Winter Grouse in Willow, Alaska


December 20, 2004, 12:16 AM
Got these guys a few weeks ago during a "warm" spell. They're ruffed grouse--recently introduced to the Susitna Valley.

That's my trusty CZ-452 Lux, the bringer of death to countless small animals in those woods.

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December 20, 2004, 11:55 AM
There are those who frown upon shooting grouse with a .22. In fact, around here it's illegal. However, I've got a couple close friends who did it quite a bit as they grew up, since they were looking for food to add to their family's table.

In any event, they are great critters to hunt. I took one this past Saturday while hunting with my dog and a good friend. I love pheasant hunting, but there's something special about grouse. I think it's the type of cover they hide in and the experience of hunting so deep in the woods.

And they taste good too! :D :D

Here's a pic from a hunt eariler this year...

December 20, 2004, 02:23 PM
That's odd-why is it not considered good to hunt grouse with a .22? These guys went down easy, so it's more than enough gun for them. They seem to like to run along the ground more than bolt up into the trees, so a shotgun would not be needed.

December 20, 2004, 03:25 PM
There is a line of thought that birds (aside from turkeys) must be shot on the wing. I'm primarily a shotgunner, and I've had it drilled into me from Day One that you don't shoot stuff on the ground (helps keep Fido healthy... among other things). A lot of folks don't view shooting birds on the ground (or out of trees) as sporting.

Personally, I think just finding the darned things is sporting.

I think it boils down to one of those things like hunting deer with dogs. Some places it's an accepted practice. In others, it's just not done.

December 20, 2004, 03:48 PM
OK, I've heard of that. In Alaska there's not so much focus on wing shooting, though you can certainly flush them up in the air if you want. There are still far more grouse and ptarmigan than people in this state, but I suppose if the numbers were thin restricting hunting to wing shots would make sense. In some protected areas in Alaska F&G has restricted hunts to falconry only.

To give you an idea of the abundance, bag limits in most of the state for ptarmigan are twenty per day, forty in possession. For grouse it's fifteen per day, thirty in possession. Those might be somewhat higher than folks are used to in the lower 48.

December 20, 2004, 04:06 PM
Sounds great... I've really got to get up there sometime. The daily bag limit is 5 for grouse. However, there's only been a couple times I've flushed that many (even with a dog), and usually I end up getting just a single bird... maybe two if I'm lucky.

BTW, nice rifle! I've got one that I've only used at the range, but I'm planning on a little rabbit hunting with it after the holidays.

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