Photo courtesy Bill and Paula Johnson/Nashwauk
Bill Johnson of Nashwauk found this ruffed grouse impaled on a sapling while he was walking his dogs on a trail behind the Johnson home. He and his wife, Paula, assume that the grouse ran the stick through its body as it was coming down to roost in the snow.
"When they found it," Paula e-mailed, "the grouse had buried itself in the snow and apparently died there during the night. Its crop was full of buds, so we assume it had dived into the snow after feeding."
Grouse have lots of ways to die in the North Woods. Foxes pounce on them. Goshawks catch them from behind in flight. But this has to be one of the most unusual ways for a grouse to die. Thanks to Bill and Paula for sharing their story and photo.