PGC says no license increase needed. - Page 10 - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #91 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Woods walker View Post
It's not up to the PGC to tell hunters where they can find grouse.

This is what I was responding to, not posting maps of timber cuts online! How many times have you seen here where posters are asking where they can find grouse or other species for that matter? I could not imagine asking people who have spent the time and burned the shoe leather to find grouse coverts to tell me where they are. And gobbler, the PGC is not a guide service.

Are you talking to me? Where on earth did you get the idea that I think it's a guide service? I need no help finding game.

GOBBLE THIS!!!
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post #92 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 09:18 AM
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The snarky remark was aimed at me since I dare to challenge and ask questions on what we're being told.


Back to habitat, I was just looking at recent bids, and the lowest number of bids I've seen is 3, with some projects getting 6+ bids. So there seems to be ample timber companies looking for work at this time. Now the question for when there are no bids, is the GC setting a minimum bid price? And if so, is it to high in some cases? Must there be a minimum, as it seems there is no problem getting qualified bids. And looking at the logging going on around my house on private and SF lands, there are plenty of willing loggers.

Now looking at some of the current projects up for bid and some that have closed, I see one project of 200 acres on a GL that has been sorely neglected since its prime days in the early 90's. Most of the project is a thinning project, I don't see this as providing the stem density to be considered ESH habitat, as the over story will prevent a lot of new growth of trees or a lower shrub layer. No idea if this is the final cut, or if they will come in later after getting desired growth and cut the rest of the trees.

Another interesting project near me has a shelterwood cut along with 4 sections of single/group cut. Most times I have found shelterwood cuts used to regenerate a certain type of trees, while suppressing others. Which is fine if they come in and finish the shelterwood cut in a few years. The single/group cut will be interesting, this is the first I've seen it listed, and luckily it is close enough to keep track of. It will be interesting to see if this provides good stem density, as there is a small grouse population there that could take off with the right habitat. I seldom hunt it, but use it for dog work as it gets me out of rattler territory.

Another question with shelterwood, thinning cuts that still hasn't been answered, are they counted twice? While they have the potential to keep a cut in prime grouse habitat longer if the initial cut provides good stem density, it doesn't add to the total acreage of ESH.

And last but not least, a big worry for me is the spraying off of the shrub layer in preparation of a cut. Why? If there is no shrub layer when the cut his prime age around 8 years, there will be no grouse using it. Unless its invasive vegetation, it should be left alone. I have found many cuts that have a bare floor and thus no grouse. Much of this can be attributed to the excessive deer population we've had for years that ate everything to the ground any chance they had, leaving nothing in the soil back to regenerate once the timber is cut. A shrub layer is necessary habitat beside trees for all species of animals, to remove it just to grow certain types of trees is not sound wildlife management.

Plenty of scouting and good habitat makes for a great hunt.

Jeff
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post #93 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 09:59 AM
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The fix will not happen overnight or in one year. We fell behind and now we must play catch up but we can't just cut extra to make up the lost cuts. We can't make up lost time we can only move forward from this point and not make the same mistakes as the past. The ESH should grow over time to a point and remain. However this is not practical in a short period of time. Waugh!

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post #94 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonN View Post
I wholeheartedly agree! I'd also like to point out that I spend a fair amount of time in the woods doing activities OTHER THAN hunting. I have never, in my entire four decades on this earth, had any trouble finding grouse in this state....that ranges from NE PA, NC PA, all over the NW corner of PA and into SW PA and even central PA. If it's that hard to find grouse for anyone then a map from the PGC isn't going to help....new eyes, ears and a brain might be the ticket. I don't mean to demean others when I say that, but the fact is there are grouse all over the place and it's just not hard to find them. There may be years when numbers aren't as high or years when good, stable haunts produce little or nothing, but there are grouse somewhere around....GO HUNT THEM!
Just curious, are they as easy to find as they were in the past? Do you still find them in the same places, but at reduced numbers? I only asked because I'm curious if West Nile Virus is as bad as I've heard, or if this is just more like a cycical downturn that we've experienced repeatedly in the past. Honestly, no spot burning with me, I don't even hunt grouse. It just sounds like you spend a lot of time in the woods and might have some real world insight.

Hunting: 10% skill and 90% location.
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post #95 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 10:29 PM
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I have read many comments since I have been a member here on the state such as Governor, legislation, etc. taking over the PGC or funds etc. Since this issue of audit came up it has been mentioned several times. How could this happen or I guess what im trying to ask is what would be the mechanics involved for something like this to happen? I know a fair amount of how Pa. operates government wise but im sure guys know a lot more then me. At one time I thought since the PGC was self a supporting agency they could pretty well do what they want with out other fields of politics controlling them such as license increase, etc.
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post #96 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 10:38 PM
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Grouse numbers are definitely down, but if you find the right habitat, there are still good huntable numbers. WNV has become the scapegoat for habitat problems. A grouse cover is good for 5-6 years before the stem density becomes to sparse and grouse stop using it. Which is why losing ESH habitat is having a major affect on grouse. 20-25 years ago we had 2x more ESH habitat than what we have now, which is having a major affect on grouse numbers. Remember if a cover is only good for 5-6 years, if they aren't replacing equal numbers, with what is maturing grouse numbers will tumble.

Changes in timber management are also having an affect. Years ago almost everything was a clear cut, with any an everything growing once sunlight hit the floor. We had stem density and a low level shrub layer. Now in many areas we have shelterwood cuts, which are designed to grow certain types of trees while suppressing other trees and that valuable low level shrub layer. That shrub layer can extend the life of a grouse cover, and on the flip side, if that shrub layer isn't there, grouse will be found in very low numbers. Also when most of the tops and logs are removed, you're taking away much needed cover, especially when there is no shrub layer.

My best grouse hunting right now is on co-op lands as they are still timbering at a good pace and providing plenty of habitat. State forests rank second for me. GL's and the ANF are at the bottom of my list to hunt due to the lack of habitat. Now there are exceptions, and some excellent GLS with great habitat work being done. Its just a matter of doing your preseason home work and not being afraid to put some miles on your vehicle.
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Plenty of scouting and good habitat makes for a great hunt.

Jeff
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post #97 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:45 AM
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You want grouse! Gameland 86 on Rocky Ridge rd. Brokenstraw twp. Warren Co. There! My good deed for the day.
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post #98 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:56 AM
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Willys, do have your pms turned off?

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #99 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danesdad View Post
Just curious, are they as easy to find as they were in the past? Do you still find them in the same places, but at reduced numbers? I only asked because I'm curious if West Nile Virus is as bad as I've heard, or if this is just more like a cycical downturn that we've experienced repeatedly in the past. Honestly, no spot burning with me, I don't even hunt grouse. It just sounds like you spend a lot of time in the woods and might have some real world insight.
I think Lost Again hit the nail on the head. The numbers are down, but if you find the right habitat you can still get some good hunting in. I have spots where the hunting is as good as it was 20 years ago - of course there is good habitat, that has been managed.
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post #100 of 103 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 03:02 PM
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John,I don't think so. But! been having a tough time login on! I'll check
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