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Washington provides only opportunity for grouse slam

Thu., Sept. 16, 2010, midnight

Washington is a rare bird for wingshooters looking to bag a “slam.”

Forest grouse hunters recognize Washington as the only state that offers a four-bird slam, which was born in 2006 when the blue grouse was split into these two subspecies by the American Ornithologists’ Union:

• Dusky grouse found east of the Cascades and,

• Sooty grouse of the Pacific Coast.

Washington is the only state where the ranges of these two very similar subspecies meet.

In a single weekend, an enterprising hunter could bag a specimen of those two subspecies as well as a spruce grouse and a ruffed grouse to complete the slam.

Forest grouse seasons run through December in Washington.

Wild turkey hunters hold the state in high regard for providing the opportunity for the Washington Slam – a chance to bag the three wild turkey subspecies found in the state in a single season.

The state Wild Turkey Federation has a special pin bestowed on hunters who bag the Merriam’s and Rio Grande subspecies found in Eastern Washington, as well as the Eastern subspecies introduced to the thicker cover of Western Washington in areas such as near Centralia.

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