New Member...Small Game Survival Hunting
I was born/raised in the south-central area of AK...I'm 25 now...I was raised by my dad rainbow trout fishing, rabbit hunting, grouse/ptarmigan hunting.
I'm also an Eagle Scout (if that means anything to anyone)...
I'm interested this fall in practicing some survival techniques for hunting grouse this fall.
I know they like gravel roads early in the morning, and .420 or a 20 gauge is what is what I've used in the past. (with my dad)
I'm wondering if a sling shot (wrist rocket) or blow dart might be worth trying.
I also have a .22 bolt action w/scope for backup--but I'd really like to try to get me some meat with the bare minimum. The trek alone is worth the time IMO.
Has anyone had any success with either blow-darts or slingshots when it comes to spruce/rough grouse? I've seen them all spring in areas I like to walk/hike.
I'd also like advice on how to properly field dress a bird. This is something that the BSA (Boy Scouts) never really taught and my Dad always did when I wasn't around. He just let me shoot and took care of the rest.
We are so fortunate here in Alaska to have abundant small game, and I really want to learn how to capture/hunt/enjoy the taste of it. I'm also an amature cook as well, and have many ideas for soups and stews with wild grouse breasts.
If anyone can point me to any information I would be most appreciative! Nice to meet you all!
Last year i got a nice spruce grouse with a sling shot. It was by complete luck that i hit it in the head. I am actually going to try out a blowdart on them in sept., but i think the darts may be too small. The only way I have ever cooked grouse is cover it in chicken shake-and-bake and fry it over a campfire on a pan.
I have killed them with a stick... Not even thrown just hit them in the head with a stick
Yes, spruce hens are notoriusly stupid. You really dont need anything but a stick or some rocks.
don't forget archery as an option, nothing like flinging flu-flu's with a blunt at grouse and rabbits too........................
I have shot several small birds with a blow gun and watched them fly away with the dart completely piercing them to the base of the dart. I'm sure they later died but not where I could find them. These were little tweety birds too, I don't thing a grouse would even notice unless you got a head or neck shot. A good slingshot with heavy steel shot on the other hand, would easily kill a grouse with a well placed shot.
As far as cleaning them, pierce the skin just above the anus, pull some of the skin up and cut sideways being careful not to pierce any of the guts. Peel the skin back with your hands and pull it up over the neck and down over the feet, this will expose the breast and leg meat and get the feathers out of your way. The skin will peel right off if the bird is still warm. Cut the legs off at the hip joint for some small morsels of meat. For the breast, push your finger under the ribcage through the diaphragm and pull up, the whole breast plate with all the meat will lift right up giving you a nice easy piece to cook. You can either de-rib the meat or cook it with the whole breast plate. Cook them the same as you would a chicken breast.
Hold the dead grouse between your hands with its head up, with the front of the bird in your right hand and the back in your left hand. Stick both your thumbs down the neck hole and, with both your thumbs, forcefully rotate the breast and the back away from each other. You will be left with the breast, with wings attached, in your right hand, and everything else in your left. Break the wings off, rinse the breast, and you're done. There's hardly any meat anywhere else, it's not worth the trouble. This method takes about 20 seconds per bird. I like to fillet the meat off the breast, cut it into strips, and cook it with bacon for breakfast.
For hiking without a lot of gear, a .22 pistol works good. I like to use an air rifle around the house, that way you don't spook the rest of the flock. This year I will use arrows.
Wow you guys like to get your hands knives dirty don't ya! Take the bird spread the wings and lay it on the ground on its back. Step on the spread wings with both feet as close to the body as possible (one on each side of the bird). Grab the feet and pull using nice even preasure. The breast will be left attached to the wings. Pick up the breast and cut the wings off. I have found that a pair of small dykes works well for cutting wings and I also for clipping rabbit legs off when cleaning them. I have also seen people grab the wings close to the breast while steping on the feet to perform basically the same operation.
I tried this at least 10 times last year and all I managed to do was pull off the legs... is there a trick?
Originally Posted by LuJon
For grouse a .22 rifle works so well. I did manage one during a carribou hunt with a rock but blind luck was to blame. A .22 pistol is now standard part of my hunting gear for this very reason.
