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Thread: Do spruce grouse drum their wings in spring like ruffed grouse?

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default Do spruce grouse drum their wings in spring like ruffed grouse?

    had about a dozen notable spots along the Yukon where I heard non-stop drumming of wings during the spring. I'm not a big fan of killing spruce grouse because I don't like to eat them. BUT....if these were ruffed grouse, that's a delicacy as far as I'm concerned. Pushing moose meat takes a long time, it would be nice to stop along these places on the return and eat ruffed grouse everyday! I'm hoping they weren't just spruce grouse "fooling" me.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Ruffy Daddy sang bass SpruceMama sang tenor
    F C
    Me and little brother would join right in there
    G7
    Singin' seems to help a troubled soul
    C C7
    One of these days and it won't be long
    F C
    I'll rejoin them in a song
    G7 C
    I'm gonna join the family circle at the throne
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    "Oh no, the circle won't be broken
    By and by Lord, by and by
    Daddy sang bass, mama sang tenor
    Me and little brother would join right in there
    In the sky, Lord, in the sky."


    woah......i'll try not to shoot a ruffed grouse on sunday!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    I take it you've tried eating spruce grouse at different times of the year? I only ask that because if you only tried them in the winter, or early spring where they can't get at any gravel, or have access to any berries, well then they are entirely different critters then.

    Berry filled spruce grouse if pretty darn good.....imo. But then again I was raised on all kinds of game birds.....

    Oh and btw......I've seen spruce grouse strutting around quite a bit, so I would assume that drumming would go along with it, even though I can't remember if I've ever heard them or not....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    yes, I've shot and ate them all through the legal season because that's all that seems to be local to this region, and hiking to my remote property northwest of crosswinds.

    But with the Yukon being kind of like a travel corridor for ruffed grouse, those are my favorite eating bird around; I'm hoping the majority of those drumming birds were not spruce grouse.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    ; I'm hoping the majority of those drumming birds were not spruce grouse.
    its those sharp tails on the tamborene you gotta watch out for
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    had about a dozen notable spots along the Yukon where I heard non-stop drumming of wings during the spring. I'm not a big fan of killing spruce grouse because I don't like to eat them. BUT....if these were ruffed grouse, that's a delicacy as far as I'm concerned. Pushing moose meat takes a long time, it would be nice to stop along these places on the return and eat ruffed grouse everyday! I'm hoping they weren't just spruce grouse "fooling" me.
    To answer your question. No, the spruce grouse do not drum like the ruffed grouse does. And I agree, the ruffed grouse is a better tasting bird. Although I do like spruce grouse as well. There are more ruffed grouse in interior Alaska than in Southcentral. I would say you probably heard the ruffed grouse beating its wings. The ruffed grouse will do it repeatedly with the purpose of attracting a mate. It starts out slow and gets more rapid like a drum beating. The only time you hear the spruce grouse beat its wings is when you flush one up and it flies into a tree.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    yes, I've shot and ate them all through the legal season because that's all that seems to be local to this region, and hiking to my remote property northwest of crosswinds.

    But with the Yukon being kind of like a travel corridor for ruffed grouse, those are my favorite eating bird around; I'm hoping the majority of those drumming birds were not spruce grouse.
    Breast out those spruce hens, filet the meat off the bone, cut in strips, soak in milk overnight, dip in egg, coat with italian bread crumbs, lightly sprinkle with garlic salt and pan fry in olive oil until golden brown. you will change your opinion on Spruce Hens Mike!

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Hooters mostly sit up high and hoot,no druming.One much have a taste for spruce and sage grouse and I do
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    its those sharp tails on the tamborene you gotta watch out for
    I think he needs no help whatsoever regarding sharp tails. ;-)

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Spruce hen+tinfoil+salt&pepper+butter+campfire= muy delicioso!!! ......used to be tons around here when I was a kid, hardly see em anymore.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Spruce hen+tinfoil+salt&pepper+butter+campfire= muy delicioso!!! ......used to be tons around here when I was a kid, hardly see em anymore.
    Not looking in the right places... Have to try NOT to drive over them at my place
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Spruce hen+tinfoil+salt&pepper+butter+campfire= muy delicioso!!! ......used to be tons around here when I was a kid, hardly see em anymore.
    Maybe you told too many people your recipe? ...just joshin'...

