Grouse priority area siting tool launches - Page 8 - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #71 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 01:25 AM
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Wait, someone that arguably hunts pheasants more days than anyone here is calling out others as special interest hunters? Really? And what the heck does that even mean? Made up nonsense. Maybe one of the dumber comments I've read.
I agree. It's truly ludicrous.
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post #72 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by RyanR View Post
Wait, someone that arguably hunts pheasants more days than anyone here is calling out others as special interest hunters? Really? And what the heck does that even mean? Made up nonsense. Maybe one of the dumber comments I've read.
I agree. It's truly ludicrous.
Yeah, well his certainly wasn't the only one though. But he's not attacking the biologist with (mostly) baseless vitriol.
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post #73 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 08:28 AM
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Wait, someone that arguably hunts pheasants more days than anyone here is calling out others as special interest hunters? Really? And what the heck does that even mean? Made up nonsense. Maybe one of the dumber comments I've read.
Agree. Good honest point.
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post #74 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 09:11 AM
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What special interest are you referring to?
That we want proper habitat management that benefits grouse and pretty much all the other native game species in the state.
In my opinion special interest hunters are just that. It is pretty common knowledge that some hunters put almost all of their hunting efforts into only hunting one or two species while looking down their nose at anyone who hunts other species they believe to be an inferior species.

Some of use prefer to not only hunt pretty much all of the species we are permitted to hunt but to also see all of the species managed for.

But, when you have limited resources you also have to look both the ability of the species to have sustainable hunting populations, with or without excessive manipulation as well as sometimes the amount of hunter interest and participation for that species.

Grouse have been an important species to a pretty fair number of hunters but for many decades their numbers remained relatedly stable with mostly just commercial timber operations across the state. I am confident had anyone in the Game Commission foreseen how much their populations were going to decline over the past few years they would have increased their management objectives in at least an effort to help offset the decline we have experienced.

Personally I like to hunt grouse but I am not such a purist that I would take all of the money and manpower away from the management of other important hunting species just to create more habitat that might or might not make really make any difference in the future for grouse and grouse hunters.

And that includes species such as pheasant and elk that some people have no interest in because they aren't one of their special interest species. For others in this Commonwealth more money and resources should be dedicated to the future for those species the same as a few think more should be going to grouse, or woodcock or deer or any number of other species they prefer.

It has to be a carefully orchestrated balancing act and one that takes into account the implementation for the wise management of ALL species.

Dick Bodenhorn


No one said anything about taking all the money and all the resources and using them on grouse management. However,
creating habitat for grouse benefits far more game and none game species, then the habitat created for pheasant and elk.
Most of the habitat could be created through the harvest of timber, thus creating revenue at the same time..
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post #75 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 09:17 AM
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Pa has about 17 million acres of forest land. The PGC owns about 1.5 million acres of land and it is not all forest land. Even if they cut every acre of forest on game lands it would be a drop in the bucket and have very little effect on the grouse population state wide. To increase (restore) grouse populations state wide it must be a joint effort on both private and public lands.
Doing my tongue in cheek math, 1.5 / 17 million acres equates to ~9% of all forested land. Hardly a drop in the bucket. I think that would be a very good start at creating ESH. Fire up those chain saws.

What are the options for the PGC as it relates to land that they control? Should they continue (or hopefully expand) their efforts to create ESH on SGL because that is all they can control, or just throw up their hands and say whats the use of having grouse on SGL when much of the rest of state doesn't have the habitat to support them.
I'm not saying cutting on SGL is not important, but it alone will not be enough to restore grouse populations state wide.
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post #76 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 12:48 PM
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Wait, someone that arguably hunts pheasants more days than anyone here is calling out others as special interest hunters? Really? And what the heck does that even mean? Made up nonsense. Maybe one of the dumber comments I've read.
The difference is that many of us have spent countless hours and even our funding to not only support but also physically creating habitat for ALL of our resources instead of demanding more be done by the Game Commission to support our favorite species.

As for me I hunt a lot of different species, with equal interest and enthusiasm depending on what is in season, the most abundant and of my interest at that moment in time.

I used to spend about as much of often even more time hunting grouse as I did pheasants. Sometimes much more time on grouse than pheasants. I would hunt for grouse before pheasant season came in then once pheasant were in I would go for pheasants every morning until I was limit out on them then head out for grouse. But, as grouse numbers started to decline I stopped specifically targeting grouse and switched almost exclusively to pheasants as the small game species I pursued.

I started backing off pheasants for two reasons. One reason is that I felt guilty even shooting grouse when their numbers were in what appeared to be a pretty sharp decline so I backed off of them. The other reason I quite going for grouse was because as I get older I find it more enjoyable, especially after hunting pheasants for an hour or more, to go climb into a tree stand to just sit there relaxing while archery hunt.

