RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock

Pennsylvania
Ample food supply and limited rain and ice conditions of this past winter should have led to fat and healthy hen grouse coming into the 2012 breeding season. Incubation weather was good and to this point brooding weather has been fine, according to PGC Upland Bird Biologist Lisa Williams. She continues that if the summer months cooperate for brood survival it is anticipated the 2012-2013 hunting season will be above average in PA. Several anecdotal observations from long-term PGC Grouse Cooperators indicate the balance in deer management, forest health, and active silviculture management is paying dividends in terms of grouse flush rates in these areas by providing the dense, and highly diverse developing understory necessary for quality grouse habitat. “The big woods areas of northwest and northcentral PA should produce abundant grouse flushes this year as flush rates are always highest in regions where high-quality young forest habitat is scattered throughout a largely forested landscape,” adds Williams.
The 2012 USFWS population status report illustrates an overall non-statistically significant decrease in the short term trends for PA but significant for long term decrease. The mild and early spring of 2012 should be conducive to high reproductive output and compliment the heightened recruitment indices (# juveniles / adult female) seen in the fall. Williams notes though that within the Eastern Management Region the number of singing males per survey route was higher in 2012 than 2011, statistical significance was not noted.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 04:19 PM
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Re: RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock



Haven't found a grape yet this year.... Thornapples good, redosier and silky dogwood sporting fruit, autumn olive loaded with fruit, no hornbean fruit this year, some pignut hickories dropping nuts now... not too many oaks around here to see acorns, no beech nuts yet this year either...

wmu 3A
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 05:00 PM
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Re: RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock

Timberdoodle,
I do think our Grouse population on the northern tier will be even better this year than last, however one of the things you have noted causes me to be a might skeptical about the over all numbers this year, the Beech trees it seems have a big influence on our Grouse numbers here, and I agree with your statement, beech nuts this seaon seem to be lean at this point. I spend alot of time in the Grouse woods and I agree with you, also my massive Oaks are not producing the big acorn mass they usually do, its early yet we will see how all this plays out. Some fall and winter feed maybe questionable this season, from what we are seeing.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 04:42 PM
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Re: RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock

Not sure I understand what the beech crop would have to do with grouse numbers this summer. Young grouse won't even be feeding on them until fall. The beech crop will affect where the grouse are this fall as they love beech nuts and it may affect how the grouse make it through the fall and winter as beech are a preferred food because of their high fat content, bringing them into the spring breeding season in better shape next spring. But a poor beech crop would have nothing to do with summer survivorship.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 06:16 PM
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Re: RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock

Barberry,
It has to due with the number of Grouse that make it thru for reproduction, same with the acorns. The summer survivors have to make it thru till the next breeding season, the Beech and other winter food make that possible.
I was looking down stream as I do every season, it seem when we have back to back seasons with few Beach nuts and Acorns our Pa Grouse population drops. This past season we had few Beech nuts & Acorns and it looks like it might just repeat again this year, so our Grouse population might not be what people are forcasting for this season or next. We will see how all this plays out, as we do our late fall and winter Grouse hunting this season. Everyone including me believes we will have an increase in Grouse numbers on the northern tier, I am saying because of the lack of Beech Nut and Acorns
last season and again this season, I am a little skeptical of the actual increase predicted for this season and maybe next also.
When the season 1st opens I hope we see some kind of increase in the individual covert numbers, cause last season we did not. In fact in Tioga county it fell just slightly, in Potter it reamained just about even with the prior season,
even with the lack of Beech nuts and Acorns. Having this happen for two season in a row however will not be good for our over all Grouse population.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 06:24 PM
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Re: RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock

OK then we are in agreement...the way I thought I read your post was that the summer broods would not survive til fall without beechnuts.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 09:28 PM
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Re: RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock

Barberry,
Sometimes I take for granted, other peoples knowledge and
foolishly short cut my explanations. I should have been more clear about my thoughts.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 06:15 AM
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Re: RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock

There were lots of beachnuts in the covers I hunted last fall. Crops were packed full of beach...
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 12:54 PM
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Re: RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock

I don't put a lot of stock in these forecasts but I know the dogs and I are not finding many broods this month. We're out looking three or four times a week and so far it's pretty slow.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 04:33 PM
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Re: RGS fall forecast for grouse and woodcock

ruffedG,
In our area there were very few, maybe where you are hunting the Grouse population well go up, lets hope.

wingshot,
Got to admit I saw less young birds this spring also, however that does not mean the birds are not there, we will see come opening day what the coverts are like once it starts to cool down and people really start to hunt.
Some times in the summer heat the birds like to sit up high in the hemocks cooling them selves in the moving air , when it starts to cool off, they like to feed and walk on the Ground more. Here in our mountains I see this happen all the time, the heat of the summer can sometimes give a false account of the actual coming seasons Grouse population.
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