    Sounds great. Tin foil dinners always seem to be extra delicious; gotta be the ambiance. Or the gathering of people.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    ... Have to try NOT to drive over them at my place
    Ah, quit yer grousin'! lol

    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    If you like spruce grouse, you'd like ruffed grouse too. I find ruffed grouse to be my favorite food. I'd skip out of school to limit out on em as a kid. Chico knows what i'm talking about here:

    There would be 2 miles of woods, and then all of the sudden.....you'd come into an over-grown field with an old rock foundation in the shape of a house grown in with moss. All around the old mossy foundation, there would be apple trees and grown in grasses of a little hayfield. If you cut a young tree trying to grow in the hay, all the growth rings would put the tree at over 100 years old. It would've been an old settlers cabin from 100-175 years ago. These spots were ruffed grouse havens with wild apples.

    You'd pull the crops on these birds......they were filled with apples. Even the leg meat was tasty. The wing-shooting couldn't be matched in these grown in fields. Get one on the ground, flush a covey, get two more! One more on the ground......that was the limit. These ruffed grouse made the best eating meal one could ever have.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Ruffs and timber doodles great fast shooting for a lightweight 16ga.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    No doubt, I've great respect for the spruce grouse, I don't think they're "fool" hens, nor stupid like some inconsiderate hunters title them as. They are smart, and so are the rare ruffed grouse who learned not to be stupid......from it's neighbor....the spruce grouse of course.


    About 20 years ago, I shut off my iron horse: the xl 500 dirt bike. I saw a ruffed grouse run into a thicket. I reached over my shoulder, and pulled the folded 20 guage single shot out of my pack basket. Simultaneously, I loaded a 20 gauge three inch 6 shot. The ruffed grouse exploded out of the thicket too fast for me to get on target. I shot anyway, through the spruce branches that were in front of him. This was all of one second.....these aint corn fields where you have unlimited time to follow through on some darned foreign pheasant. I missed. All of the sudden, after the shot, the ruffed grouse shot straight up into the air, instead of hanging low near the trees. It was too late, a massive owl tore him apart just above the tree tops, where he fell near my feet, talon gashes as deep as my bird knife.

    I left him there for the owl, he no longer belonged to me.

    The spruce grouse was always smarter.....he flew into a tree from the pedestrian predator, to escape the airborne predator. The spruce grouse is smart....not stupid for landing, and staying put in the tree.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    I've been waiting for some one to say it and no one has...the Spruce grouse drum also. I've seen them do it on many occasions. They are not quite as loud as ruffies but they do drum.

    I love to bowhunt for spruce grouse with judo heads. They stay on the ground much longer than ruffed grouse. Ruffies will flush alot sooner than spruce grouse. I dont think they are smarter than spruce grouse, alot of people associate "wary" with "smart". Ruffed grouse are "wary", Spruce grouse are not as "wary"...IMO.

    I'll eat a ruffed grouse over a spruce any day.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    I've been waiting for some one to say it and no one has...the Spruce grouse drum also. I've seen them do it on many occasions. They are not quite as loud as ruffies but they do drum.

    I love to bowhunt for spruce grouse with judo heads. They stay on the ground much longer than ruffed grouse. Ruffies will flush alot sooner than spruce grouse. I dont think they are smarter than spruce grouse, alot of people associate "wary" with "smart". Ruffed grouse are "wary", Spruce grouse are not as "wary"...IMO.

    I'll eat a ruffed grouse over a spruce any day.
    you lived remote and in the woods for a time or two. of course....lessons from mother nature, will be more prevalent than most internet folk. thanks for clarifying! hoping for ruffies though, so don't ruin it for me!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    I've never eaten (or killed) a ruff grouse. Are the lighter meat like a ptarmigan?

    Oh and btw....you mentioned "even the leg meat was good". Personally I eat the legs of all the birds I kill. Some may be tuff and tendony, but the flavor can't be beat....imo. Though they were real little, I couldn't get enough little quail legs.....lol. Quail......now there's a good eating bird too...!!!

    As a kid I pretty much cut my teeth shooting pheasants, doves, and quail. Couldn't get enough of them at the dinner table...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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