How to Clean a Grouse

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Getting to the wilderness and hunting in the wild is an exhilarating experience. Before you start hunting, you must learn how to clean grouse.

How to Clean a Grouse

First, let me be very clear, we do love and respect animals. We appreciate the amazing beauty of this creature of nature, and we are in awe of this amazing beauty. Knowing the do’s and don’ts after a hunt makes the experience worth remembering.

Brown and white Grouse

Material Required

  • Knife
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Gloves

Step 1: Remove the Feathers

  1. Lay it on its back. This ensures the skin gets peeled off at once.
  2. Spread the wings wide, place your foot firmly on either side of the wing, and put even pressure where the wings join the body.
  3. Grasp the foot firmly and stay in a stable position.
  4. Hold the body with your hand and have a strong grip over the body.
  5. Apply even pressure and pull the legs up.
  6. Once you pull the legs, pull the body with force; the outer feathers come off with ease. The fresher the clean, the easier it is.

Step 2: Clean the Feathers With a Hand

  1. Remove the feathers from the body; it does not take much time for the feathers to come off easily.
  2. Then, take a butchering knife, or you can use scissors and cut the wings from the body.
  3. The grouses are easy to clean; the feather just comes off with the skin with ease. Then, you can use pair of scissors to cut the feather.

Step 3: Clean the Head, Entrails, and the Wings

  1. Use fingers to pop out the head from the breast.
  2. Once the head is removed, clean the wings by chopping with a butchering knife and the entrail too.
  3. After that, clean the wings with a knife and scissors.

Step 4: Clear the Guts

  1. The procedure is quite gross; after that, check for the gut. You can see the food it has eaten in the gut.
  2. You can get to see green plants, insects, or anything it has last eaten.
  3. Pick it and throw it off, and it is easy to clean; you hardly need any tools.

Step 5: Cut Out the Thighs

  1. The skin you have pulled in the first step, the thighs get off with the skin.
  2. Check the skin, and you will get the thighs, cut it out and remove the feathers from the thighs. Then, give the thigh a good pull and, it comes off from the skin.
  3. Cut right at the hip joint, and cut it along a little bit higher to that.

Step 6: Cut the Breasts Out

  1. Take a knife and make a mark along the joint bone.
  2. Work your way to the wishbone and carve the meat from it. The piece looks like a small chicken breast.
  3. Move ahead and follow the same procedure in the next step.

Step 7: Wash the Grouse

  1. If you are camping, then go to any nearby running water and clean it upside down.
  2. Clean all the parts evenly under running water and clean the meat’s feathers, clothes, and debris.
  3. Wash the thighs separately, and then you are good to go for a delicious meal.
Close up shot of a Grouse

Field Dressing of Grouse

  1. Remove all visible feces, dirt, bloodshot, and feathers.
  2. Use clean water, alcohol, and premoistened wipes to clean the knife. It helps clean any germs that build upon the knife and prevents the entering of bacteria.
  3. Make a lateral incision under the breast to clean the feathers and skin off the carcass.
  4. Next, separate the carcass by pulling the breasts apart; you will see the heart, liver, and lungs attached to the backside of the breast.
  5. Remove the organs carefully; make sure you don’t cut the intestine, as it can have bacteria associated with food-borne diseases.
  6. If the bird exhibits a foul smell, greenish discharge, has black blood or blood clots then, discard it. Do not consume it. It can be a health hazard and, you can end up in hospital.
  7. If you are in the field, don’t throw the organs anywhere on the ground; it can cause a smell and germs carrier. Instead, it is best to shovel the ground and dig a small pit. Throw the meat in the pit and then cover it with soil.
Grouse in a corn field

Cleaning Tips

  • Never pile up warm birds together.
  • After cleaning the cavity, dry it with paper towels to avoid spoilage.
  • As soon as you clean the bird, store it in a cool place. You can store it with ice packs or cover it with snow.
  • Keep it away from direct sunlight, although if you keep it open, provide adequate air ventilation in that space.
  • Young birds have soft breastbones and light legs, while old birds have heavy legs and darker breastbones.

Cooking Tips for Grouse

  • Freeze the freshly cleaned meat; never keep it in an open space until you are willing to cook it.
  • Cut the meat into small chunks of meat size portions.
  • These birds have delicate meat, season it lights, and never overcook them.
  • Marinate the meat with lemon, buttermilk, or vinegar.
  • Put garlic, cloves and salad oil, and paprika. Cook it properly from both sides.
  • The germs and bacteria die in the heat, so you won’t have to worry about the germs in the meat.
  • Serve it with rice or pasta and enjoy hiking into the wild.
Brown and white grouse on brown grass


Follow the disinfecting methods and then store it in the freezer. Disinfecting makes sure the meat is cured before cooking.