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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning to all. I'm a fellow PA hunter, but am also a hunting guide in Maine. I just purchased a hunting lodge in Downeast Maine, and I guide for bear/deer. I am looking to promote the upland bird hunting here, as it is a newer passion of mine. My question is open ended, but basically, if you were paying to go on a grouse hunt, what are you hoping for? (Besides the obvious:) do you want to hunt over your own dogs? Do you want more of a DIY hunt? What would you expect to pay per day with meals included? Would a combo grouse/deer hunt be appealing? Etc...any input is welcomed! Thanks, Josh
 

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Plenty of close access to open hunting paper company ground (vast acres of various aged cuts), a good value with clean linens, electric and indoor plumbing (less common than you'd think in some areas of the north country), a dog-friendly (no additional charges) operation with room to stake dogs outside and in-cabin boot dryers, efficiency washer/dryers, and outdoor gas grills and fire pits seal the deal. Those Verizon service boxes that use phone lines/internet services are also a huge plus. A few pointers on least pressured areas and what they're being found in or near (food and cover type, near water, etc).
 

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Want him to shoot and clean the birds for you while he's at it
 

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Clean, warm cabins & beds with electric, fridge, stove & indoor plumbing. At a good weekly price and dog friendly too. Coffee maker is pretty essential as well. A TV is always welcome. Cell phone service ain't a big deal to me. Nearby access to lands open to hunting and a good grouse population is obviously a must.

I'm pretty much a DIY guy with my own dog. I also do my own cooking and really just want a clean cabin with its own shower, crapper & kitchen at a great value with plenty of land to hunt. Knowledge of good areas to suggest is a plus too.
 

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You people are tough, no wonder no one ever wants to rent my cabin.

No electric, no running water, no tv, no cell service, no shower, and you have to know how to use an old fashioned percolator. You need to bring your own sleeping bag, and there is no washer but you can hang your wet clothing around the cabin to dry. It does have a grill, for those old enough to remember what charcoal is.

There is plenty of public land, but the hunting has gone downhill drastically. But come Oktober, there is no place I'd rather be.
 

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If a place had excellent hunting and was very reasonably priced, all I'd really need is a clean, dry cabin. If there's not indoor plumbing I do require a CLEAN, maintained outhouse or an equally clean & maintained shower/bath house. I can go without a lot of creature comforts for good hunting or fishing but few things sour my mood more than a sketchy bathroom or outhouse.
 

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All of the hunts that I have gone on have been free lance, unguided, and used my own dogs. I think there is a certain satisfaction that comes with doing your own research and being successful. I wouldn't be opposed to a guided hunt but using my own dogs is a must. I have no desire for a combo deer/grouse hunt. I'm in for the upland birds. I have however, done upland and waterfowl combo which I enjoyed. I agree with Ryan...I need a clean place to stay. I'd prefer running water. I've hunted Maine, Minnesota twice, North Dakota twice, and Montana and don't think I've ever spent more than $1200 all in, food, licenses, meals, fuel, etc.
 

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LostAgain said:
You people are tough, no wonder no one ever wants to rent my cabin.

No electric, no running water, no tv, no cell service, no shower, and you have to know how to use an old fashioned percolator. You need to bring your own sleeping bag, and there is no washer but you can hang your wet clothing around the cabin to dry. It does have a grill, for those old enough to remember what charcoal is.

There is plenty of public land, but the hunting has gone downhill drastically. But come Oktober, there is no place I'd rather be.
My kind of camp, just one step up from my tent. Supper on the grill and light from a Coleman lantern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great input, my place seems to fit the bill so far. I'll be spending August and September finding out where the birds are. I have 60,000 acres of bear hunting leases that start 1 mile from the cabin. Indoor plumbing, electric, heat,...I'm debating on putting a tv there, full kitchen, etc. I'm about 30 minutes NW of Acadia Nat'l Park, so the scenery isn't half bad either.
 

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My kind of camp, just one step up from my tent. Supper on the grill and light from a Coleman lantern.
Well I didnt want to tell them I do have running water, you just have to press the button on 5 gallon cooler and water runs out. And, while there is no plumbing I do have a composting toilet on the inside(keeps the better half happy when she comes up for a weekend). Plus there is electricity(2 lights), courtesy of a generator and a marine battery.

