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Small Game Hunting

Sharp-Tailed Grouse and Greater Prairie Chicken Hunting

grouse.jpgTraditional Season

Central and eastern areas: mid-September to mid-December.
Extreme eastern areas: mid-October to mid-December.

Prairie and Ruffed Grouse Seasons (GFP)

Range and Habitat

Sharp-tailed grouse can be found in the western two-thirds of the state overlapping with pheasants in the central part of the state. Prairie chickens are most abundant in counties that border the Missouri River near the central part of the state and south to the Nebraska border.

grouserangemap2.gifCombination hunts for sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens exist in this region. Sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens prefer mature stands of native prairie grass.

Grasslands adjacent to crop lands, brushy draws and river breaks are ideal habitat situations for prairie grouse. Hot weather forces birds into the shade of draws, trees and bushes. In cool, wet and windy conditions, birds will sit high on the downwind side of ridge tops where they have good visibility.

More information about grouse and prairie chicken hunting. (GFP)

Prairie Grouse Hunting Tips

  • Locating grouse.
    Found in coveys, prairie grouse often hold for pointing dogs early in the season. As cooler weather sets in, the birds congregate, making it harder to approach coveys. 
  • Bird identification.
    Learn to identify birds on the wing. Prairie grouse and pheasant ranges overlap. First-time grouse hunters may confuse hen pheasants with prairie grouse. 
  • Prepare for the weather.
    Carry extra water for yourself and your dog. Early season hunts can be hot and strenuous on you and your dog. 
  • Chokes and shot.
    Use a modified choke with #6 shot early in the season and #4 shot later.