Orvis is a proud partner of select wingshooting lodges and outfitters across the country who share our passion for celebrating the adventure and wonder of nature. We created this series to highlight outstanding individuals who work hard to deliver the high-quality wingshooting experiences that clients have come to expect from Orvis-endorsed operations.
Steve “Grouseman” Grossman has been hunting the wilds of Minnesota and South Dakota ever since he was old enough to carry a gun back in the early 70s. By 1985, he had established the Little Moran Hunt Club on family property in Minnesota settled by his great-grandfather, and had begun what would become a lasting partnership with Burnt Creek Setters, whose dogs, he soon discovered, were ideally-suited to hunting native ruffed grouse and woodcock.
To this day, Steve is a self-proclaimed “English Setter man”–since these dogs fit his particular style of hunting like no other–and his favorite part of the wingshooting experience is when his Setters work birds and pin them down, which he says is “like watching a chess match.” Perhaps that’s why his favorite piece of hunting gear is a camera, which allows him to capture and share these thrilling moments.
The Moran Hunt Club’s growing reputation for excellence led to mergers with several other outfits over the decades, eventually becoming The Grouse Lodge at Little Moran in 2018. They still hunt ruffed grouse and woodcock, and have expanded to pursue sharp-tailed grouse, prairie chicken, and quail, all of which the Setters handle well. So well, in fact, that Steve earned the prestigious Orvis Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020 for his remarkably consistent results over nearly 50 years in the field.
While he (quite understandably) claims that there have been “way too many memorable trips to mention” over all those years, one particularly stellar day actually led to a lasting friendship. Steve was running both his client’s Setter and one of his own on a ruffed grouse trip, and the two dogs began feeding off each other “like it was game seven of the Stanley Cup, with each dog swapping finds back and forth just as two elite teams might swap goals.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, he recounts another memorable trip during which he had to escort a problematic hunter back to the lodge and send him on his way before the day was done, a rare and unfortunate necessity for those who insist on upholding the highest standards.
Steve Grossman is owner/operator of The Grouse Lodge at Little Moran in Staples, MN.