Grouse hunting questions - Page 4 - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #31 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntergunner View Post
Been out several times, different areas, flushed 2 Grouse and many woodcock, all in 3D, mostly Monroe County.
I decide not to shoot any grouse in my areas until I see the population rebound. I went out with my dog (no shotgun) last week and covered some prime grouse cover. We spent about 2 hours in good cover and another 2 hours in marginal cover between the prime areas. We did not flush a single grouse. We did put up a couple woodcock. It is very concerning to me.

I do have a cover near my place that has some grouse in it. I don't hunt it but there is a guy in there every Saturday. I met him and he seems like a nice guy. I just hope he leaves some for the breeding season or pushes them into some of the surrounding areas with decent cover.
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post #32 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 07:42 AM
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The Pocono area was never good for grouse since I've been chasing them the past 30 years. And with all the vacation/tourist development taking place it will get even worse. If I headed north, it was to Bradford county, which was seldom. Amazingly, I found far more grouse in SE Pa than I did in NE Pa, and I bet that would still hold today.

Not shooting grouse wont save them, if they have no habitat to move to, the population will slowly fade away. Hopefully the SF and GC's in the area will start to do their jobs and the grouse will recover.
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Plenty of scouting and good habitat makes for a great hunt.

Jeff
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post #33 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 03:25 PM
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I have had similar experiences in the Poconos. Even in seemingly good cover I have had poor grouse hunting there. I was in Norther Schuylkill County last week when I couldn't find a bird. Those areas usually have a few birds partly because the early successional cover around the coal properties. I have hunted Bradford and found good numbers of birds. It's been a few years since I have been up there though because it is about a 3.5 hour ride each way for me. That's a lot of driving for a day trip.

I doubt I will hunt grouse in PA this year. I won't shoot at the few local ones that I hope will be seed for a recovery. The season is also so short and I have a young dog in her first hunting season. My shooting is so bad lately that I would probably miss all of the grouse anyway. For this year, I am focusing on pheasant so I can consistently shoot birds over the dog. She is far from perfect but she is really getting turned on to hunting from her exposure so far.
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post #34 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Weekend report...I took my 12 & 7 yr old sons with me this weekend. We put almost 7 miles on. We didn’t bust thru a lot of the thicker areas, but we did get a chance to check on some historically good areas. We didn’t find a lot of food, but there was some sign of birds, and we had one flush for the day. They got some shots in on some squirrels, so they were happy, but I am getting concerned about the numbers up there. I have a buddy who is looking to work out his dog, if I can talk him into staying at our “primitive” cabin, I would be interested to see if a dog could get on the birds better than I can on foot.
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post #35 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 03:52 PM
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If you were walking thru historically good areas, i wouldn't expect you too see many grouse. And while there are always some exceptions, anything older than 15 years old will be too old for grouse, there just isnt the stem density to provide security from predators. The exception would be lots of salads on the ground and a younger cut close by. I've seen covers hold lots of grouse one year and be empty the following year. Look for multiple cuts in the same area from 5-15 years old with lots if greens on the ground or soft mast to eat; they are not eating buds yet. You find that and you'll find grouse.
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Plenty of scouting and good habitat makes for a great hunt.

Jeff
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post #36 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Lostagain, thanks for the tip!
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post #37 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-04-2019, 10:16 PM
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I spent the last few weeks hunting in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia and I saw a lot of grouse... It seems to me that the west nile virus is not having the effect on grouse that we think we are seeing here in PA... I think the biologists of the northeastern states need to get together to see the large picture of the grouse population in each state...The National Forest is mostly older stage timber but there are a few 20-35 year old clearcuts...
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post #38 of 39 (permalink) Old Today, 04:58 PM
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Gotta admire our biologist's "out of the box" thinking. With a strong NW cold front coming in Tuesday evening and another cold front next Sunday bringing snow, it should really move the woodcock down. We could easily have 4-6 inches on the ground by Monday evening allowing for the woodcock to snow roost to avoid predators.

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

Jeff
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post #39 of 39 (permalink) Old Today, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burk313 View Post
I spent the last few weeks hunting in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia and I saw a lot of grouse...
Everyone has a different definition for "a lot", and that definition has shifted over the years. Many deer hunters I encounter consider "a lot" to be more than 2 grouse seen over a week of hunting. Ten years ago, my definition of "a lot" was more than 30 grouse up in a day. Now my definition of "a lot" is more than 12 grouse in a day.

What is your definition of a lot of grouse in GWNF?


Quote:
Originally Posted by burk313 View Post
...The National Forest is mostly older stage timber but there are a few 20-35 year old clearcuts...
Another case of semantics. I consider any clearcut made more that 20 years ago to be "older stage timber". Seems like grouse numbers drop significantly when it's been more than 15 years since they've cut and are so sparse after 20 years that it's not worth hunting.
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