Learn to Grouse Hunt at our New York Grouse Hunting School

3.4 out of 5 Customer Rating
Type: Hancock, NY
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$2350
per student
$2350
Item #2XJB_2 Per Person
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100% Customer Satisfaction

has been our commitment since 1856. It’s who we are. If you aren’t happy with a product or service, we want to know about it. And we’ll make it right. That’s the Orvis Way.

Orvis 3-Day Grouse Hunting School


Phone icon866-531-6213 Email iconschools@orvis.com

Hancock Course Highlights:

  • Learn from the biggest names in ruffed grouse hunting! Instructors from Orvis, The Ruffed Grouse Society & Catskill Casts & Coverts.
  • Expert Instruction in planning, researching & scouting your hunt.
  • Professional gunfitting and wingshooting instruction.
  • Guided hunt with some of the Northeast's best guides and dogs in grouse hunting.
  • Tuition includes: instruction, meals noted on itinerary, RST ammunition, use of Orvis gun, Orvis Pro-Series hunting vest, and membership to The Ruffed Grouse Society.

* Please note: The Hancock school does not include a lodging component.

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

Learn More
September 2021 Select month
Fri-Sun (24-26) Select days

Recipient Email Address

We will need to contact you to confirm your reservation.

Enter Names for All Students

Add up to 5 people. First and Last name required.
$3025
per student
$3025
Item #2XJB2005 Per Person
Great Catch Guarantee insignia

100% Customer Satisfaction

has been our commitment since 1856. It’s who we are. If you aren’t happy with a product or service, we want to know about it. And we’ll make it right. That’s the Orvis Way.

Orvis 3-Day Grouse Hunting School


Phone icon866-531-6213 Email iconschools@orvis.com

Altmar Course Highlights:

  • Learn from the biggest names in ruffed grouse hunting! Instructors from Orvis, The Ruffed Grouse Society & Catskill Casts & Coverts.
  • Expert Instruction in planning, researching & scouting your hunt.
  • Professional gunfitting and wingshooting instruction.
  • Guided hunt with some of the Northeast's best guides and dogs in grouse hunting.
  • Tuition includes: instruction, meals noted on itinerary, RST ammunition, use of Orvis gun, Orvis Pro-Series hunting vest, and membership to The Ruffed Grouse Society.

* Please note: The Altmar school includes lodging.

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

Learn More

The Story

Join Orvis and Catskill Casts & Coverts in upstate New York for a three-day course in wild grouse hunting. From identifying ruffed grouse habitat to hunting dog strategies, this course will offer a solid foundation from which your love of the sport can only grow. Our experts will provide one day of classroom instruction, one day of field instruction, and one day of guided hunting. There's nothing quite like grouse hunting in the uplands of Upstate New York. Once you experience the "king of the game birds" you will be hooked!

