White Mountains Online

Blue Grouse. . . (Dendragapus obscurus)

These animals are a primary small game species hunted in Arizona. Hunting small game requires only a valid Arizona regular hunting or combination hunting/fishing license. A game bird stamp, which is available free of charge at Game and Fish offices, is required to hunt blue grouse. A U.S. Forest Service Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests map is a handy tool.

Blue Grouse: Dusky gray or blackish in color, with white-tipped tail feathers, blue grouse are secretive, quiet birds often difficult to locate. They inhabit subalpine forests and meadow regions above 8,500 feet in elevation. In the wetter mountains near Alpine, Arizona, grouse can be found below 8,000 feet. Foods include insects, aspen leaves, raspberries, gooseberries, seeds, wild pea, and other grasses and forbs.

Habitat: Subalpine fir and spruce forests and meadow regions of northern Arizona.

Food Preferences: Insects, ants, grasshoppers, wild pea, raspberries, spiny gooseberries, dandelions, silverleaf, cinquefoil, aspen leaves, and Douglas-fir needles in season.

Breeding notes: Breeds May through June, young appearing between June 15 and July 15. Average Number of young: 4-6.

Predators or Enemies: Bobcats, coyotes, foxes, eagles, and horned owl.

Size Individual Range: Less than an acre to 2 acres.

Distribution: 8,500 feet and above.

Live Weight: Male: 2-3 lbs. / Female 1-2 lbs.

Hunting hints: Hunt Spruce/aspen stands. Key in on small openings, walk slowly, and scan the ground. Mornings are the best times to encounter feeding birds. A good bird dog is a definite benefit. Blue grouse are very camouflaged and easy to overlook, but may allow you to approach them at close range.

Information courtesy Arizona Game & Fish Department, Region 1-Pinetop,AZ