Grouse Hunting Survey - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-01-2012, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Grouse Hunting Survey

Groue hunters, how would you rate the number of birds seen this year? Did you notice any difference in the number of young bird to old bird ratio? Just trying to get a handle on the grouse numbers this year and how the wet spring may have affected them. If your location is not listed please give county where you spend most of your time. Thanks.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-01-2012, 11:41 PM
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Re: Grouse Hunting Survey

I do hunt grouse alot.still adding up my numbers. But i can say this. birds are down in this area 50%. And there were like NO young birds. I have talked with 7's other people. and they are saying the same thing. NO young birds. and bird numbers are Down. PGC does do a Survey. and PGC was saying grouse number will be down 30%-40% this year. I say its higher then that. my flushing rate per hour is down. with no young birds. ( And my area.. northcentral and northwest)
everything is done by flushing rate per hour.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 12:24 AM
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Re: Grouse Hunting Survey

This season we definitely had less young birds killed,
especially after the 1st part of Grouse season. We still had plenty of Grouse on the northern tier, the farther toward the west in Potter the greater the Grouse population this season. Same held true for Tioga County.
However south around the Kettle Creek Area both the Grouse and Woodcock numbers were very good this season. North toward the NY line the population thinned out.
In general the farther west you went on the Northern tier, the better the Grouse population this season, and the more young Grouse we saw and took.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 02:24 AM
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Re: Grouse Hunting Survey

Lynn I hunted primarily in the northwest and northcentral zones. Early part of the season it quickly became apparent that if there was much beechnut around and you wanted to see many birds you had better concentrate on it. I can't remember a year that the beechs produced any better. I think because of this it scattered the birds over a wider area. I shot several and missed many more in large stands of beech early on. For example: Three large cuts in the NC zone that are mostly oak and cherry and have held several birds the last couple years seemed almost vacant early in the season. Had three flushes in them the first time I hunted them. A stones throw from them is one of the areas with beech that I mentioned earlier. Had I not found the birds in the beech I might not have returned to this area this season. A week after Christmas a friend and I had 33 flushes in those three cuts. The birds had returned to feeding in traditional cover.
Nuff rambling. My take on this season is that some areas of the NW and NC either had a poor hatch or high loss of broods while other areas did fairly well. Coupled with the large beech crop it made for an interesting year. I definately killed more mature birds this year than any in the recent past. All in all a good one for me.

To put a number on it I would say My flush rate overall was down 20 to 30 percent. Nothing like it has been at times in the 80's and 90's but still good. Just have to work a little harder.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 03:01 AM
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Re: Grouse Hunting Survey

Flush rates were definately down for me also. Hunted north central PA. Seems like I had a very hard time finding the birds this year. As stated not a whole lot of young birds taken maybe four of my 13 were young birds the rest were mature.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 11:57 AM
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Re: Grouse Hunting Survey

I target rabbits, but grouse is a bonus. I would say we flushed the same amount this year as in the past 2. I hunt Butler/Armstrong/Clarion county. We always flush birds in rabbit cover.

During our hare hunt we flushed between 80-100 birds in 4 days. Some are probably the same birds re-flushing but none the less, a good week.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 01:08 PM
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Re: Grouse Hunting Survey

I have not done my averages for the states I hunt however, I concur with what has already been said. My PA covers were down significantly as compared to last year. My numbers in other states were also down. If I had to guess I would say 30-35% relative to last year. I also concur that numbers seemed higher the further north west you went but these are just point estimates.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 04:49 PM
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Re: Grouse Hunting Survey

My flush rate was 17% lower than last year. While I didn't specifically track it, I estimate over 75% of the birds I killed this year were over 1 year old. I hunt counties categorized as Northwest PA.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:43 PM
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Re: Grouse Hunting Survey

between dad and i, we ended up with 13 grouse this year all walk and stalk. 3 of them were young birds it seems

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 07:17 PM
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Re: Grouse Hunting Survey

I hunt Potter Co. near the NY line. Above average year for me. My flush numbers were down this year but only due to getting the flu while I was up hunting and missing about 4 days. Otherwise it would have been a great year. Seen lots of young birds in July and August and in to September. Of the 5 birds I killed this year only 1 was a juvy. Could have killed more birds but I chose not to. I am going to finish my log this weekend I will update with final numbers then
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