Also Goes By: Wood Grouse, Willow Patridge, Ruff
The Ruffed Grouse is about the size of a chicken and has a ruff on their neck, a thick body with a moderately long and rounded tail and a crest atop their head that sometimes lays flat. This bird has two color phases: red and gray. The red will be a brown color and the gray will have a gray body. Both are mottled dark and light spots. While Minnesota boasts the top Ruffed Grouse production in the United States, this bird is common to the northern and far west United States in addition to Canada.
The Ruffed Grouse can be found in second growth pines, thick brush and aspen where it can camouflage itself with its illusory plumage. It is very helpful to bring along a good hunting dog that will work close when seeking out this grouse because of its fast, explosive flush. A light fast-handling gun that won’t be caught up in the trees is ideal for this kind of bird. During the winter, the Ruffed Crouse will burrow in the snow or adeptly walk atop it, giving the hunter the opportunity to locate tracks and use these to their advantage.
Where to Hunt Ruffed Grouse
It seems like eons ago when we were climbing to 12,000 feet in the Ruby Mountains in pursuit of Snowcock. But it was just a short six months since we set off to start the 2012 bird hunting season. Now that wild bird hunting in the lower 48 has ended I sit here reflecting on … Read more
Rio the setter suddenly hits the brakes, sliding to a stop on a steep grade beside an old logging road being reclaimed by the forest. We’ve spent a couple days wandering the hills of West Virginia searching for late-season Ruffed Grouse with no luck. I can tell by her stance, even on this awkward angle, … Read more
A lot of bird hunters have gotten in a rut and don’t even realize it. They hunt the same places for the same birds with the same dogs week after week, season over season. Though there’s nothing wrong with this, I think it slowly saps some of the charge out of the upland pursuit. Anything … Read more