Grouse Season Starts Saturday!
It's that time of year again, when the air is crisp and the leaves are changing color. The Grouse Season starts this Saturday, and hunters are gearing up for their annual hunt.
For many hunters, Grouse Season is the highlight of the year. These wily birds provide a challenging target, and provide delicious meat for the table.
There are several different species of grouse, including the Ruffed Grouse, Spruce Grouse, and Sage Grouse. Each provides its own set of challenges and rewards for the hunter.
Grouse are typically found in dense brush or forested areas, making them difficult to spot. They will often fly into cover when they see or hear danger approaching.
Hunters use shotguns loaded with birdshot to take these wary birds. The key is to get close enough to take a clean shot without spooking the grouse.
Grouse can be tough fighters, so make sure you have a good hunting dog to help locate and retrieve them once they're down.
The Grouse Season runs from September 1st through December 31st in most states. Make sure you get out there and enjoy this classic hunting tradition!
The Best Time to Hunt Grouse is Early Morning
If you want to bag a brace of grouse, the best time to hunt them is early morning. The birds are usually most active at this time and are more likely to be within shooting range.
In addition, early morning provides the best opportunity to see and avoid briars, thickets and other types of cover that can obscure the birds. Furthermore, early morning is when the light is best for spotting grouse against the backdrop of trees and foliage.
Finally, early morning offers the prospect of a calm day with good visibility, while afternoon weather conditions can often be windy and overcast.
Grouse Hunting Tips from the Pros
If you're gearing up for a day afield chasing grouse, there are a few things to keep in mind that the pros have learned. Whether you're a first-time hunter or been at it for years, following these tips can help make your hunt more successful.
- Scout thoroughly ahead of time.
Grouse live in thick cover, so knowing where they are before you go out is key. Spend some time scouting likely areas and look for fresh droppings and feathers on the ground. This will give you an idea of where to focus your efforts when you head out.
- Use stealth to get close.
Grouse have very sharp eyesight and will take flight at the slightest movement. Use natural camouflage and try to move as quietly as possible to get within range. If possible, take the time to get within 25 yards of the birds before attempting to take a shot.
- Use good calling techniques.
Grouse are known to be responsive to well-used calling techniques, so learning how to properly call them in is important. Start with soft clucking sounds and work your way up to loud yelps if needed. Remember not to overcall, as this can often scare off birds rather than bring them closer.
- Use realistic decoys if possible.
There's no doubt that decoys can be effective in bringing grouse within range, but using realistic decoys can be even more successful. Many hunters use hen decoys when attempting to call in males, as the sight of an available hen often entices them into range. Position your decoys around the edges of your hunting area for the best results.
What to do With a Grouse After You Kill It
A banded grouse lies in the leaves, feathers mussed and blood on its beak. What do you do now?
The first step is to remove the bird's head. This can be done with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors. Gently cut through the skin around the neck and remove the head. If you plan to eat the bird, it is important to remove the brain and other organs, as they may contain harmful toxins.
Next, gut the bird by cutting along each side of its body cavity. Be careful not to pierce the intestines or other organs. Remove the intestines, heart, lungs, and liver. Cut off the feet and pull out the crop (a small sac located at the base of the neck) if present. Discard all of these organs except for the liver, which can be cooked and eaten.
Finally, rinse the bird inside and out with cold water. You can either freeze it or cook it now. To cook, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the bird in a baking dish covered with tin foil. Cook for about an hour or until the meat is no longer pink.
Kentucky Grouse Hunting Catching On
Grouse hunting is no longer just a pastime for the locals in Kentucky, it has become a popular destination spot for hunters across the United States. The abundance of grouse, coupled with the scenic landscape and lack of crowds, makes Kentucky an ideal destination for a successful hunt.
The key to a great grouse hunt is being able to find the birds. Grouse can be difficult to see when they are flushed, so good camouflage and stalking skills are essential. Spending time in areas that have been identified as good grouse habitat is your best bet for finding these birds.
There are plenty of public lands in Kentucky that offer good opportunities for grouse hunting. The Daniel Boone National Forest, the Pennyrile Forest State Park, and the Knobs Wildlife Area are all great places to start. These public lands offer plenty of acres of forestland to explore, and you are likely to encounter some grouse along the way.
If you are looking for a more private hunting experience, there are also plenty of private land options available. There are many large timber companies that own vast tracts of land that make excellent grouse habitat. Contacting one of these companies and inquiring about access to their lands can be your ticket to a successful hunt.
In addition to being able to find grouse, Kentucky offers some of the best bird hunting conditions in the country. With its mix of hardwood forests and open fields, Kentucky provides ideal habitat for quail, pheasants, and other upland game birds. This makes Kentucky an ideal destination for a mixed bag hunting trip.
So if you're looking for a new hunting destination that offers great grouse hunting opportunities, be sure to add Kentucky to your list. You won't be disappointed!