The undisputed king of game birds, the red grouse is the only one that is unique to the British Isles.

They can fly at speeds of up to 90mph with the wind at their tails and give the hunter a true challenge. Found on moorlands in Scotland, traditionally the better region, driven grouse shooting is normally reckoned to be the pinnacle of driven shooting, a potent mixture of stunning scenery, deep rooted tradition and the ultimate shooting challenge.

Grouse shooting in Scotland takes place on carefully tended grouse moors that are mainly situated in the Highlands, Angus and the Borders.

Although the season does not open until 12 August (known as “The Glorious Twelfth”), the gamekeepers work throughout the year to ensure that the best possible conditions exist for the grouse to rear their chicks, as well as building or repairing the butts that are used by the shooters.

Grouse are hunted in 3 main ways:

  1. Walked up with retrievers and shot as they flush
  2. Walked up and shot over pointer dogs
  3. Driven by beaters to a line of 8 or 10 guns

The bags on driven days can reach between 50 and 100 brace (a pair of birds) per day in Scotland.Teams of 8 to 10 guns are usual and such teams are often groups of friends but sometimes we take individuals from many sources to make up a team. This allows people from all corners of the globe to come together and shoot grouse and from such beginnings lifelong friendships are often forged.

Walked up grouse, with or without pointers, allows small teams to shoot grouse with as few as 2 guns shooting over a pointer and as many as 8 walking in line abreast with spaniels and labradors. Bags of 5 brace per day to 30 or 40 brace are possible with 3or 4 brace per gun per day being typical. Those who wish to walk up grouse must be fit as the hills can be steep and the ground underfoot is uneven and often wet and slippery.

However, for those with the right constitution there is nothing more satisfying than a day with the dogs walking up grouse.


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