I know right? Grouse in Adams county???
Yesterday was another wonderful afternoon. Loaded up the pooch and hit the road for a short drive to the closet grouse cover I know of. It's been about 15 years since I hunted this area with my old man. We'd get a few every year out of the area. Boy have things changed since then.
I didn't recognize a lot of the area. DCNR or someone is doing a lot of work in the area. It's nice to see a lot more habitat in place that should bring in more grouse in the next few years.
This is the path back to one of the covers.
Found this on the edge of the thick cover over looking the open woods.
We made it to the thick stuff. Appears thicker than what I remember.
We had no luck in this first patch of cover. It is broken into pieces that are close together. Going out the back side is a draw that is still open woods. Maybe 50 yards wide until you get into the next thick piece. Ran into this between the covers. Same story between the next to spots. All in all found 4 make shift blinds in this small area.
We worked this area for about an hour with no luck on finding any grouse. I did find some empty shot shells in the area though so there might be some birds around.
Decided to work our way around and back toward the trail that leads in. There used to be a nice laurel thicket down the hill. And sure enough, we found it.
Not long after hitting the laurel Willies bell stopped making noise. I walked into his general direction but could not see much in the thick laurel. I must have been closer than I thought because I heard the flush of a grouse but did not see it. A moment later the bell came back to life and Willie was off giving chase.
We worked the area a while longer without any more bird finds. Willie did have another point, but it was unproductive.
We hit the trail and worked our way back to the truck and came along a hillbilly christmas tree.
Decided to work the other side of the main road before heading to another area down the road. And I am so glad that I did.
The path leading in.
Willie doing his job. It was an unproductive point, but Willie was sure there was something there. My guess is a bird flushed from that spot before we got close.
But look at what we found. They must have logged the top of this mountain. It is so thick in this area that I could not really get through in a lot of places.
Willies bell stopped down over the hill. I veered off the path ans started down over. I could just barely see Willie on point about 75 yards down the steep hill. I started working my way down to him. I got to within 30 yards of Willie and heard a grouse flush. Again I didn't even get a glimpse of the bird. So 0 for 2, but 2 grouse flushes in 2 hours is not bad for this area. Sure isn't Tioga/Potter numbers, but it isn't 3.5 hours away either.
We worked the area for another 2 hours. It is a very large piece of cover and slow going in many spots.
Someone must of had to Pattern their shotgun.
And for all you hotspotters.
On the way back out to the truck I decided to work the hillside and bottom. About half way back to the truck Willie went on point again. He was about 60 yards to my 10 o'clock. I worked my over to him. I got to about 10 yards and started to circle around him. I was looking at the direction Willie was pointing and had to duck under some saplings to get to the brush he was pointing. As I was ducking I saw movement ahead of me. The grouse ran from it's cover and flushed after teh short sprint. I never even got a chance to raise the shotgun, but at least I saw it this time.
We hunted for a while longer without anymore bird finds. All in all we hunted for 4.5 hours and moved 3 birds. had a wonderful time out there. After finding birds and seeing the habitat that is and will be in the near future, I probably will not shoot any birds in this area in hopes that they can repopulate.
We also ran a cross a lot of these. Can't be what I think they are. I heard there wasn't any deer left in 5A.
Found a bunch of buck rubs and fresh Turkey scratch to. So i'll close this out with some random pics of neat things that we found in the middle of the forest.
Hundreds of tree tubes throughout the bottom area. Appear to be white or black oak.
A small orchard or what appear to be Hawthorn and pear.
Another wonderful day in the PA wilds. I admit, I'm addicted to bird hunting with Willie.