There are photos kicking about of me when I was 3-4 years old, holding grouse. I think there was talk of this hunt the first week my first daughter was born – an excited grandpa eager to get little ones out hunting again. As she grew up, she increasingly wanted to leave with me when I set out moose hunting. This year was her inaugural hunting trip. It was a lucky one, with a lengthy black bear adventure, mule deer, white tailed deer, a weasel, and lots and lots of grouse. We came home with our possession limit of 15 ruffed grouse. Interestingly, not a single spruce grouse – all ruffed. Don’t remember it rolling that way when I was a kid.
An artsy diary-esque episode this one is. A point of interest for me is that it shows how to break a grouse down with your hands into the breast on breastbone with the necessary wing attached to be able to legally transport the bird – preserves identity of species – and also shows a grouse being plucked. Grouse skin is super fragile, tearing easily relative to waterfowl, say. Whenever I skin a bird though I have Hank Shaw in the back of my head, he having spent ample time a number of years ago pre-him-being-a-rock-star prodding me in the comments on this very site. Skin-on wasn’t a revelation like I had expected. Seemed to deliver more value on the waterfowl front, for me. More research required.