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The week prior has been spent pestering PA State Foresters with emails , fellow HPA's with pm’s and fiddling with the “way-back” button on GE. (Productivity at work takes a serious dent) I’m new to grouse game and I need all the help I can get.

The night before my excitement is high. I’m more of a visual packer; I’ll start off with a list, but in the end I just dump all my gear into a pile and start picking out what want to bring (not necessarily what I need to bring)



I wake up way before sunrise and drive north following the western bank of certain river in PA for a few hours and watch the sunrise along the way.



Anticipation is high when I finally turn off the paved road and onto the dirt, climbing upwards trying my best to ignore the views and keep all 4 wheels on the all too small shelf of a “road”





GE does not do the “Spot” justice. Boots on the ground is where it’s at.



Being a noob, I think I spent way too much time busting thru Mt Laurel jungles with my feet barely touching the ground.
Willow had some points, but the grouse just ran underneath. One of the thinner spots.



We hunted the cuts, no birds



My favorites were the hemlock edges and as it turns out, the birds also. Willow had some nice points and I had some not so nice shots.



"huh, I could've swore I hit that [censored] thing"



In full disclosure, the truck flushed the most birds driving between spots. So we tried the roads



Lunch was spent strategizing against a bird with a pea sized brain. My strategy failed.



Willow was winding down so I finished the day with some recon for the next trip north. There’s a beautiful looking beach cut that will deserve my full attention next time.
I finished the day out here with a cup of coffee before the long ride back south.

 

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Thanks for taking me along and better luck next time.

We all have had days like that, but a bad day of hunting is better than a good day at work anytime.
 

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Very nice PE. Looks like you are doing things right. It starts with finding the right spots, the dog doing her thing, getting some shooting and finally killing some birds. Sounds like every time out you're doing better on each one of the "stepping stones". The more often you get out, the more you'll learn and the better you and the dog will become. The reward is truly worth the effort.

Thanks for taking us along.
 

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Nice pictures. I hope to make a similar trip in the late season for grouse.

Lost- did you get out for any local birds this fall? Some woodcock have been seen in the area.
 

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Great pics. If you are not finding many grouse try creek bottoms. I have been hunting thickets and they have not produced many birds. I have found many birds in tall woods with forearm sized under growth (beechnut). The ground cover is not very thick. I stay away from laurel. Haven't had luck with laurel and my dog and I hate walking through it. In my opinion birds don't like thick under growth(laurel), they struggle flying in and out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the encouragement guys. I'll be back up north this weekend to put to use some lessons learned from this past trip.

Bwire
I haven't been after the local WC, so far my outings this season have been real limited due to non- hunting family outings.

But from here on out its looking good.
 

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I shot one in a hemlock stand this year. Nothing short of a miracle that I hit it, to be fair.
 

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Lost,
Great Photo essay, I loved it! Some time pay me a visit and I will take you for a walk thru our Grouse woods here in
Potter/Tioga. I loved the pictures, the reason you were flushing Grouse along the roads is that Grouse are an edge bird, logging roads are prime habitat in many cases. We got to get you a good light double gun with DT also.
Love your Setter!
Pine Creek/Dave
 

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Nice P/E. Beautiful dog. I get the driving thing. Last Friday I drove 2.5 hours each way to hunt for 4 hours. On Saturday I drove for 3 hours each way. My closest "local" cover is 1.5 hours each way. I'm not complaining, it's worth it to find some birds.
 

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Nice to get an honestly accounted PE (some make me wonder
) and I say it was certainly a respectable day. I would not consider yourself a noob, after that weekend as (IMO) the old grouse hands can certainly relate and could compare their current notes. Murphy's Law has ample amounts of opportunity to come to full fruition in the enigmatic world of ruffed grouse.
 
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