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Thought I had a good time yesterday when I got two blue grouse up between skykomish and index, but oh man, I had good time today. I was on the hunt by 7:30 this morning. It was over by 9. I had followed a ridge out to the end of a real nice saddle that overlooked clear cuts on either side. I just stood their and marveled at the scenery from 4000 plus feet and looking for movement. On the way back, there were two blues right in the trail I had just walked down. They lined up for me and I got both with one shot. Could not frickin' believe it. I had missed one yesterday and was now even with birds vs. rounds spent. Took them back up to the Jeep and thought, you know those birds were all in a covey yesterday. I hadn't even looked around for any others. Went back down there and up popped this fat ruffed. He flew behind a tree before I could acquire a target. Walked around until I could find him and there he was looking at me like I was crazy. Bagged him too and quit. Hauled butt out of there and made it to big eddy on the skykomish by 10 am. I had this idea about my knew Salar Spey rod. I have a 8/9/10 line with the 30 foot middle section or upgrade. It would put that line into 780 grain class, which was perfect for it. Started tossing it and the belly kept dropping before the spawning purple spey could lay out on the water. Then I thought, wonder if that middle section is tapered and I put it on backwards. Switched it around and I had a SPEY CANNON! It was great. I was all over that water. But no fish. Can't have everything I guess. Quit for the day at 12 noon. Too Kewl!

Went home and started cleaning all five birds. Think I'll field clean them next time. The wind had picked up and there was a cloud of feathers blowing around my apartment. Then all the neighbors came out to check out the feathers. Kind of grossed them out and I'm going to have to practice skinning them grouse. That is some thin skin. I just plucked out what I thought were the most usable feathers and put them in a baggie with borax. Really wanted to dry the skin on some plywood, but it was hard to do with an audience. Maybe I'll have to use larger shot than #6 too. Couldn't find it all in the meat. By the time I was done I had neighbors puking, but I got some great meat to eat and feathers for fly tying.

Since I didn't clean them right away, I think I'll smoke them up. My dad had given me his smoker and haven't used it yet. Besides, my neighbors could really use the education. Mom says you can make a stew with them, but you have to cook the older ones longer. She said, since you didn't ask 'em how old they were before you shot 'em, you'll never know how long to cook 'em.

I need more birds to practice skinning and curing for fly tying.
 

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Grouse recipes

Mattzoid,
Read your post about Grouse. Sounds like a great day afield. I have a couple of grouse recipes that are truly awesome. If you would like I can post them for you if you want them.
Birdog
 

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Hey Mattzoid,
Sounds to me like you have a lifetime supply + of feathers. I use that type of feathers for softhackles for trout, do you use the stiffer feathers for spey wings or what? If you have access to chickens, young ones would be good practice with the skin still tender, if you weren't so far away I'd throw some your way. Actually though about any bird is good practice.

Kevin
 

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I used to hunt grouse with a long bow and a blunt tip arrow. Wait till they flush and then lead them and release.. when you get a grouse or two with traditional archery equipment it's very satisfying. TONS of practice though, you need to be able to practice daily so it's not for most people.

Sounds like a heck of a couple of days, I've yet to find a good way to cook grouse so needless to say I don't hunt them anymore.

Doug
 

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I've yet to find a good way to cook grouse
I fondly remember meals that consisted of fried grouse, Dollies out of a Montana creek, bacon, and Wonder bread. MMM-GOOD!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Out of the blue and the ruffed, I did get a lot of nice feathers. The ruffed had good ones for small wings. I ended up smoking the meat. First effort and it was too salty and too smoked. Going to try thinner slices next time.

Matt
 

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Baked grouse breast

Ruffed grouse (or "partridge" back East) are DELICIOUS! They are like a "miniature turkey". When I get 'em, I simply cut off the
breast and legs (that's 95% of the meat on the bird), and wrap 'em in a bacon strip, and bake 'em in an oven. They are outstanding!

The meat tends to be a little dry, that's why the bacon is used.

I normally field-dress 'em and put the meat in clean plastic bags. It's a snap.

If I want the feathers, I pluck off what I want and store 'em in a plastic bag. I keep a good supply for flies.

BobK:smokin:
 

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Cooking grouse

Here are two options to cook grouse:

1. Fry the whole bird quickly in a pan to brown it. Turn down the heat and let the bird simmer until finished (or put it in the stove and finish it there). Cut it apart and eat it at the table.

2. Cut out breast pieces. Fry them for one minute on each side. The meat should be red. Use the rest of the bird as a basis for a soup or a broth, or maybe mix the meat with some meat/fat to make meatballs as a side dish.

Cook out the pan and use it as a basis for a red wine sauce. Add goats cheese (norwegian brown if you can get it), the hart of the grouse and lingonberry jam or dogberry jelly to the sauce. Serve with potatoes and brussel sproats that are mixed with a small amount of bacon. Dogberry (sour berries) jelly is also nice on the side.

Knut
 
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