I don't live in grouse country in fact I've never even seen much less shot one. I have however done a lot of reading about grouse hunting and did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once. ;D
From what I've read grouse love fruit/berries and such. What trees are in your area that might still hold some fruit or berries or even bud tips for them to eat? I'd expect such to have grouse in them from what I've read on the birds. I believe they also are known to eat the leaves of aspen and thus are some times to be found there.
For sure when the ground is covered so deeply in snow birds like grouse and all others are gonna find the pickings slim at ground level so I'd expect any kinda bird to be looking for food in bushes and trees not on the ground. I think those spruce mentioned and perhaps fir (I've not even seen a fir tree in the wild I don't think) have some kinda berries on them so that might be a real attraction to them.
I was out deer hunting today near some conifers and a grouse apparently erupted right out of the snow. While I was studying the spot, another took off, straight up out of the snow. He was completely buried in the snow, you could not see him, then the snow moved and a grouse took off.
Try the edges where poplars / aspens meet thicker cedar swamps and lowland. When the leaves fall the poplars don't offer much protection so they like to stay near the thick stuff. I saw a few last weekend hunting those types of areas. The burrow into the snow and make warm little caves, so look for a "shadow puppet" looking bird shape going into the snow, they are often burrowed in. Actually in years when you get a lot of alternating warm and cold weather many grouse will die because they plunge into the snow from above and if there is a thick layer of crust on top they often break their necks. They really are a fantastic game bird. I enjoy good grouse hunting to any other type of hunting. It sure is a pretty time of year to be in the woods.
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