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Made it up to the cabin this weekend and did a little grouse hunting. We had 8 flushes in a couple of hours and managed to get one. His crop was the size of a tennis ball.

I see acorns , what looks like fern tips and some buds of some sort. Any id help would be nice. Thanks.










 

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Acorns and ferns for sure. Some mountain laurel in there to.

Buds are normal for this time of year. I'm not sure what teh Asparagus looking stuff is though.
 

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It is odd to see that stuff in such great shape after being removed from a digestive tract.
 

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Thats very similar to what we found in birds from this past weekend. Several of the birds we moved came from the open woods where they were feeding on acorns and ferns that the deer had uncoverd. Snow still was 3-5 inches deep.

All that came from the crop and hadn't reached the digestive tract. When it leaves the crop it is mixed with acids and other digestive enzymes and moves on to the gizzard were the grinding process begins.
 

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I'm not a botanist, but these "buds" you have pictured

look like Lycopodium to me. You've probably seen the low growing plants that look like miniature pine trees.
 

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Acorns are black oak and asparagus-like stuff is indeed ground pine or lycopodium. Also see birch and hornbeam buds.
 

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OK, Here's the next question. What time was the bird shot? (The birds I shoot with a full crop always seem to come late in the day).
 

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I can see that it's ground pine now. I had no idea that grouse ate ground pine. I guess I need to open the crop of the birds I shoot. I normally just breast the birds and take their legs off without getting into the gut cavity.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
dap said:
OK, Here's the next question. What time was the bird shot? (The birds I shoot with a full crop always seem to come in late in the day).
It was shot about 2:30 Dap. Thanks for the Lycopodium id.
 

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Some of those acorns were split open. Does a grouse have the ability to split them or are those remnents from deer feeding or possibly off a road?
 

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I received these crop contents and the vegetation in question is eastern white cedar buds and not ground pine as previously thought.
 
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