My first ruffed grouse is in the freezer, at work in Anchorage, even though I live in Palmer and killed the bird in Wasilla this morning. I think this is the earliest in the day that I've ever had meat down and it didn't even cost me a shell. I've been watching a grouse come sailing into a cover near our daycare facility. I didn't see it today as it was dark when we arrived but on my way out something caught my eye in the road. I was bummed to see a ruffed grouse laying in the road on the centerline but at least it wasn't smashed and I could grab the tail, use the wings for training, and possibly salvage a breast or two. I did a u-turn in the middle of the road and let a car pass before running out into the street. When I leaned over to pick the bird up, she lifted her head and I realized she wasn't dead yet. I would have given her the death squeeze but she was opened up on one side and so I chose a less messy means of euthanization since I was in my work clothes (office job, boo). Therefore, not roadkill, road-wounded.
I ride the bus for convenience, for the price, and to do a little something to help the earth. I didn't leave the house early enough to account for meat care so instead of getting on in Wasilla I drove to the Park and Ride by the hospital to buy myself 5 minutes. I was able to salvage both breasts and legs and get them wrapped in a grocery bag before the bus arrived. I'm not sure what the guy that drove past in the suit was thinking when he saw me standing on her wings and dismembering a bird in the parking lot. I didn't see him pull in or I would have had the tact to wait until he passed.
The meat was able to cool down and breathe a little on the way in by opening up the grocery bag and keeping the zipper on my briefcase open enough for some air flow. A slightly curious but more confused gal in the Conoco building lead me to some boys that hunt and we were able to sneak my "lunch" into a freezer during our two hour seminar. Who says big oil is all bad? I recovered my lunch and walked to work and look forward to preparing my first ruffed grouse in the not so distant future. It isn't the scenario I envisioned but it's quality meat and a training tool for the 4-legged Missy that is a little rough after not really getting hunted for almost two years.
I took a quick shot of the bird where it was processed. It was definitely dark out. It had a full, even fan. I'm pretty sure it's a red-phase bird so looks like the gray-phase still has the advantage.