3-Day School
September 2021 - Altmar, NY 24-26 Friday–Sunday
October 2021 - Hancock, NY 1–3 Friday–Sunday
  8–10 Friday–Sunday
September/October 2022 - Hancock, NY 30–3 Friday–Sunday
October 2022 - Hancock, NY 7–9 Friday–Sunday
Arrival Day
2:00 Arrival at Catskill Casts & Coverts training facility.
2:15 Meet & Greet with Instructors. Assessment of skillset & experience.
3:00 Classroom Tutorial:
  • How to plan, research, and optimize your hunt.
  • Habitat, cover, and food requirements for grouse and woodcock.
  • Factors that affect grouse cycles and how those cycles impact strategy.
  • How to locate and identify productive grouse habitat.
  • Identifying & aging clear cuts.
  • How to use topographical maps and satellite imagery for pre-hunt planning.
  • How to use the internet, government & private logging records to identify habitat.
  • How to be successful in heavy hunter traffic areas.
  • How to scout in the pre-season.
7:00 Family-style dinner at the Catskill Casts & Coverts facility.
Day Two
9:00 Arrival at Catskill Casts & Coverts training facility. Continental breakfast.
9:15 Safety Briefing. Best guns & loads for grouse and woodcock hunting.
10:00 Alternate gun fit and shooting instruction.
Noon Lunch at training facility.
1:00 Resume shooting instruction.
2:00 Move into on-site grouse habitat to learn:
  • Strategies for hunting grouse and woodcock.
  • How to safely navigate grouse habitat.
  • How to hunt safely in a group in dense cover.
  • How to handle pointing or flushing dogs in grouse and woodcock habitat.
  • Strategies for hunting grouse and woodcock without the use of dogs.
6:00 Family-style dinner at the Catskill Casts & Coverts facility.
Day Three
9:00 Arrival at Catskill Casts & Coverts training facility. Continental breakfast.
9:15 Students paired with guides and dogs for morning hunt in grouse and woodcock cover.
Noon Lunch in the field.
1:00 Afternoon hunt with guides over pointing dogs in grouse and woodcock cover.
2:00 Closing remarks and departure.
Arrival Day
2:00 Arrival at Tailwater Lodge.
2:15 Meet & Greet with Instructors. Assessment of skillset & experience.
3:00 Classroom Tutorial:
  • How to plan, research, and optimize your hunt.
  • Habitat, cover, and food requirements for grouse and woodcock.
  • Factors that affect grouse cycles and how those cycles impact strategy.
  • How to locate and identify productive grouse habitat.
  • Identifying & aging clear cuts.
  • How to use topographical maps and satellite imagery for pre-hunt planning.
  • How to use the internet, government & private logging records to identify habitat.
  • How to be successful in heavy hunter traffic areas.
  • How to scout in the pre-season.
7:00 Dinner at the Tailwater Lodge.
Day Two
9:00 Arrival at Tailwater Lodge. Continental breakfast.
9:15 Safety Briefing. Best guns & loads for grouse and woodcock hunting.
10:00 Alternate gun fit and shooting instruction.
Noon Lunch at training facility.
1:00 Resume shooting instruction.
2:00 Move into on-site grouse habitat to learn:
  • Strategies for hunting grouse and woodcock.
  • How to safely navigate grouse habitat.
  • How to hunt safely in a group in dense cover.
  • How to handle pointing or flushing dogs in grouse and woodcock habitat.
  • Strategies for hunting grouse and woodcock without the use of dogs.
6:00 Dinner at the Tailwater Lodge.
Day Three
9:00 Arrival at Tailwater Lodge. Continental breakfast.
9:15 Students paired with guides and dogs for morning hunt in grouse and woodcock cover.
Noon Lunch in the field.
1:00 Afternoon hunt with guides over pointing dogs in grouse and woodcock cover.
2:00 Closing remarks and departure.

Cancellation Policy & Fees:

If you must cancel your trip, refund fees are based on the cancellation date, as follows:

  • +90 days prior to trip - Full refund
  • 60-90 days prior to trip - 50% of trip cost
  • 59 days or less to trip - 100% of trip cost

Cancellation fees cannot be waived for any reason, including health, business or personal emergencies, or weather. We strongly urge you to purchase trip insurance, by clicking here.

For questions please contact Orvis School and Reservations (toll free) 866-531-6213

