Originally Posted by jamesh
Here are some ideas to help preserve grouse hunting:
1. Plant some seed, fruit or an aspen tree where you shoot a grouse.
2. Trap predators in coverts.
3. Don't shoot grouse in trees or ground.
4. Don't hunt coverts like a pheasant drive (line up and driving areas = busted, spooked birds); Instead stay on logging roads and let the dog work the coverts.
5. Maybe cut the bag limits in areas. This was done with Snowshoe Hares and other game. If the flush rates are less in certain areas, the bag limit should correlate. Makes sense!
6. Don't hunt roosts...
This is our state bird...let's become good stewards. Any other ideas?
Across the range and not just Pa.:
1) Don't follow up flushes.
2) Don't skirmish line hunt covers...especially applies to deerhunters post-deer season.
3) In areas with an actual late season, consider the damage possible to the bird regardless of harvest....bag limit reduction means little but season reduction can mean much.
4) Since I use dogs, the traps would not be my thing but killing raccoons, et al or forcing the deerhunters to not feed them to breeding fatness...would be a good idea.
5) Urge the NF, and states for that matter, to manage the forests for age class diversity which benefits species beyond the ruffed grouse.
6) Fight the loss of traditional public access on Corporate acreage to the deer/turkey maneouver of Locate/Lease & Lock Up, at every opportunity.
7) View the strength and so needs of a grouse population based upon each local condition rather than on a rangewide perspective which may be more favorable to a hunter.
8) Pray for good weather....hatch and post-hatch.
9) Stop fretting about raptors and address the decline factors that will actually make the most difference...and most importantly...are obtainable.
10) Avoid coming across to the Public in public meetings like a single focus grousehunter...understand the importance of a healthy early successional habitat and push past one's own ox.
11) Require the RGS, if you belong, to continue to consider out-of-the-box thinking like the sadly flawed but well considered WVa Grouse Permit for leased paper lands.
12) Embrace the concept of ...Enough.
13) Throttle the claims, with intelligent counter-science, made by selfish obstructionists like the SELC and Buckeye Forest Council.
14) Understand that one does not have to shoot a ruffed grouse to kill it...each interaction with a grouse carries an effect.
That's a start.