"Now that sounds like a grouse tell to me. Something someone from Chicago would tell." Ronnie, your sarcasm is duly noted! However guys, and I'm not kidding, I knew the bird was hit when I saw him clear the trees and he just kept flying nearly vertically. I didn't know if I had hit him, but when I saw the abnormal flight pattern, I yelled to my son to watch where he came down. Problem was, the cover was so thick from the trees to the ground that it still took a long time to find it. I've seen this 2x before, once when my dad took me pheasant hunting when I was a little shaver, and another time just a few years back when I saw my brother shoot a rooster that flew off as if nothing happened. Then, at the edge of the cornfield, it just towered nearly straight up and then dropped like a stone. In both instances when we recovered the bird,neither one looked as if it had been hit at all. Upon cleaning, both had single puncture wounds through the lungs into the heart. I don't profess to be the best grouse shot, and I heartily agree that even with a good retriever, you really have to search for birds that may have been hit when they seemed like clean misses.