Sharp-tailed Grouse Blind Reservations

April 1 to May 14
Sharp-tailed Grouse - Teresa McGill

Reserve your place for a chance to see the sharp-tailed grouse from our viewing blind. It will require early rising, a walk in, and possibly cold toes but the sight and sound of sharp-tailed grouse dancing on a lek (dancing/breeding ground) is one of nature's true spectacles. Males stomp their feet as fast as they can, causing their tails to rattle. At the same time they inflate purple neck sacks, called gular, which produce a unique sound. Meanwhile the females sit back and watch carefully to select their mate. The romance is fleeting and the hen will be left to raise the young on her own. Couple this show with the early morning light of dawn and you have the backdrop for a wonderful and unforgettable morning.

How to Make a Reservation

If you would like to view this spectacular event you can reserve one or two days in the Sharp-tailed Grouse Observation Blind by contacting Sara Giles at Sara_Giles@fws.gov or calling 906-586-9851 x10. Reservations may be made April 1 to May 14. All other dates are first come first served basis. The blind holds two people comfortably, but up to three can fit. The best time to view the grouse is at first light. 

Directions to the Blind

You can access the blind on the north end of the Refuge by driving M-28 west of Seney to the Driggs River Road. At that point you will need to drive south to the parking area just across the bridge. You can access the blind by walking east along the Diversion Ditch to the blind. The walk is approximately one mile. We would like to continue to allow the use of the sharp-tailed grouse observation blind to allow the public to view these birds. To do so we ask that visitors respect the birds and disturb them as little as possible.

Map to the Site

Sharp-tailed Grouse Observation Etiquette

We would like to continue to allow the use of the sharp-tailed grouse observation blind to allow the public to view these birds. To do so we ask that visitors respect the birds and disturb them as little as possible.

  • When you reach the blind please quietly approach the blind from the back to enter.
  • While in the blind watch, take photos, video or sound recordings quietly.
  • The grouse will dance for approximately 2 hours after sunrise. 
  • While leaving do so quietly. The birds are performing their mating ritual and we do not want them to be disturbed.
  • Do not walk onto the lek!
Don't forget to:
  • Dress in layers and wear warm clothes.
  • There can be standing water on the way to the blind so take that into account when choosing your footwear. 
  • Depending on weather wear bug spray/clothes.
  • Bring binoculars.
  • Bring your camera.
 

Poor weather: If it is raining (more than a sprinkle), snowing (more than just flurries), or sustained winds in excess of 10 mph the grouse will most likely not be using the lek. They will dance on cold or misty days; these do not affect their mating behavior.