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How do you hunt ruffed grouse?

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  • How do you hunt ruffed grouse?

    How do you hunt ruffed grouse?

  • #2
    Here Out West, they come out of the woods onto gravel mountain roads in mid-morning and afternoon.

    It's easy.

    Few people hunt them, so they sit tight too long for their own good.

    Just walk up and shoot when they jump.

    Use pheasant loads.

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    • #3
      In the eastern woods, they are quite spooky and often flush out of gun range when hunted with a dog.
      Hunt with a partner and stop often, as they will let you walk close by if they think they haven't been seen.
      When you pause, they often get nervous and take off with a startling explosion. A light, fast handling gun is a must.

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      • #4
        I should add that hunting is usually much better after the leaves have fallen, because the birds quickly put a tree between you and them, and will be more visible for a shot.
        They are small birds, easily knocked down, and #7 1/2 shot is plenty. Listen for the wings fluttering in the dry leaves on the ground to locate them after a shot. Good luck.

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        • #5
          One of my favorite game birds. We usually hunt middle of Wisconsin when the woodcock move through. We don't have a dog and I have found that most flush when you have one leg over a log/ fence, caught in briars, or taking a piss. They flush close too, usually within five feet. In the thick stuff we hunt in, you only see the grouse for a second, then you follow the sound of the bird for the shot. Don't feel bad if you miss the first half dozen, or if you can't even find any. They are hard to hunt but lots of fun if you have some buddies to go with.

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          • #6
            Both 99 and Bayou hunt them similar to myself. Here in Maine the best places are the old gravel logging roads and gravel stream beds. The eat the small gravel pieces to help them digest their food. Like 99explorer said here in the east they are very flighty. You can hear them run in dry leaves quite well, and their drumming sound is VERY distinctive.

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            • #7
              Very exciting. When they take off it's like a cross between a little explosion and a ballistic missile. Hunt with a friend and walk slow, stopping every few yards. We always did good around pine trees. My friend could see them on the ground and get a jump on getting a bead on them.

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              • #8
                bonasa umbellus.

                Out here, a mature bird weighs up to 2 lbs.

                Ah wooden argy with 99, cuz he's nevva wrong.

                Road hunting in sparse woods enables longer acquisition time and heavier shot carry farther, and full choke is required.

                Ah wooden hunt without a dawg.

                He stays indy van until the shootin's over.

                Then he gits to do whut he wuz born to do.

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                • #9
                  Can't add much to the good advice from 99explorer, but one more thing to remember is that grouse typically fly in a straight line (more or less) when flushed, and seldom go more than a couple hundred yards. If you miss or don't get a shot, follow the bird for a second flush. If you know the cover well enough and can make a guess as to where the bird might have landed, circle around and approach from a different direction.

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                  • #10
                    MattM's advice is sound, I'll add that when they hit the ground after a first flush they usually run rather than taking cover where they land.

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                    • #11
                      I've hunted them mostly on the prairie. There, driving the gravel roads as shooting time begins is the top choice. Second is watching the horizon for them flying. Watch where they land and stalk. Finally, we drive the country roads watching the ridges for them. They are relatively dumb compared to pheasants and quail and usually allow you to approach quite close. The only problem is that if you miss, they generally fly about 15 miles before landing again. I also scope the fence rows with binoculars. It is pretty common for a lookout to perch on a fence post over the flock. Then you simply walk the fence row and get them up.

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                      • #12
                        find the thickest nastiest cover you possibly can in the woods and start brush busting. grouse dont come easy. the above advice is all good. you will probably kill most of your birds on the second flush so marking them is important. once you hunt them enough you will find areas on pieces of property that will almost always hold birds.

                        a good trick is to slice the first one open that you shoot and see what he has been eating. then hunt the areas with those types of food sources.

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                        • #13
                          Hi...


                          Here in NY, it's like scratchgolf72 said. Also in thick, but walkable areas of evergreen trees.

                          My favorite weapon is a .410 for them.

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                          • #14
                            DITTO~99,scratchgolf72
                            All good advice on grouse hunting.

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