I Was out Saturday with the dogs. We normally get 13 grouse in the air. We only flushed one. It was windy and fresh snow only a inch or two. Do the birds normally stay in the trees on these days? We hunted everywhere with no luck. Thanks.
If I had to pick one day not to hunt Ruffs it would be the mourning after a snowstorm. Many times they do not even come off the roost. They feed heavily just prior to the storm. They know its coming. It is also the time they are preyed upon the most. Predators sense it too and take advantage of it.
We hunted Saturday 9;30 TILL 5:00 in cuts that are prime. These cuts see little pressure do to there remoteness. We moved 9 all day. Normally its twenty plus. Most all came off ground roost and never seen a track all day. I considered it lucky we had that many flushes. Have some heavy stands of pines in the area that probably held most of the birds. Just doesnt offer much dog work. Although spruce trees that limb to the ground can offer up some great dog work just difficult shooting.
Only connected with one bird in the mourning and her crop was a full as it could get. Im guessing due the time and its fullness it had to be from the afternoon before.
So it's more the fresh snow then the wind. That's sounds good. My boss let me have off Friday. I can't wait to get back out there. First year really doing any kind of 6 hour hike/hunts. I'm getting into some birds just not connecting much.
Windy days are always a problem. Birds tend to be nervous. If they know your there and have trouble pinpointing your position do to the wind there gittin out of Dodge. More times than not at the edge of or just out of shooting.
2 of the 4 flushes we had Saturday came from way out front in the trees. Kinda makes it tough for the dogs to pin a bird that's sitting up in a hemlock. The 2 ground flushes were close quarters, one pointed, but didn't offer a shot.
We had 4 flushes all day (2 from the ground and 2 from the trees). The 2 on the ground were tucked in beneath banks out of the wind. One of the tree top birds took off only after I was directly under the tree. I barely heard it flush. The other bird made the mistake of darting down between the trees, 1 dead bird. We only cut 3 or 4 sets of fresh tracks all day.
The last decent day of grouse hunting was the first day of bear. My points and flushes are down from last year and I blame the weather. I can only chase birds on weekends. I have flushed more birds out of trees than the ground lately. I went from 25-30 a day to 4-8 a day. It doesn't matter that much I still love getting out. After snow storms I do better the following afternoon than what I do the morning after. I agree that they roost longer after storms. I ran my dogs last Sunday 2 days after a snow storm and flushed 7 in 4hrs all singles. Saturday 4 single flushes all day. I'm taking Friday off and gonna hit it hard.