Sad...........really - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Sad...........really

I was poking around my normal forum topics when I clicked on this one for the very first time ever. I've only been a member for about 8 years.

I no longer spent any real time small game hunting, mostly because of lack of time. In the time I do get into the woods, either in south western Columbia county or up for Bear in Clinton/Potter/Lycoming, I simply do not see any more grouse. I can't remember the last time I flushed a shoot-able grouse in any of my ramblings. Not seeing much press from the PGC about the demise of the grouse population. Personally, I think it's due to the following:

1) They compete directly with Turkey for food. Turkey can virtually clean out acres of woodland of all editable foot stuffs! It smells like a construction site they move so much earth.
2) A marked increase in the overall predator population, from raptors to coyotes and everything in between. There are more hawks in the sky than ever in my lifetime. Trapping and furtaking in general is way down in the last generations. Fox populations are way up as a result. The only thing keeping the Fox population in check in certain places is the coyotes. None of this does any good for the poor old Ruffie!
3) and..........way down on the list is probably loss of habitat due to human population growth.
4) other environmental factors................maybe acid rain?

What's even sadder is the lack of true "grouse" hunters. The fact that there is only 4 posts on this forum is case in point. I always wanted to be a grouse hunter. It's kinda like the fly fisherman of fishing. My problem is I'm left eye dominant but shoot righty and never could hit the broad side of a barn with a scatter gun and so I tired of missing them in college up at Lock Haven. I once went 1 for 13 up there! Not a season to be proud of!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I find it sad that state of grouse hunting in PA.

Anyone else share my point of view?

Big LSWC's rule
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 10:21 PM
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Re: Sad...........really

Try checking out the "Small Game" forum Pete. Plenty of posts there about grouse hunting.

As to the demise of grouse, I don't see it. As the woods change , so do the grouse numbers. Try some new areas. I only recently started hunting/learning my way around a new area in northern PA and have been very pleased with the bird numbers I'm seeing.

What constitutes a "real" grouse hunter to you?
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 02:15 PM
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Re: Sad...........really

Habitat, habitat, habitat!!! Grouse thrive in early-mid successional forests. One the forest turns into a closed canopy with older growth then grouse numbers will decline. Our PGC is doing great things on our Northern Tier game lands. Too many people who don't know anything about habitat hate seeing forests cut down. That's the best thing that can be done for grouse and all species of game/non-game animals. Our forests need to be in constant change to prevent a monolithic block of "same" habitat.

In an age of universal lies, speaking the truth is a revolutionary act - George Orwell
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-27-2013, 01:35 AM
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Re: Sad...........really

Quote:
Originally Posted by stackbarrel
Habitat, habitat, habitat!!! Grouse thrive in early-mid successional forests. One the forest turns into a closed canopy with older growth then grouse numbers will decline. Our PGC is doing great things on our Northern Tier game lands. Too many people who don't know anything about habitat hate seeing forests cut down. That's the best thing that can be done for grouse and all species of game/non-game animals. Our forests need to be in constant change to prevent a monolithic block of "same" habitat.
+1!!
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-27-2013, 01:33 PM
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Re: Sad...........really

back in 2008 I BOUGHT 43 ACRES, you could shoot a chipmunk at 250 yards, all mature timber with very little understory, tons of huge aspens, 100' tall, I nocked down a load of them, hinge cut more, put in some clear cuts, and now, I flush grouse regularly, never had 'em before, but I do now.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-27-2013, 04:22 PM
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Re: Sad...........really

Uh, Crow Master, would you mind giving me exact directions to this alleged acreage so that I can verify your claims?

All kidding aside, what you did is just what we need. Aspen cuts in particular are a huge benefit for those thunderchickens.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-30-2013, 11:51 PM
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Re: Sad...........really

What would be a good food source to plant for Grouse in the Northern tier, maybe wheat or rye and let it go to seed?
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 09:22 PM
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Re: Sad...........really

The problem is that our PA forests are not being timbered. Because we do not have good logging roads in place, timber companies have a hard time making a profit. Sure it can be spotty, but nothing is cut consistently for a cyclical timber harvest. Also, paper companies are not here as well. Paper is less in demand because of computers, email, etc. We need more burning! Smokey the Bear was the worst thing to happen to wildlife!
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 03:18 PM
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Re: Sad...........really

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMacMahon
I was poking around my normal forum topics when I clicked on this one for the very first time ever. I've only been a member for about 8 years.

I no longer spent any real time small game hunting, mostly because of lack of time. In the time I do get into the woods, either in south western Columbia county or up for Bear in Clinton/Potter/Lycoming, I simply do not see any more grouse. I can't remember the last time I flushed a shoot-able grouse in any of my ramblings. Not seeing much press from the PGC about the demise of the grouse population. Personally, I think it's due to the following:

1) They compete directly with Turkey for food. Turkey can virtually clean out acres of woodland of all editable foot stuffs! It smells like a construction site they move so much earth.
2) A marked increase in the overall predator population, from raptors to coyotes and everything in between. There are more hawks in the sky than ever in my lifetime. Trapping and furtaking in general is way down in the last generations. Fox populations are way up as a result. The only thing keeping the Fox population in check in certain places is the coyotes. None of this does any good for the poor old Ruffie!
3) and..........way down on the list is probably loss of habitat due to human population growth.
4) other environmental factors................maybe acid rain?

What's even sadder is the lack of true "grouse" hunters. The fact that there is only 4 posts on this forum is case in point. I always wanted to be a grouse hunter. It's kinda like the fly fisherman of fishing. My problem is I'm left eye dominant but shoot righty and never could hit the broad side of a barn with a scatter gun and so I tired of missing them in college up at Lock Haven. I once went 1 for 13 up there! Not a season to be proud of!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I find it sad that state of grouse hunting in PA.

Anyone else share my point of view?
I don't share your point of view.

1) I don't believe grouse compete with Turkey for food. While their ranges certainly overlap, grouse prefer the early successional habitat while Turkey prefer more open woods. Grouse each such a wide variety of food that I doubt that a grouse has ever starved to death.

3) Loss of habitat is the major issue with the grouse population, but not so much because of the human population growth. More so because all "regenerating farmland" has already re-generated and younger forests have matured. There are however many places in Northern PA where logging is being done at an incredible rate. The upcoming 20 years are going to excede the prior 20 years in quality habitat for grouse.

There are still plenty of true grouse hunters out there, guys that hunt grouse to the exclusion of anything else is in season. It's in their blood and they're still quite successful at finding and shooting grouse in PA.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 03:33 PM
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Re: Sad...........really

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonM
What would be a good food source to plant for Grouse in the Northern tier, maybe wheat or rye and let it go to seed?
While grouse will eat almost anything, they aren't "grain eaters" by choice. You can't plant foodplots for them like you would for deer. The exception would be if you want to re-seed a logging road. In that case, the PA ruffed grouse habitat management brochure states: Newly created logging roads can be planted with 50 lbs/acre of wheat (if planting in fall) or oats (if planting in spring, summer), 8 lbs/ acre of crimson clover, 2-4 lbs/ acre of white or ladino clover, and 2 lbs/ acre of trefoil.

If you want to attract grouse, doing habitat work (creating openings in the canopy) is the best thing you can do. If you already have the early successional habitat and your want to plant a food source, I would think some type of soft mast would be best. Crabapple, hawthorns, dogwood, grapevines, juneberry would be some examples.
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