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Hey everyone I'm new to the site from the cleveland Ohio area. Last year a buddy and me did a grouse hunt through allegheny wilderness outfitters in Tionesta. We hunted on our own just had the guide show us a few spots. We ended up finding 2 of our own spots and put up about 15 grouse in a day and a half of hunting. We have gone back 2 times since and have flushed only 1 grouse. Do grouse migrate? or where did they go? I'm new to grouse hunting love the birds I am would pay someone to guide me to few grouse in Tionesta. We hunted off of Town line Rd. mainly off of Rt. 666. Any help would be appreciated
 

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grouse populations fluctuate up and down yearly...Just get out and look for them along forest roads that have gravel on them...
 

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Yep, grouse numbers are down from last year... And I wouldn't post specific spots on the internet...you will put too much pressure in a small area and possibly hurt the population there for years...

Why don't you go through allegheny wilderness outfitters again??

G
 

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Grouse don't migrate but numbers do fluctuate from year to year. Its not uncommon to go to an area that only a few weeks ago you had several flushes and only have a few. If some one by chance hunted that area earlier in the day or the day before you could come up empty. Its important to have an idea on what they might be feeding on and concentrate on those areas first. Since you are new at this make an effort to check the craw of all Ruffs you harvest. You will begin to understand what they feed on and what time of the season they feed on it. Grouse amaze me on what they eat. Not much they won't eat. Where you find them in abundance in the early part of the season you might not in the latter part.

One thing about grouse hunting if you want to consistantly do well you have to do your homework.

Tionesta is a good area. I would concentrate on looking for clearcuts. Not to young but not to old. Ones where the majority of the trees are 1 to 3 inches in diameter. Also there are a lot of barberry bushes in that area. They produce a red berry. This time of year they can be hot.

Question? are you using dogs or just walking them up.
 

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we were just walking them up ourselves. should the clearcuts be thick enough that it's almost inpenetrable? also there are logging areas where the logging companys leave the tree tops on the ground are these good areas?
 

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Grouse will lay in open timber, pines, super thick cuts, beech brush, etc etc.

I am not too big into targeting grouse but often flush 20 plus a day. Especially while bear hunting.

If you wanna come up to Bradford I'd show you more spots than you'd know what to do with. I could limit out right behind my house anytime I'd like to. Common critters up here and not hunted hard.
 

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Cuts in that area are best if they are between 8-15 years old. Still difficult to get through. When walking them up, walk and stop a lot. You will put more birds in the air that way. Ruffs get nervous when you stop and there not sure what your up to. The edge of the cut next to older growth is normally the best area. Cover it all but pay particular to the edges If you can find large areas of Barberry bushes you should have no trouble walking some up. You normally find them in older growth cuts or alot of times along low lying stream beds. Good luck
 

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OHhunter,
Grouse numbers are down a little in some areas,
the best way to see more Grouse is to own a good Grouse dog,
and do your hunting with the dog. Grouse will usually stay in the same mile area of where they were born, unless the food disapates or the Grouse are over predatorized. Grouse coverts depend on food and habitat to survive. You may find Grouse in one area of a mountain during the early part of the season, and almost a mile away in the winter,
due to the winter habitat & food mass. If a Great Horned Owl finds the Covert, the Covert can be damaged severely and have only a few birds remaining alive, lots of different thing influence Grouse covert locations and numbers.
Pine Creek/Dave
 

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ruffedG said:
Yep, grouse numbers are down from last year... And I wouldn't post specific spots on the internet...you will put too much pressure in a small area and possibly hurt the population there for years...

G
If it's only you and Ohhunter I can't imagine the population geting hurt.


Penndraght describes it pretty good. If there are logging roads thru the clear cut they act as an edge also and can be productive
 

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No if only two hunters the population wouldn't get hurt... but to post an area on the internet can ruin it... this post already has 263 views.. If 10% decide to check out a spot posted that is 26 guys and their buddies... could wipe out a spot...easily...

I have seen this happen up north in XX where I have been hunting for 10 years. I guy made a quick film for a local TV station and now the area is amazingly crowded.. Nothing more frustrating that driving half the day just to find a spot without a truck with dog boxes... Birds were ultra spooky from all of the pressure and were widely scattered...
area is ruined...

I have no problem helping a guy out but it should be done via PM...

G
 

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That area has been getting hammered with out of state hunters the last few years. I've seen lots of trucks with dog crates from as far as South Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, NC, and Vermont. Lots of hunters, lots of pressure and as has already been mentioned our grouse numbers are down too. One day this season I counted thirteen rigs with out of state plates parked at various grousey looking spots in that general area.
 

