Golden Moments

1/2 Day · full day events

Grouse hunting begins in the golden mornings of mid-September and lasts until the snow is deep enough to dust a bird dog's belly (December 31). Grouse hunters call it "chasing birds", but it's more than that. It's a blend of expectation and memory, of sights, sounds and smells as delicate as the first skim ice on a pond, as loud as a short-barreled shotgun and as pungent as muck.

Spend the day chasing Michigan's wild and elusive Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock. Our experienced guides will show you some of the best upland cover in the state. With over 35 years of hunting experience, David McCool knows the best spots in the woodlands. Poplar cuttings, river bottom habitat and other classic upland bird cover provide the wing shooter an unparalleled challenge.

Thunder Birds

a mighty small game

The North American Ruffed Grouse is one of the most cunning and powerful game birds in the world. It is capable of jaw dropping acceleration in the thickest cover providing an amazing experience for the wingshooter. Ruffed Grouse change roosting and feeding patterns as early fall gives way to winter. Knowing the bird’s requirements for food and cover is essential during the fall to winter transition.
The American Woodcock is an amazing migratory bird that leaves many hunters wondering, “how did I miss?” Northern Michigan boasts good numbers of local birds which begin migration in early October. The woodcock is truly a miracle of nature and presents quite a challenge for hunters. Woodcock hold very tight for bird dogs and explode upward when flushed. Often times you’ll see them spiraling up and out of cover spinning erratically. If you are lucky enough, you might catch a flight of woodcock during their fall migration. This fast action will leave your heart pumping and shell casings smoldering at your feet.

The Dogs

A Hunter's Best Friend

David’s bird dog of choice is the Deutscher Wachtelhund. Bred by German foresters in the 1700s, this breed has an amazing scope of talent. Whether it’s upland birds, waterfowl, hare, boar or blood tracking wounded game, this canine has the prey covered.

Starting mid-September through December, half and full day trips are available. McCool Outdoor will customize your experience with lodging and meal packages.