It is true that you can hunt Grouse without a dog, however for me the dog work is what Grouse hunting is really all about, the dog is the hunter and watching him or her float thru the woods and do their job, is the most interesting exciting hunt on earth. Britman and Highcountry66 are correct, if you can't find more Grouse with your dog than hunting without one, the dog you have is not a good Grouse dog, and there are many dogs that can't handle Grouse properly.
Here in Pa our mature Grouse are very spooky, 90% of all Grouse taken by Grouse hunters are 1st year birds, with a few 2nd year birds mixed in. A mature Grouse who has evaded
predators for 4 or 5 seasons is a prize bird and usually a very good Grouse dog is needed, to set him up for the masters gunning. These kind of mature Grouse usually reset their safety zone many times and without an experienced Grouse dog, most times a hunter has little chance at these birds. Even an average dog is usually not good enought to handle some of these spooky old birds. IMO Grouse hunting with a great Grouse dog is the finest hunting on earth. Actually getting to see a great Grouse dog walk a mature Grouse for 1/2 a mile or more thru the thick forest and setting the bird up for her masters gunning, is a sight most hunters seldome get to see, ask Eric Miller about Penny some time, and listen close as he tells about his experience with her Grouse hunting talent.
Men like Burt Spiller and Corey Ford wrote about Grouse hunting all the time, and were good Grouse huntrs themselves, however Burt willingly admitted he never owned a great Grouse dog, Corey actually owned a few. It is true that if you get to own a great Grouse dog, God has really blessed you. IMO Grouse hunting is really not Grouse hunting without a Companion Grouse Dog. JohnMas some day I hope you are blessed with such a dog to Grouse hunt with.
Owning a great Grouse Dog is a gift from Heaven. Pine Creek Penny our incredible female Gordon Grouse Dog
Penny pointing a Grouse under the pines at the edge of the forest.