I haven’t had a blog entry on ruffed grouse yet because I have very little experience hunting them with a GWP. This blog entry will grow as I get more time hunting them in the next few seasons. I have it on my bucket list to visit the northeast and go on a ruffed grouse hunt. I might have to trade someone a hunt out west for an eastern hunt or get another GWP hunter to be a quest writer.
The 1st time I experience ruffed grouse was in northern Idaho whitetail hunting in the early 90’s. I was creeping through some super thick cover slowly and quietly tracking a nice buck in two foot of fresh powdery snow when a grouse exploded at my feet. I don’t know how I kept from falling over backwards or firing my rifle in the air. I encountered lots of grouse on my annual trip up north whitetail hunting over the next few years.
When Cruiser was a pup and we were still living in Idaho one time Jodi went to a dog show in Spokane Washington, and I went along and went deer hunting over in Idaho. I took Cruiser out between dog shows and got him on some ruffed grouse. I didn’t get any shooting because the cover was so thick I could barely swing my gun. That was the only time I tried hunting them with a GWP in northern Idaho.
While living in the Black Hills of South Dakota I saw a few while deer hunting, and one morning there was one in a pine tree right by our house. I was told there was a good population of them in the Black Hills, but even though I ran the dogs in the hills a lot I never got a point on one.
There are some in southern Idaho as well and I have gone hunting for them in recent years with different GWP’s and I even got a point on one in the fall of 2013. It was standing on a log with the dog ten feet behind it and when I took a step a few flushed, but I had no shot.
This is my ruffed grouse hunting experience with a GWP, but I have figured out where they live close to my home here in Wyoming so next year I’m going to get some quality hunting in, and I have a few places in southern Idaho to go. Maybe I’ll even find time for that trip back east.