Sharptail is like eating a duck. If you compare a Ruffed grouse to a Blue grouse, you can almost look through the breast on the Ruffed, and the Blue has a darker appearance. Once they hit the grill, all that is of no consequence, the finished product is so good, I only share them with special people.I am curious, Franklin's is a dark-meat grouse like a sharptail,
yet sharptails offer more challenging open field shooting,
so why do you leave sharptails alone?
I agree that the white meat of blue and ruffed grouse is excellent.
I can not tell the difference between sharptails, spruce grouse, ptarmigan, or ducks...all dark meat and I like them all...Sharptail is like eating a duck. If you compare a Ruffed grouse to a Blue grouse, you can almost look through the breast on the Ruffed, and the Blue has a darker appearance. Once they hit the grill, all that is of no consequence, the finished product is so good, I only share them with special people.
Franklins are more scarce, but still don’t cook or eat like a Sharptail. We call the Sharptail “stubble ducks”
The best way to care for the grouse is to bone them out, both breasts and thighs, then sauté them at about 300 degrees with lot of butter and garlic. The best is to use real garlic cloves, chopped up fine.
The best eating all fall is mountain grouse and elk tenderloins…
I have some fond memories hunting blue grouse. In the 1980s I lived in Logan Utah and had a hot spot that was an extremely steep avalanche chute loaded with mountain ash berries. I would let the lab go birdy and it was so steep the blues would flush down directly overhead incoming shooting. It was not uncommon to flush 20-40 blues out of one avalanche chute. Back then the limit was 4 big blues.I've enjoyed hunting ruffed grouse here in Michigan for many years. I'm thankful to be able to spend a couple of weeks camping in the UP each fall, me & an couple of my dogs sharing a tent, sometimes a friend or few pitching camp nearby.
The last few years I've followed that up with a week in the North Maine Woods chasing ruffed grouse. The dogs & I live a little easier there, renting a cabin from an outfitter.
In a couple of years I plan to start the bird hunting season heading west to chase blues at season opener. Until then I look forward to every post you all share about pursuing blue grouse, they are all appreciated! Maybe by then I'll find another bird hunter here who would like to share that adventure.
Thanks for the post & pictures!