There is no doubt that Red Grouse hunting in Scotland is an unrivaled hunting experience.

The scenario in which this hunt takes place is of one the most important and the hunter will find himself immersed in heather valleys together with his auxiliary. The Glen Cova Hills in the region of Perthshire are considered the paradise for hunting the red grouse.

The hunter will fall in love with the wildly coveted Red Grouse (scientifically Lagopus lagopus scoticus) thanks to its elegant reddish brown plumage and its red crest, the trait that most of all characterizes it. It is a shrewd animal, which finds shelter and food in the immense heather valleys where it lives.

Scotland is the perfect place to enchant you with its unspoiled landscapes: it seems that there, in Scotland, nature speaks and leads you to listen in silence to the sounds of the many animals that inhabit it.

It is precisely in the immense heather valleys caressed by the strong wind, that the grouse becomes a coveted prey. In this breathtaking scenery you can admire your dog’s work, enjoy his actions in nature reserves where the territory is managed with excellent professionalism.

In fact, this wild requires important territorial organization, tranquility and above all respect. Hunting red grouse is not easy: the hunter, accompanied by his auxiliary, needs patience, great hunting skills and a cool head.

The dog’s work must be methodical: it is important to know how to use the wind and to keep a cool head, because when you are lucky enough to hunt grouses, their fluttering wings bewitch and capture you.

The vademecum to hunt this noble galliform states no more than two dogs on the territory, two-shot shotgun and never more than two hunters, respecting the number of grouse to be killed.

Living a hunting experience of this type, hunting the noble Scottish red grouse, gives the hunter an indescribable emotion. But that’s not all: the warm hospitality of the Scottish people, the captivating scenery and the abundance of wild animals will make your stay very pleasant in luxurious lodges or small characteristic hotels.

The red grouse in Scotland


The red grouse is a ground-dwelling bird that is native to the moorlands of Scotland. It is a member of the grouse family, which also includes the ptarmigan and the willow grouse.

Red grouse are typically active during the day, and they spend their time feeding, breeding, and avoiding predators. They are social birds and they often gather in large groups, known as “packs” or “bags”.


Red grouse are found on open moorland, which is a type of land that is covered in heather and other low-growing vegetation. They prefer areas that are relatively undisturbed and that have plenty of cover from predators.


Red grouse are herbivores and their diet consists primarily of heather, grasses, and berries. They also eat insects and other invertebrates.


Red grouse are medium-sized birds that are about the size of a chicken. They have reddish-brown plumage and a distinctive black stripe that runs down their back. They have long legs and sharp toes that help them to move quickly over the moorland.

Scotland's Grouse


Red grouse breed in the springtime, and they typically lay a clutch of 4-10 eggs. The eggs are incubated by the female for about 21 days, and the chicks are able to fly within a few weeks of hatching.


The main predators of red grouse are foxes, stoats, and weasels. They are also preyed upon by birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, and owls.

Population and Conservation

The population of red grouse in Scotland is estimated to be around 7 million birds. However, the population has been declining in recent years due to a combination of factors, including habitat loss, predation, and disease.

Red grouse are considered to be a “keystone species” on moorlands, as they play an important role in the ecosystem. They help to maintain the health of the moorland by grazing on heather and other plants. They also provide food for a variety of predators.

The Scottish government is working to conserve red grouse populations by implementing a number of measures, such as predator control and habitat management.

The most common methods of grouse hunting in Scotland

  • Driven grouse shooting: This is the most popular and traditional method of grouse hunting in Scotland. It involves driving grouse towards a line of shooters using beaters, who are people who walk through the moorland in order to flush the grouse out of cover.

  • Stalking grouse: This is a more challenging method of grouse hunting that involves the hunter following a grouse on foot until they are within range for a shot. This method is only possible in areas with good cover.
  • Placing butts: This method involves placing a group of shooters at strategic points on the moorland and waiting for the grouse to fly over them. This method is most effective on calm days with good visibility.
  • Lie-in grouse shooting: This method involves the hunter lying down in a hide and waiting for the grouse to fly past. This method is most effective on warm days when the grouse are flying low.
  • Pigeon shooting: This is a more modern method of grouse hunting that involves using pigeon decoys to attract the grouse. This method is more common in areas where the grouse population is lower.
  • Falconry: This is the oldest method of grouse hunting in Scotland. It involves using a falcon to hunt the grouse. This method is only possible for a select few hunters who have been trained in falconry.

The Glourious Twelfth

The Glorious Twelfth, also known as the Twelfth of August or the August Meeting, is the annual opening day of the grouse shooting season in Scotland. It is a major event in the Scottish sporting calendar and is celebrated with a variety of festivities, including traditional games and competitions.

The Glorious Twelfth hunting grouses in Scotland Glen Cova Scotland

Origins of the Glorious Twelfth

The Glorious Twelfth is a tradition that dates back to the 12th century when grouse shooting was introduced to Scotland by the English. The first recorded grouse shoot in Scotland took place in 1214, and the event quickly became popular among the Scottish aristocracy.

How the Glorious Twelfth Works

The Glorious Twelfth is celebrated on August 12th each year. On this day, landowners across Scotland open their estates to grouse shoots, and thousands of hunters from all over the world descend on the country to participate.

Grouse shooting is a form of game hunting that involves shooting grouse, a type of gamebird. Grouse are typically found on open moorland, and they are hunted using shotguns.

Festivities of the Glorious Twelfth

The Glorious Twelfth is a time for celebration and social interaction. In addition to the grouse shoots, there are a variety of other festivities that take place on this day, including traditional games, competitions, and ceilidhs (Scottish folk dances).

Importance of the Glorious Twelfth

The Glorious Twelfth is a significant event in Scottish culture and tradition. It is a time for people to come together and celebrate the Scottish countryside and its unique wildlife. The event also plays an important role in the Scottish economy, as it generates a significant amount of revenue from tourism.

Shotguns and calibers

When hunting grouse in Scotland, popular shotgun gauges include 12 and 20 gauge. Shotguns suitable for grouse hunting often have barrels measuring around 28 inches, offering a balance between maneuverability and effective range. Over and under or side-by-side shotguns are commonly used due to their versatility.

Pair of fine 486 double-barreled shotguns from the Pietro Beretta line

Pair of fine 486 double-barreled shotguns from the Pietro Beretta line perfect for “The Glorious Twelfth”

As for caliber, the most typical size for hunting grouse in Scotland would be shotshells loaded with shot sizes ranging from No. 6 to No. 8. These sizes are ideal for hitting the smaller target of grouse while providing adequate spread and range. Always ensure that your choice of shotgun gauge and caliber complies with local regulations and hunting laws.

Are you looking forward to spending a few days hunting red grouse in Scotland? Don’t wait any longer!

red grouse hunting in Scotland