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Future Alaskan, Small game questions

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  • #16
    We have spruce grouse in Oregon but its very rare to see one, plus its illegal aswell in Oregon to hunt him. We call Spruce Grouse "Miner Chickens" or "Fool Hens" cause they are supposedly very dumb. I have only seen one ever and my uncle told me it was a Spruce and not a Ruffed before I was about to shoot it, I was lucky I didn't shoot it cause it would be a big fine for a young teenager. I can say that Ruffed Grouse are either geniuses or extremely dumb, because we had one young one run under our truck once and couldn't do anything about it. We let him go just because we felt like he earned the right to live.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by lancep51 View Post
      My 20ga double is a Full choke/modified and I was wondering if the full choke is too much? I have tons and tons of 7 1/2 shot that I need to use up plus a few 6's I used to use for Blue grouse and Pheasant so I'm good in that area. What 22. loads do I use for birds and hares? I was thinking that I can use 22. shorts or longs in my Marlin 22.
      I tried several brands after rebarreling my 10/22. Eley subsonic HP .22LR grouped the best for me. Shoot what your gun likes the best, bird necks are a small target, but not a very tough one.


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      • #18
        I was thinking subsonic's would be okay near by town if there's any grouse closer in. I read on a thread here that people were using sling shots for them, while that would be fun but not so accurate I imagine. I cannot wait to move up there this summer and hunt alittle bit before school starts. How's the hunting in the winter?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by lancep51 View Post
          How's the hunting in the winter?
          Ptarmigan and hare hunting can be great in the winter, but you'll likely want to avoid spruce grouse as they typically start to acquire the taste of spruce needles. That's the story, anyhow - I can't speak to it personally, as I've always avoided taking them in the winter.

          Predator hunting is a fun diversion in the winter as well. Success rates aren't generally very high, but it's a good excuse to get outside and explore new terrain. And when a lynx comes slinking in to your call, man...that is crazy exciting!

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          • #20
            I've eaten dozens of winter spruce grouse. Some have had a heavy pine taste while others I couldn't tell. If I suspect it of being "piney" I will just marinate in Zesty Italian dressing or milk or even whiskey to subdue the taste. Wrapping it in bacon always helps too :whistle:
            Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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            • #21
              I have a couple spruce grouse harvested this weekend marinating in the fridge right now. I've heard the warnings, but I have to find out for myself. Report to follow. . . .

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              • #22
                Likely you will find your mod/full chokes way too tight for upland birds in Alaska, or anywhere else for that matter. You can have the chokes opened up by a competent 'smith, or have tubes installed, or perhaps shoot spreader rounds. IC/Mod is okay for most birds, but ruffed grouse in thick forest are better suited to something like Skeet/IC.

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                • #23
                  I was guessing that my full/mod would be too much so I might actually go out and buy a nice classic double barrel for myself. I only used the full choke for blue grouse in the NW when they were sitting high up in the alpines. My mod seems great for ruffed in the ferns and sitting on logs. I have deployment money that would be perfect for it. I am partial to double barrels, probably the reason why I have three but I'm thinking about selling one and then storing my great grandfather 16ga with Damascus barrels to pass on down the family line. Any good recommendations for a double 12ga or 20ga? I think I would lean towards 12ga just because I would use it for ducks aswell. I wouldn't mind a 16ga but I don't see shells around that often.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Low_Sky View Post
                    I have a couple spruce grouse harvested this weekend marinating in the fridge right now. I've heard the warnings, but I have to find out for myself. Report to follow. . . .
                    Nov. 12 spruce grouse had a distinct sprucey odor when cleaned and butchered. Went into the fridge for a 2-day brine. Some spruce aroma lingered after brining. Then they got a 2-day marinade in soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, Rosemary, garlic, mustard, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Pan fried in butter. Pretty good eating, but still got a hint of spruce in a couple bites. The spruce grouse will probably get a pass from me through winter as long as there are ptarmigan to be found, but they weren't inedible.


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                    • #25
                      I will keep that in mind when I move over there. What are the limits in the Fairbanks area?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by lancep51 View Post
                        I will keep that in mind when I move over there. What are the limits in the Fairbanks area?
                        15 per day/ 30 in possession...if you make it down to 20D, no more than 5 of the 15 can be sharp-tails.
                        "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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                        • #27
                          I canít wait to go small game hunting!

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