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Professional Experience! Being a newish (2 years) grouse hunter in MI, I was excited to get a chance to actually LEARN about the birds I love to hunt. The Classroom experience with Rick and Andy was incredible. The amount of information that these PROFESSIONALS have - and more importantly are willing to share with you - was astounding. This is not like charter fishing where the Captain and his mates do all of the work finding their "honey-hole spots" and put you on birds. This is an in-depth experience where they work hard to teach YOU invaluable information about how to scout, locate, and find Honey-Hole spots of YOUR OWN no matter what neck of the woods you are hunting in. Due to the small size of our class (Just myself, my father, my dog, and 1 other hunter), we were able to get two days in the field. And because I brought my own dog, I was paired up with Champion dog trainer Rick A. This proved to be just as valuable to me as identifying the habitat, as Rick A. was instrumentally helpful in teaching me how to use my best asset (Dog's nose) to help put up the birds. Rick ran one of his Brittney's to give my dog a rest for a little bit, but I was so appreciative that his focus was watching me run my dog, and offering critiques and HELPFUL advice on things that I was actually doing that could be improved upon.
Date published: 2021-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A lot of great information and a lot of flushes! Rick, Amber and team provided a fantastic weekend experience. A lot of great information about grouse, woodcock and habitat that was eye-opening and hugely helpful to this novice hunter. Andy, a biologist and woodcock expert, was terrific fun and knows all there is to know about habitat and where to find birds. During the day spent with Rick and his fine English Setters we flushed over 20 birds, both grouse and woodcock. I would encourage anyone to stay locally if possible and bring the dog. Seems like a bonding experience to do with a parent along as well. Catskills Casts & Coverts seems like a great operation and I look forward to coming back for future grouse hunts, fly fishing and some of their cool travel experiences (Africa, Guatemala, Scotland, etc.). Just a great weekend in the most beautiful fall foliage you’ll find anywhere. I can’t recommend it enough.
Date published: 2020-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommend! A great experience. Even though I have been hunting grouse for many years and thought I knew all I needed to know, I found out that I was wrong! High quality, knowledgeable presenters and guides.
Date published: 2020-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Foundation for a lifetime in the field I was looking for an thorough introduction into Grouse hunting and figured Orvis would be the place. This school was a home run. Rich and his wife Amber run a great outfitting service as the core for the 3 day course. They bought in a champion dog handler and biologist with decades experience in identifying proper bird cover and WHY it should hold or wont hold birds. The day of lectures on birds and habitat as well as outfitting your self for a hunt served as the foundation. Learning that could take decades on your own was presented clearly and concisely. Then we were taken out to the field to walk through examples of good, not good, early, ideal, and late grouse and woodcock terrain. Driving with biologist Andy I was able to identify "Grousy" areas by the cover by the end of the course. Hunting an area that is more likely to hold birds is worth the course alone. After our habitat lecture and field work we returned to the main facility for bird shooting instruction and review. Of course the usual safety is presented and then Rick focused on the difference in shot approach in the field vs the clay course. We all had ample time to shoot the clay field to get our confidence. The remainder of our course was spent with the dogs in the field hunting with Rick and his experienced team. The terrain is rough but we saw and flushed many birds, both woodcock and grouse. If you are experience as several where you could fine tune your terrain and dog training with this course. If you are new you will find the introduction extremely useful. Either way it is a benefit. I cannot wait to return to RIck's later this fall for a 2 day individual grouse hunt. I know with the knowledge from this weekend it will be a better experience for both myself and the guides. Thanks for a tremendous experience!
Date published: 2020-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Above and Beyond A Weekend packed with learning, adventure, and comradery. The in-class portion on the first day was exactly what i was hoping for and more! I knew i was on the right track to what good habitat looked like, but Rick and Biologist Andy fine tuned everything I thought I knew and fundamentally changed the way I now look at the forest. I was lucky enough to share this experience with my father, and honestly if I took him into the woods on my own I don't think he would have ever returned with me; but Rick and the Guides presented everything in such a digestible manor, and showed how us to work the cover smarter and not harder. I can confidently say the hook is set and we will be returning to the woods together for years to come. Thank you Catskill Casts & Coverts for the unforgettable memories and a new lifelong passion I can share with my family and friends! Whether you are a foot hunter or running dogs, this course will take you to the next level! now its time to put the rubber to the road and hit the woods on my own!
Date published: 2020-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding learning and fun experience I had very high expectations for this course but Rick Watson took it to the next level and went well beyond my expectations. His knowledge, ability to teach and his enthusiasm when teaching made a huge impact in my learning process. He is incredibly knowledgeable and experienced but loves to share what he knows. He tailored his teaching to my needs and level of knowledge, was always willing to please, and always very focused on my interests. He was very adaptable to the circumstances, including allowing me to hunt with my dog, and I learned in 48 hours what would have taken me many years to do it on my own. I knew Orvis would deliver when they partnered with Catskill Casts and Coverts. Also grateful to his wife for making every effort to pull this together despite some obstacles that appeared at the last minute. She was very helpful, professional and incredibly efficient. I cannot recommend this school enough and has changed my Grouse Hunting experience in a very positive way forever. Thanks again.
Date published: 2019-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding course with superb instruction. Rick and his team did a superb job in providing an excellent educational didactic session on Friday followed by a walking session of Grouse habitat on Saturday morning that brought the lecture session to life. Shooting clays Saturday afternoon in the field was a fun and practical way to improve our real life Grouse shooting skills. Hunting turned out to be a great time on Sunday with birds raised due to the superb guiding of Rick and his great team of English Setters.
Date published: 2018-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Catskill Cast and Covert Grouse hunting school Just completed grouse hunting school with Rick, Andy, and Justin with support by Amber. Excellent instruction and amenities by friendly and competent people.
Date published: 2018-10-15
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