Skip to main content

Outdoor Term of the Week: Grouse Drumming [VIDEO]

When you are grouse hunting, have you ever heard that peculiar sound the bird makes just before you shoot?

The woods are quiet and you spot a ruffed grouse on a log. He starts to beat his wings and it sounds like a helicopter is taking off. What is going on?


In the spring, male ruffed grouse beat their wings hard and fast into the air and it creates a low frequency "drumming" that alerts hens to his location. Because of this, ruffed grouse got the nickname "Thunder Chicken." This mating call can be heard throughout the woods when male grouse are looking for hens to mate with.

Ruffed grouse are a popular game bird to hunt, along with woodcock, pheasants and dove.

You can try your luck with grouse drumming in the field. Maybe you can record some grouse drumming and then use it as a call. I don't think it has been manufactured yet either, so maybe you should be an entrepreneur while you are at it.

Tune in next week for another outdoor term.

you might also like

Outdoor Term of the Week: Grouse Drumming [VIDEO]