Hit the ground and start walking. That’s the strategy most hunters employ when they enter the woods in search of ruffed grouse. “Cover enough country and sooner or later I’ll find them,” they say to themselves. Add a few weeks of hunting pressure and waning food to the equation, and it all gets a bit tougher.
But you can save steps, increase your flush count, get more shots, and bag more birds if you use some common sense and follow the program below. Ruffed grouse utilize different parts of their habitat at different times of day. Here’s where to hunt and when.
Early Morning: Timber Seams
Don’t believe sleepyhead late-risers who rationalize that grouse hunting is better at midmorning. Hit the woods at sunrise, when the birds have just flown down and are moving out and laying down some scent for your dog. Even if you hunt without a canine, grouse are on the move and more vulnerable now.