I've shot a sparrow/starlings with blowguns down south as a kid but success was pretty limited and we really just kept them out of the cherry trees (which was the point...)
A friend has driven himself nuts flinging ball bearings at grouse and rabbit without success.
It works - go a little easier
I have done the step-on-wings-and-pull method. I have also pulled the legs off, so I hear you there. I've had better luck with birds that are still warm, by grabbing the legs at the thighs instead of the feet, and with going a little easy at first and just gradually increasing the pressure until it starts to give.
For you, DD, I recommend the wrist rocket. You can get to be a really good shot. It sounds like part of what you're looking for is the novelty of getting game meat without using technology you couldn't make on your own. I guess I'm also assuming you can't make a gun from scratch . If you practice, I'm sure you could get to 90% kills within 15 yds.
I'm going to have to try this stepping on the wings and pulling on the legs method.
The method that I was taught was more complicated, and I'm pretty dense so I'm always messing it up.
Thanks for the tip.
to add some...
As a kid in Montana I shot lots of tweeties with a blow gun - none that I found dead...even frogs were hard to kill - and they make my ears hurt from blowing!
I have a young chocolate lab that I need to get on some birds real bad - can anyone PM with a spot or two to look for some tarmies? I hope to get her on some ducks also.
I can and will keep any spot on the hush hush - I respect people's hunting spots and know how much work it can be to find one. I should start another thread......
you can kill pretty much any small game here in alaska with a sling shot. last year i killed a grouse,rabbit and even a squirrel with one. the squirrels are good if you quarter them and then make buffalo legs just like chicken wings. good luck and post some picks if you connect
I also like the following way of stripping the breasts out of a grouse:
Originally Posted by Landis
1. Tear the head off (it's very easy, just twist and pull)
2. Place the bird's shoulders on the ground, and one foot on each out-spread wing
3. Grasp both legs and the tail feathers, holding them together, then gently pull. You'll feel things give way and then slide right off.
4. Break the wings off at the first knuckle, pick all feathers off the breasts (and any remaining gullet inside the breast) and put the breast away.
5. Optional: Break the legs off and then break the lower half off to harvest the drumsticks. Pick the feathers off and put them away. Not lots of meat here, but worth keeping (if it's a ruffie ...I don't bother on others.)
As far as killing the birds go, you'll get one shot with ruffies, lots of shots with spruce hens. Read the regs too because snaring grouse is legal, but I think you may have to have a trapper's license to do it. As far as shooting them with sling shots or other gizmos, I'd probably vote for a .22 cal revolver or fold up gun to begin with, then advance to heavy sling shot or arrows later. I think you need something that pierces clear through the bird OR hits it with something heavy enough to stun it and knock it over, in which case you can probably run up and grab it, twist the head off etc. The absolute minimum equipment is going to be the snaring wire though. I also think that snaring will likely return close to zero birds ...I vote for the .22 revolver, the ol' survivalist's standby. You can get a fancy lightweight fold-up .22 rifle too and it may be even cheaper or the same prices as the revolver.
I have killed more grouse than I can count ( granted i cant count worth a @#%! ) with my slingshot and even more with my bow. They die very easy with big heavy ball bearings.
Yes, 5 tricks:
Originally Posted by hodgeman
1. Pull the breasts the minute you get up to the bird after shooting it. The warmer/fresher, the better.
2. Tear the head off for sure.
3. Keep your feet on the wings very close to the body, not out towards the tips of the wings.
4. Grasp the tail feathers and both legs, holding them all close together ...not just the legs. This works better and requires less 'feel' as you pull...
5. Start very slow. You pull very slowly and listen/feel for things giving way. The speed of the pull will naturally go a bit faster as stuff gives way.
After only 1 or 2 successful pulls, you'll be one of the best experts around ...'tis easy.
We just use a plastic grocery bag from the store ...it comes with handles and the kids like to carry the birds. I hate putting warm meat in plastic however, so I get them cleaned up, packed, and frozen as soon as I can.
Originally Posted by WaterWolf
Thanks very much!
Originally Posted by tananaBrian
Hopefully I'll get the chance to try it this week.
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