Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Problem with Spruce Grouse breast.

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    101

    Default Problem with Spruce Grouse breast.

    Hi all,

    I've been out hunting grouse quite a bit lately and it seems that some of them have a pale coloured breast and some of them have a dark coloured breast. The problem is the dark coloured breast is not very nice to eat and I seem to get more of these than the pale ones.

    At first I thought it was blood gathering in the breast but today I shot a pale breasted one right through both breasts and the meat was fine. I shot two males today and they were different.

    Anyone know why the grouse have different meat types? Is it where I'm shooting them, maybe an artery or something? I'm using a .22 by the way.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default

    are you sure the pale colored breasts are not Ruffed Grouse?

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    903

    Default

    Spruce Grouse are mainly red meat where as the Ruffies are white meat, and taste a helluva lot better. But I have shot some Spruce Grouse with lighter meat almost white. Anyhow dude its not you or blood getting into the breast.

  4. #4
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Squarebanks
    Posts
    661

    Default I agree

    Sounds like your getting ruffies and spruce grouse mixed up. IMO this is the only time of the year that spruce grouse taste good, I think because they are eating a lot of berries whereas in the dead of winter they are eatting mostly spruce needles. Now if I could just find where the ruffies go in the winter.....

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    101

    Default

    All of the birds I've shot have had the gold tipped tail feathers which I thought meant they were Spruce Grouse and that a white band implied a ruffed grouse. Thanks for the explanation though, I'll keep an eye out next time.

  6. #6
    Member ksbha4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Palmer/Juneau
    Posts
    187

    Default Spruce Grouse

    What I do that make the meat taste much better IMO is letting the breast soak in salt water for a couple of hours to draw out blood, then I marinate the breasts in worchester sauce for at least 18 hours. Then I simply roll in flour, add salt and pepper and fry it up, making sure not to overcook the meat. That recipe works well for fishy ducks too.
    Ask not what your government can do for you. Ask how your government can go away and get out of your life

  7. #7
    Member homerdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    homer, alaska
    Posts
    3,922

    Default

    also young of the year birds have lighter meat than the adults.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    also young of the year birds have lighter meat than the adults.
    That's probably it. I took some photos of the grouse I shot to make sure they had the gold tipped tail feathers and they did so I'm guessing this is what it is. Thanks.

    That recipe sounds delicious ksbha4, I'll try it next week if I'm lucky out in the woods.

  9. #9
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    4 split grouse breasts, 8 slices bacon, rosemary sprigs, pear or apple peeled/cored sliced 1/4 thick, 1/3 cup wildberries (cran, crow, currants), 1 clove garlic, flour, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, white wine or sherry

    Lightly pound thickest part of breasts with meat hammer/tenderizer
    Soak breasts in milk for a few hours to leach out blood.

    In a skillet (cast iron is best) fry 4 slices of bacon (cooked but still limp)
    Remove bacon, set aside and remove skillet from heat

    --Preheat oven to 350

    Remove breasts from milk and dredge in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning (for 2 birds: 1/4 cup flour 1/2 tsp ea salt/pepper/seasoning)

    Return skillet to heat and once hot again brown breasts in bacon fat (2 minutes per side)

    Remove skillet from heat and set breasts aside

    Layer sliced fruit in skillet and place breasts on fruit.

    On each breast lay a rosemary sprig and overlay with two bacon strips

    Finish breasts in preheated oven for 20 minutes

    Remove skillet from oven and return to stove top. Remove and plate breasts (discard rosemary).

    Deglaze skillet with wine/sherry and add berries, stirring the mixture. Once the berries begin to break down, salt to taste and spoon over breasts and serve.

    The meat should be about medium

    Goes nicely with wilted spinach and wild rice

  10. #10

    Default

    I have gotten many spruce hens in the fall (definitely not ruffies) that have white meat, and I assumed they were the young ones hatched that year, with the older, bigger ones having the dark meat. I could be mistaken though. Either way, my favorite recipe is to cut the breast meat into small strips and fry them with bacon for breakfast.

  11. #11
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,833

    Default follow erik's

    recipe right up to where you throw the rosemary away....throw the meat away and eat the rosemary.......

    just kidding of course.....but that would be true if they were Sage Chickens.....

  12. #12
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Soak them in teriyaki marinade over night and cook them on the grill. As good or better than steak.

  13. #13
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    493

    Default

    To avoid blood and waste its best to shoot them in the head,,its not to hard to do.

  14. #14
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    recipe right up to where you throw the rosemary away....throw the meat away and eat the rosemary.......
    Now that's funny right there, I don't care who you are


    Quote Originally Posted by danthedewman1 View Post
    To avoid blood and waste its best to shoot them in the head, its not to hard to do.
    Agreed 100%. I hunt grouse with a .22

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •