Yeti

Grouse

shrapnel

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2015
Messages
1,408
We are lucky in Montana to have 3 species of mountain grouse. The sharptail, we pretty much leave alone, but Franklin, Blue and Ruffed are the best eating birds you can get. Thankfully pheasant hunters think pheasants are great, so they leave the real good stuff for us...


4oumvW3.jpg


wHOcLY4.jpg


T2XdrOf.jpg
 

AlaskaHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,404
Location
interior Alaska
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.
 

shrapnel

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2015
Messages
1,408
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.
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…
 

Sytes

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
10,479
Location
Montana
Grouse... Reminds me of the best grouse event I experienced. We were archery elk hunting MT. On the way back to camp we tapped 3 grouse and picked late season huckleberries. At camp, along a fun cuttie stream we caught a couple trout. We had a fancy time of it! Haha! Made a "campfire" marmalade huckleberry sauce, found a pre-historic packaged sleeve of ritz crackers behind the backseat of my buddy's truck, crunched those up, had an olive oil spray can and doused the cutties, rolled in ritz crackers, and stuffed them with wild onions. Cooked the grouse and trout on a nice oil coated pan, and smothered the grouse with the crushed and heated huckleberries.
Has to be one of my favorite fireside edible memories.

Wish I had pics... goes much better than typed words.
 
Last edited:

Don Fischer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
2,132
Came back from Europe and got stationed in Lakeside, remote radar site. Got into Grouse there and absolutely love the blue grouse for eating. favorite game bird. Been looking for grouse here in Oregon, looking within 100 mi of home and have struck out badly. Game bird hunting in central Oregon is a thing of the past!
 

Sisu64

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
26
I have a love hate relationship with grouse or at least ruffed. I love hunting and eating them but hate how many near times they almost sent me into cardiac arrest flushing right up under my feet or by my face.
 

Birdbander

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2020
Messages
133
Location
Langston, Michigan
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!
 

AlaskaHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,404
Location
interior Alaska
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 can not tell the difference between sharptails, spruce grouse, ptarmigan, or ducks...all dark meat and I like them all...
especially August ptarmigan or spruce grouse shot out of cranberry patches.
These were September sharptails (and one spruce grouse) I shot out of a cranberry patch:
Sharptails.jpg
 

AlaskaHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,404
Location
interior Alaska
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!
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.

In the 1990s I had a spot in central Idaho where I hunted primarily chukars. On a south-facing slope was some hawthorn bushes, so the 2 of us would release the labs and invariably the blues would flush out of the hawthorn berry directly over one of us for overhead incoming shooting as they flew to the Douglas fir trees on the north-facing slope. That was my favorite bird hunting loop where you could shoot chuckars, huns, California quail, doves, ruffed grouse, and blues in one day-long loop.
 

Don Fischer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
2,132
Quite a bit more vintage than mine. Two of my favorites are both old AyA Matadors. One is a 28ga and the other a 410.
 

Don Fischer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
2,132
I've heard that about eating them, never hunted them though. Anyway I also heard that they are really good but you have to cook them fairly rare. Don't know myself!
 

Trailsend

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
66
I have only ever shot sharp tails and prairie chickens don’t think they taste anything like ducks.
 
Top