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Thread: Grouse this time of year?

  1. #1

    Default Grouse this time of year?

    Is it even worth trying? I usually see quite a few, but I walked the woods for a couple hours today and only saw a couple squirrels and a couple moose. I figure the grouse will stay in the trees most of the time bc of the snow, but if there is a trick to finding them, please let me know.

  2. #2
    Member sameyer's Avatar
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    Not sure where you are at, Iíll assume South Central as sounds like you are looking for Spruce Grouse. Snow will keep them the trees to a point but as the snow gets deeper they will plummet into powdered snow and roost there. This time of year good days to hunt them are when the sun comes out, around 10:00 Ė 11:00 as it hits midway in the trees they can be spotted sitting in the sun.
    Hunt the edges of trails, gravel roads, lake shores, anywhere there is access to grit provided there is decent spruce cover around. Move through the woods 20-30 yards off the edge and you should flush some or spot them sitting. If you have a dog that will work close they can help flush, although they tend to hold pretty tight when in the trees. If you have a pointing dog then you are way ahead of the game. Doesnít sound like you do though. Stop and look periodically, it can unnerve them and make them flush. Also listen for clucking. Like any grouse hunting up here, lots of walking, sometimes a few birds, sometimes a lot and sometimes none. If you are in decent habitat though, there should be some around. Main thing, get out there and have fun while learning these birds, they really are a great game bird. They are feeding on spruce needles now so a long soaking in salt water is how I take that taste out. (I think some folsk soak in milk)

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Explorer View Post
    Is it even worth trying? I usually see quite a few, but I walked the woods for a couple hours today and only saw a couple squirrels and a couple moose. I figure the grouse will stay in the trees most of the time bc of the snow, but if there is a trick to finding them, please let me know.
    Absolutely, its worth trying. You can hunt grouse all winter long. I agree with AK Explorers comments. Sunny days are nice to get out and look for them. Partly because they are out of they're snow roosts and more active, and partly to get rid of cabin fever. Places where they can access grit are nice bets. I like to walk old two tracks and logging roads, especially where cut banks are exposed and some loose sand and grit can be gathered. I also seem to do well walking on ridgelines. And every now and again for whatever reason, I seem to kick some out of thick alder swamps mixed with spruce. I think you just gotta get out and walk though. Some days you get lucky and find a few, others none at all.

  4. #4

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    Thanks. Like I said, I usually see a few, but after this snow, I haven't seen any. Really cloudy and constant snowfall all day today though, so maybe that was why. It is fun just getting out there, but hopefully I can get a few next time.

    oh yeah, and I am in the Wasilla/Houston area. Spruce for sure. Thanks for the salt water/milk tip!

  5. #5
    Member AKPyron's Avatar
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    I know friends that use a baking soda brine too. They say it works great. Just soak em overnight in about a 1/4 cup to the gal. I haven't tried it as of yet because I haven't harvested any birds lol. Hopefully I'll get to try all three soon!
    If you live your whole life afraid to die... Then you can never truly live!

  6. #6
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    When you are walkin about, look for their curly little turds in the snow at the base of trees, they seem to get pretty stuck to an area once the snow gets deep and if you see a bunch of poop beneath a tree, it's likely there are birds above, or at least close.

    I've got several spots I snowgo to that seem to hold lots of roosting birds nearly every year, must be somethin about those spots because they are few and faaaaar between come winter time.

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