With the Idaho grouse season open until January 31st, 2012, we have ample time to chase grouse in the mountains around Teton Valley and Jackson Hole. To be honest, our area is one of the best places to complete the Grand Slam of Grouse – Sage Grouse, Sharptail Grouse, Ruffed Grouse and Blue Grouse. Tui and I had bagged the Blue Grouse but were unsuccessful in our Sage Grouse hunt last week in Southern Wyoming. Sharptail Season opens this Saturday, so it looks we’ll try to go 3 for 4.
My folks and aunt and uncle have been in town this past week and I, as well as my dad and uncle, were ready to get out in the woods with Tui. We headed up Pine Creek Pass after lunch at the house to chase some ruffed grouse around for the afternoon and evening. My uncle Jon had never bagged a ruffed grouse, or any grouse, to be specific so this hunt become special right away. To be honest, anytime I get to hunt with my dad is special, so I was just excited to be in the woods with him. After hiking up to one of my favorite areas which I call “The Cut,” Tui got birdy off the side of an access road and the game was on. In all, we flushed 14 Ruffed Grouse that day, 4 to the bag, including the first my Uncle Jon and one for my dad.
If you have ever wondered how to identify Male and Female Ruffed Grouse in hand, this photo is a great example. Male Ruffed Grouse have a continuous black band across their tail feathers, as you can see in the photo above. The black band seen above will break around the middle tail feathers on a female.