This is an old webpage carried forward to our new site. Please note that some of the information might be out of date and we probably have newer footage.
Like many game birds, ruffed grouse numbers were impacted by over-hunting when the eastern forests were settled by Europeans. However, because of their elusive nature and the fact that they don’t congregate like many other game birds (e.g., ducks) they were never harvested to the same degree.
Ruffed grouse are strongly associated with aspen trees. In fact, about the only tip you need to find ruffed grouse is to look for aspen, preferably areas that contain numerous age classes of aspen including old stands, medium-aged stands, and young stands. In many parts of the country the ruffed grouse is referred to as partridge (although its not a true partridge).
Filming Ruffed Grouse Stock Footage
In most of North America ruffed grouse are a hunted species. Where the hunting pressure is high, the birds can become very elusive, fleeing at the first sight of a human. That of course makes filming them difficult. However, there are tips that can put the odds in your favor. For example, going to a lightly hunted or non-hunted area may get you close to more tolerant birds (in the deep woods of Canada both the ruffed grouse and spruce grouse are so tolerant of people that you could literally hit them with a stick, hence the local name, “fool hen”). Similarly, if you get out in the woods in August and September you may come across young-of-the-year birds that have not yet been exposed to a hunting season.
One of the best ways to film grouse is to listen for a drumming male in the spring, and then find the drumming log or logs. Set up a blind before daybreak and wait. However, since a drumming male may have numerous logs you may have to wait several mornings before the bird finally shows up. Another trick is to place some cameras, such as hard drive type cameras, at a log before daybreak and hope you get lucky.