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Tips for hunting grouse

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

Minnesota’s grouse season is nearly a month old, and the estimated numbers are down from last year. To fix this problem, Duluth’s most prestigious game wardens have personally asked me – and not rival columnist Sam Cook, whose mustache they deemed unprofessional – to write a column helping hunters thin out the population of these dangerous and bloodthirsty birds. Here are a few helpful tips:

– You’re allowed to hunt grouse with the following weapons: Shotguns, sniper rifles, Scud missiles, land mines, tear gas, catapults, chloroform, trained bears, a jaunty song, alcohol poisoning, and punching them to death.

– Looking to make your outing more efficient? Hunting grouse with a flamethrower will both kill and cook them at the same time.

– If you plan to hunt grouse with a gun, you should load it with bullets first. This is the only real tip I know, because I’ve never been hunting once in my entire life. I heard deer will poop all over you if you cut them open wrong. Is that true?

– A lot of folks will say you have to buy a hunting license to hunt animals. Yet when asked why Paul Bunyan didn’t have to buy one, most game wardens will conveniently change the subject by arresting you. They are fascists.

– If you were born after December 31, 1979, you have to prove you’ve taken a hunter safety program. If you were born before then, you don’t have to be safe at all. Feel free to do trick shots, like having your buddies blindfold you and spin you around in a circle before you shoot.

– When hunting, eating loud food like potato chips will scare away the grouse. Try bringing quiet meals like gin, whiskey, and Aunt Jemima pancake mix.

– Using a sexy bird decoy didn’t work for Elmer Fudd, and it certainly isn’t going to work for you.

– Few people know this, but the word “grouse” is French for “people”. So feel free to shoot as many people as the state limit allows. However, a true hunter only shoots the people he or she plans to eat.

– When hunting people, try to shoot the most annoying ones first, the author of this column notwithstanding.

– Bird dogs are great for fetching grouse you’ve shot, as long as you don’t mind serving food to your family that has been in a dog’s mouth.

– Bird dogs, if trained properly, are also great for fetching beer from a cooler, stealing ladies’ bikini tops while they’re sunbathing, and mauling neighborhood children who trespass on your lawn.

– A great way to spook the wife is to hide a dead grouse inside her pillowcase.

– Referring to grouse as “critters” will automatically make everyone think you’re 90 years old and senile. And probably a little racist, but in a cute, non-threatening-old-person way.

– Joke that would work better if this column were about deer hunting: If you shoot a grouse, take a picture of yourself with it, frame it, and put it on your desk at work. This will serve as proof to colleagues that work isn’t the only time you sit in the same spot all day not doing anything.

– If you don’t like hunting, you can also buy grouse at the supermarket, but animals always taste better when you carve out their organs and genitalia yourself.

– Grouse have feathered nostrils, and their scientific name is “tetraonidae”. This information will not in any way help you hunt them. Sorry for wasting your time.

– Strangely enough, the phrase “flushing grouse” is not a euphemism for the bowel movement you perform in the restroom after eating grouse. But it should be.

– Grouse are notoriously difficult to kill, but if you get them a job working at a warehouse in Superior, WI, after a few years they’ll probably just kill themselves.

– The best way to kill grouse is to hang around where they eat. If the world were reversed and grouse were hunting you, they’d hide in the bushes outside Taco Bell.

– Ruffed grouse like dark, moist places with thick brush. Try checking your wife’s vagina. After all these years, I’m sure she’ll be thrilled that you’re finally taking an interest in it.

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