How to get more shots at ruffed grouse and other outdoor news

Posted on: November 11, 2019 | Bob Frye | Comments

Take a quick look around the outdoors world with a tip, a new piece of gear and more...

Tip of the week

Ruffed grouse are notorious for holding tight, then flushing almost from under foot in a noisy explosion. It’s intentionally unnerving. There’s a way for hunters to, if not beat that strategy, at least up the odds of getting off a shot, though. And that’s to react to sound. Too many hunters hear a bird flush, look for it, and then and only then finally raise their gun to shoulder. That’s often too late. A better tactic is to start raising your gun in the direction of the flush while looking for the bird. You have to be aware of where any hunting partners are, of course. But raising your shotgun on sound and having it in position as soon as you spot a grouse can lead to killing more birds.

Gear of the week

Gear name: Deca

Company: Dry Case (

Ruffed grouse hunting is fun.


Gear type: Dry bag

Product description: Every paddler knows, or should, the value of a good dry bag. They protect everything from electronics like phones and cameras to clothes, tents, and food when you’re on the water. The Deca is an especially good one because it’s so versatile. Made of marine-grade vinyl, it’s 100 percent waterproof, of course. But you can carry it via the roll-top closure or the attached shoulder strap. There’s a stainless steel bottle opener built into the closure snap, too. And thanks to its compression valve, you can fill it with gear, then squeeze out any remaining air to make it as small and space saving as possible.

Available options: This is capable of holding 10 liters. It measures 17 by 8 y 8 inches and weighs 0.6 pounds.

Suggested retail price: $39.

Notable: The Deca’s two-way purge valve makes it possible to use this as more than just a dry bag. Fill it with air and it can serve as a pillow on a campout. Or fill it with water and open the valve to turn it into a solar shower.

Outdoors oddity of the week

Nutritionists, doctors, weight loss experts, they all say the same thing. The only surefire weight to shed pounds is to burn more calories than you take in.

Enter upland bird hunting.

It typically involves lots of walking, some of it sweaty and rough. Anyone who’s ever fought their way through a brushy young forest looking for grouse or walked miles of fencerows seeking for pheasants can speak to that.

And while it’s all tremendous fun, the payoff just isn’t there, calorie-wise.

That’s because upland birds tend to be smaller than some might imagine.

The typical male ring-necked pheasant weighs only 2 to 3 pounds. Hens are even smaller on average, around 2 pounds.

And that makes them big compared to some other birds.

Ruffed grouse, on average, weigh just 1.2 pounds. Woodcock go 6.9 ounces, bobwhite quail 6.1 and mourning doves 4.2.

So chances are you’ll spend more chasing birds than what you get back in terms of energy.

But who hunts for that reason anyway, right?


See also: How to bag more pheasants throughout fall


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Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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