Really, just funnin with the other posts mentioning some of the comforts of home.
 

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I just sold one like that, Lost Again, so there must still be a market for them! Gas lights, heat, fridge, stove, etc. It did have a nice mountain stone fireplace and a gas grill out on the deck and the outhouse didn't gag you when the call of nature came! Never had trouble getting guys to come up for a grouse/woodcock hunt either!
 

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I have to agree with Lycos post. I'd want what he has, however, the one caveat is if you have the option you could offer a DIY, or fully guided hunt. The DIY is perfect for guys like us who are hunting idiots with our own dogs, but you could potentially appeal to a group of city suits who are recreational shooters that just want a weekend away to spend in the woods by day, drink beer at night and get away from the family.

Unfortunately for those of us with 7 day a week salaried jobs I'm working even while hunting sometimes, so while cell service isn't a necessity it's definitely a preference and could be the difference between someone picking your place or not.
 

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Lots of birds and cover. That's about it. I'll deal with hunger, cold, discomfort, etc. as long as there are good numbers of birds. I use my own dog.
 

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Dont want much, do ya?


Now the interesting question, what are considered good numbers, when hunting out of state? Traveling to an area to spend a long weekend hunting in state?
 

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At this point I consider good numbers to be just about anything more than what I've so far been able to flush here on my best day.


I'd love to do a long weekend of wild upland hunting here in PA but so far our legislature with the support of the Farm Bureau and sadly some hunters don't want to allow that.

Right now I can go to a gorgeous area of Maine, rent a beautiful, warm cabin with indoor plumbing, shower & kitchen and buy my hunting license, pay for round trip fuel costs & tolls, food and drink (inclduing beer and liquor) and ammo and hunt an area of publicly open hunting land where I can get at least a dozen grouse flushes per dayand often many more (plus at least as many woodcock flushes) all for a grand total of $500-600!

Believe me man, I would really, really love to be able to do that in PA or even somsrhing close to it but I just haven't found that I can. Heck, I'd appreciate finding a place in PA where I can reasonably rent a cabin for a long weekend and pretty much count on getting 8-10 grouse flushes per day for 3-4 days. The place I got to in Maine rents the cabin for $230 per week.
 

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If ya want to hunt Sunday, head up to NY. Some nice areas up around Binghamton, you should be able to have your boots on the ground within 2.5 hours. You'll find very few hunters on a Sunday, and even less after 12 noon as they all go home to watch football.

As for cabins in Pa, look into the state park cabins, they rent cheap in the off season. I dont think pets are allowed, but with one dog that doesnt bark, I bet you can get away with it. Most of the counties in Pa also have visitor bureaus, reach out to them, they might know of some cheaper cabins to rent. Much better than losing two days of hunting sitting in a vehicle.

The other alternative is to move to grouse country, or buy a cabin. Then you can go anytime you want.
 

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Oh, I'm real close to buying a NY hunting license. Almost did it last year. I buy a NY fishing license every year and honestly it's a bargain and I've been told the same thing regarding the hunting license. NY is a sportsman's paradise IMO. PA could be, and arguably is with all it's public access for hunting & fishing but it gets a big knock from me for still clinging to the ban on Sunday hunting. Yes, Maine also does not allow Sunday hunting but for a bird hunter (especially a travelling non-resident) I think it more than makes up for that with great access, consistently good to outstanding bird numbers and very affordable accomodations. So easy to stay there a full week, using Sundays as the travel days, for about the same rental cost as I've seen for just a 3-4 night cabin stay in PA.

Appreciate the tips Lost, and last fall I was doing some research into it. Found some places that were a possibility but still not the "deal" I get in Maine. I will continue to search and gather information. The state cabins looked like they would be the way to go for affordable accomodations but "no pets" and "no alcohol" puts a damper on it, especially the no pets. I'm not looking to party it up with a wild drinking party but it is really nice to get back to the cabin after hunting all day and relax for the evening with some cocktails or beers.

The eventual plan is indeed to buy/build a cabin in PA grouse country but I'm likely about 7yrs from being able to do so. I need to get my student loans paid off first.
 

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I think 2 flushes an hour on average is good. I had a time where I had 16 flushes in about an hour and 15 minutes once. I also thing a big part of the allure of going out of state is just variety.

I know you get a lot of flushes where you are, Lost. