broods and molting grouse. Black grouse hunting begins in August. At this time, broods stay in dense grass and on the berry fields, along clearings and forest glades, fringes of deciduous young growth and the outskirts of fields, the banks of forest streams, near the places where they hatched.
It is better to hunt in the morning, when the dew only slightly dries, and in the evening – three hours before sunset. At this time, broods feed and leave a lot of footprints (wards) visible in the morning on dewy grass. In the middle of the day, when broods rest in hard-to-reach places, it is advisable to take a break in the hunt. Only in cloudy weather with little rain the hunt can last all day, as the broods then feed almost without interruption and stay in open places.
As when hunting for capercaillie broods, you should pay attention to the storages and make sure that the cop goes against the wind or that it blows to its side.
When the dog takes the track, it is better to keep it in order to give time to the brood to scatter in different directions and lie low, then it is not difficult to track down and take as many black grouse individually as the norm provides. If the brood is immediately lifted from the ground, grouse scatter in different directions. In this case, you can make 1-2 shots, but we must remember that the old usually takes off first, which should not be fired. Having flown more or less far, the grouse perches on trees closer to the trunk or clog for a long time in the bushes and leave no trace. Finding them at this time, even an experienced dog is not easy, so do not look for them immediately, but better to call the dog to him and sit quietly for 15-20 minutes; during this time, calming grouse begin to gradually get out of shelters, descend from the trees and, echoing, gather together. A dog in search of fresh tracks will quickly find them.