The ruffed grouse, more generally referred to as “partridge,” is present in every area of the Maine state. It is probably more abundant and distributed here than elsewhere in the world. The bird is located deep in the broad forests, and just a short distance away from towns.
Maine has two types of grouse — smart and stupid. The above are so gentle they can be shot with a gun or rifle on the ground or treetop trees. These are the birds that were found in broad forests. We are similar with those found in the populated areas in every way except that they have no fear of humans.
Inhabited parts grouse are much smarter than their fellow backwoods. We don’t use rifles or handguns to kill them; we don’t always strike them with a shotgun.
We expect to find them in thickets of alder and birch, along the edges of fields where berries abound, under wild apple trees, on the ridges of oaks in acorn years, and in softwood growths. But we also know that we will always find them where we least expect them to. These birds consume more than fifty different kinds of food, and feeding them is a matter of finding food sources, and, of course, an adequate cover.
We often find the birds in flocks of three to six in the early part of season. Singles and pairs are more common later, in the fall.
While most hunters tend to use horses, as we claim the birds can be successfully hunted by “rolling them up.” But that needs fast shooting.
While grouse is more common than the last during the first part of the season, many hunters prefer hunting the last two weeks. That’s because the leaves are off the trees and these fast-flying birds have a much better chance to see and strike. We are more likely to be found in more open land , for example in old apple orchards, than in the early part of October when there are many more forms of food available.
Anyone who wants to hunt grouse in the northern part of the State of Maine, however, should consider the birds more abundant the first part of the season.
One of the easiest ways to hunt ruffed grouse in Maine’s woodland areas is to walk along old tote and logging tracks gradually. When you’re flushing a grouse and don’t get a shot, be on the lookout because there will probably be at least one or two additional birds nearby.
The aim will be fulfilled by either a.20 gage or a.12 gage shotgun. If using a pair, load one barrel with a shell No. 7, and the other barrel with a shell No. 6. Using No. 7 while shooting close birds, and No. 6 for longer range.
Learn to shoot “on the ground.” If you’re a good skeet shooter, you’ll be getting your share of the ruffed grouse you ‘re flushing, particularly where the “territory” is open. Learn to “lead,” this experience is learned through skeet shooting practice or the use of a hand-trap.
Consider the contents of his crop when you shoot a ruffed grouse. It will give you an idea of what the birds are feeding on, and then you can go hunting in the vicinity of the places where they abound.
Some sportsmen tend to pluck their game birds, but it’s easier for partridge and woodcock to skin and taste likewise.
The number of women in those photos is important to remember. While the overall number of hunters has marginally decreased in recent years , the number of women hunters is rising. Today more than 16 per cent of all U.S. hunters are women.