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Hunted that area for the last 25 years and grew up within a half hour of there...but agree it is pretty much done now from what it used to be. A lot of it has to do with the internet. I have been posting on here for a couple of years now and have probably seen this County and a specific town in this County listed a hundred times plus there are guides that work in that area. Back in the 90's it was nothing to move 25-40 grouse in that area in a day. Not any more...however, a lot of it has to do with the habitat. All of the great cover that was there 10-15 years ago is marginal at best (even the road you mentioned). Plus, back then, I could go for an entire grouse season and hunt within a half hour of there and rarely see another bird hunter. Again, not anymore. About 10 years ago, I was in that very area you mentioned. There is a smaller clearcut in there that takes about an hour to hunt so it is pretty small and the road dead ends at the clearcut so if a vehicle was parked there (or at least I would) you should know that someone was in there. Plus it is so small they would probably hear you and your dogs in there. Anyway, I guess the guide and his clients didn't care as I see them coming in right behind me. Anyhow, I turn to swing around and my one setter goes on point. I start heading to her and as I approach the grouse busts out and I hear several shots and see the bird fall. Anyhow, I gave the guide and his clients from NJ a lesson on hunting etiquitte (to put it mildly). Good news was a moved about a dozen birds before those idiots came in there. One last thing, grouse numbers are way down this year, IMO.
 

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Barberry,
I could not have said it any better. The Bird Number are way down this year. And there seem to be some many more hunters.
 

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Yup, a lot more hunters Pheasants. Looking back at my records over the last 25 years, my flush rate is in the bottom third in all of those years. Not the worst year but by far not the best. Gotta push a lot farther into the thickets. I am kinda glad that we are getting all of this snow...give the birds a break. I actually think the lack of snow last year hurt the bird population for this year.
 

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Barberry,
You're right about the internet and other public information drawing more hunters to certain areas. And you're also correct that this will impact grouse populations in a specific area, such as one specific clearcut or all the good spots along one forest road.

However, I'd suggest that the much bigger issue at play in this discussion is the maturing habitat on the ANF. If you're from the area, I don't have to waste typing time explaining all the reasons that keep the USFS from cutting trees, but the bottom line is that fewer logging projects take place on the Forest each year, encompassing ever-smaller plots, and so less grouse habitat comes into being.

You're exactly right about the '90s being a good time to hunt grouse up there. Setting aside the impact of normal population cycles, that period came about 10-15 years after the most recent peak logging activities on the ANF, the late '70s and early '80s. Since then the USFS has been so mired in lawsuits and related hassles from groups like the Sierra Club that they can't hardly get a tree cut.

It's an unfortunate case of emotion trumping science (stop me if you've heard that one before). Sadly, though, it's the wildlife - and by extension, us - who pay the price.

Of course, the birds pay with their lives so that cost is a lot more dear.
 

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This year it seems like there are more and more hunters. And this Internet thing is just something. I know myself i have stopped posting alot. i have only posted one picture.

I wasn't hunting back then in the 70s-80s. i really only have been hunting grouse now for like 18 year now. and i really start hunting them alot harder the last 15 years. And i do keep tract of lots of things on the birds. and where i have been. and flush rates. I have to say this year the birds are way down. and the hunters are way up. i even keep tract of how many hunters i see.
 

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Pheasants,
If you were hunting grouse 15 years ago around the ANF (and from your location, I'm guessing you were), then you were likely benefitting from the young forest that regenerated after the higher levels of cutting in the '70s and '80s. They were cut at that time and then 10 or 15 years later, voila, birdies!

Note: I REALLY don't want to get into a discussion of deer browsing impacts on the length of clearcut recovery. That's a factor, especially back then, but I want to keep my scalp!

To be clear, I'm not at all discounting the fact that there may be more hunters in these locations today or that the internet is an incredible tool (good or bad) to help facilitate that. Again, it's pretty simple math: fewer locations that hold birds = more bird hunters crowding those locations.

Unfortunately, with all the factors that now make logging on public land less attractive, I don't see that trend heading in the right direction at this moment.
 

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Grousechaser,
We were talking more grouse hunters.

I was hunting it in the 90s. And the Deer drowsing did have a impacted not to get into it.

And I think the ANF needs to start cutting a lot more. Right now they are cutting around .01% of the ANF. They should be cutting around 5%. Wish there was something we could do about it. But i dont see them cutting more anytime soon.
 

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pheasants said:
This year it seems like there are more and more hunters. And this Internet thing is just something. I know myself i have stopped posting alot. i have only posted one picture.

I wasn't hunting back then in the 70s-80s. i really only have been hunting grouse now for like 18 year now. and i really start hunting them alot harder the last 15 years. And i do keep tract of lots of things on the birds. and where i have been. and flush rates. I have to say this year the birds are way down. and the hunters are way up. i even keep tract of how many hunters i see.
I have asked you several time to come up hunting, lots of birds this year and didnt even see another hunter. Next year you have to get up to hunt. 131 flushes so far, I think you could handle that
 
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