The only hunting I did as a kid with any regularity was grouse hunting. Every year. We’d go mid September around my birthday when the leaves were mid-change and the frosts getting hard at night. A few decades later, and I’m hunting grouse with Hank Shaw, at the same time of year. By this time we’d already spent a few days laughing, eating, and chasing waterfowl on camera, and we shifted gears into living in bushcamp for a few days to film what I’d long wanted to produce – an episode exclusively about grouse.
There’s a lot to say about it that’s been captured already in S2E11 of From The Wild. Differences in the way Hank and I hunt grouse, differences in the firearms of choice, field dressing, and outdoor cookery approaches. I find the differences fascinating. But one important personal takeaway isn’t in the episode. I mention in interview that in recent years grouse hunting had become a byproduct of big game hunting – we’d harvested grouse, but had abandoned spending time specifically focused on them. Well after this hunt it sunk in how much I’d missed grouse hunting. It was a piece of my childhood and cultural heritage that I’d started to abandon to a degree. Big game hunting has a way of consuming a hunter, at the expense of prioritizing small game, fish, and other lovely and delicious things that are less ‘productive’ yield wise, but because of that very fact, more ‘special’ – certainly offering more variety at the dinner table. I’m grateful for the dose of awareness of that push-pull, and plan on dialing in more balance into what species I chase.
It looks delicious, wonderful memory :)
I have to say I completely agree, now that we gave two small children my husband and I take the time to take them out grouse hunting. They love it!
Beautiful bird indeed and will try hunting Grouse in the future! The roast picture looks yummy! Thanks for the post!
Definitely agree that this is under appreciated compared to deer hunting in my neck of the woods. But that roast looks better than any deer meat I’ve ever seen!