As an example of how my time gets used. So far this year I currently have 69.75 hours hunting pheasants. That includes about 9 hours that were exclusively taking youth out while I was not carrying a gun. The amount of time with youth would certainly be higher but I lucked out with some kids who were pretty good shots and had their limit without long drawn out hunts where they missed a lot of birds. I will undoubtedly hunt pheasants a few more times once flintlock season ends or perhaps even a few more mornings during the flintlock season, depending on my mood and the weather on any given day.

As of right now I have 184 hours hunting deer, but will have many more hours in pursuit of deer before the flintlock season ends. I also spent 40 hours hunting exclusively bear and that doesn't include the hours I was hunting both deer and bear during the October combined deer and bear season.

I also typically hunt between a hundred and two hundred hours for spring gobbler each spring. The amount of time I spend hunting for spring gobbler is usually dependent on how long it takes me to harvest two gobblers. Until I have two gobblers I will hunt every morning, pretty much rain or shine, every day of the season from daybreak until at least noon.

Then once spring gobbler is over I typically spend over a hundred hours, all donated time and money, planting row crops on about 50 acres of the game lands where pheasants are stocked and I hunt. Even though that habitat work will benefit pheasants and pheasant hunters in the fall it will also benefit all of the many other game and non-game species all year, and long before any pheasants are stocked or hunted, as well. We see way more deer and turkeys in it than we do pheasants. We also use volunteers to do boarder and other cuts every winter that are designed much more as a benefit to grouse than pheasants.

Frankly I don't have a special interest species. I enjoy and work to both have and hunt healthy populations of them all. There are many hunters thought do have their special interest species, hunt them almost exclusively and make no bones about that fact.

If some people can't recognized that fact then about all I can say is they either aren't paying attention to the reality that surrounds them, just want to ignore the reality or are simply just looking for something to find fault with. Everyone will have to figure out for themselves just where they fit into that list of possible scenarios though.

Dick Bodenhorn
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post #77 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 04:00 PM
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Guess I’m tardy to the party but a thought I had concerning the cutting of timber. Why not cut it and and allow it to be taken for fire wood give tags for the load to license buyers or people that want to buy a permit. The cutting for forest lands for wildlife purposes shouldn’t totally rely on markets. ---- make a special grouse management areas and make a grouse permit and the grouse purists wouldn’t mind paying for a stamp to help support there passion would they?
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post #78 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by R. S. B. View Post

Grouse have been an important species to a pretty fair number of hunters but for many decades their numbers remained relatedly stable with mostly just commercial timber operations across the state. I am confident had anyone in the Game Commission foreseen how much their populations were going to decline over the past few years they would have increased their management objectives in at least an effort to help offset the decline we have experienced.

Dick Bodenhorn
Come on Dick, It was the PGC's own Grouse Management Plan. They knew the numbers on the declining percentage of ESH in the state for well over twenty years, they even addressed the issue in their plan. They simply failed to cut the acreage outlined in their own plan, didn't even come close. To say that "had anyone in the game commission foreseen how much their populations were going to decline" is simply disingenuous. Anyone, biologist or not, who knows anything about the ruffed grouse knows that ESH is critical to their survival.

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post #79 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 10:35 PM
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Come on Dick, It was the PGC's own Grouse Management Plan. They knew the numbers on the declining percentage of ESH in the state for well over twenty years, they even addressed the issue in their plan. They simply failed to cut the acreage outline in their own plan, didn't even come close. To say that "had anyone in the game commission foreseen how much their populations were going to decline" is simply disingenuous. Anyone, biologist or not who knows anything about the ruffed grouse knows that ESH is critical to their survival.
The Game Commission has a long term management plan for just about everything. It is just that a PLAN.

I don't think they have EVER hit all of the marks on any plan that has ever been put in place. They are always more liberal in the plan than they can implement. If you look at any of the management plans you find places, some of them many places, where they fell well short of their goals and objectives. There simply isn't the funding and in many cases the means to hit all of the goals and objectives.

Dick Bodenhorn
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post #80 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by R. S. B. View Post
The Game Commission has a long term management plan for just about everything. It is just that a PLAN.

I don't think they have EVER hit all of the marks on any plan that has ever been put in place. They are always more liberal in the plan than they can implement. If you look at any of the management plans you find places, some of them many places, where they fell well short of their goals and objectives. There simply isn't the funding and in many cases the means to hit all of the goals and objectives.

Dick Bodenhorn
So based on that logic, I guess it's safe to say that their 'management plans' are meaningless and have been through out their history. Why refer to them as management plans when in reality it appears they are really 'management day dreams'?
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