Grouse hawking is one of the ultimate pinnacles in falconry, but can often be difficult to achieve. Not only because it takes a great deal of experience, but because falconers must be seriously dedicated in order to achieve good results. It can often take years to bring all the essential ingredients together. First of all you need to train the falcons and the dogs, find the right type of land at the right price, find the grouse, and, last but not least, find the time.

However, when all of these ingredients come together grouse hawking is a magnificent sport and takes you to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, such as the Scottish Highlands.
Both male and female peregrine falcons are traditionally flown at grouse, and lend themselves perfectly to style of flight required. Other falcons such as gyrfalcons and certain hybrids have also proved successful.
Grouse hawking is achieved with a waiting-on style of flight, whereby once a grouse is located the falcon is cast off and rapidly mounts high above the falconer and dog. When the falcon has reached her pitch and position the falconer gives the command for the grouse to be flushed.

What follows is one of the most spectacular sights in nature.
One of the best peregrines I flown to grouse, in its first season it took over 78 heads. The only challenge for this bird was the late winter grouse, on good days in Nov and Dec he could wait on at 800 ft and sometimes over an hour.
Red grouse are found on heather moorlands, and the hunting season starts on the 12th August, known as the Glorious Twelfth. There are many pressures facing the heather moorland habitat and grouse, the biggest of which is over-grazing. Research on over-grazing and grouse management is currently being conducted, and it is hoped that the future of red grouse and grouse hawking will continue.
BLUE FALCON - MARK ROBB
GROUSE HAWKING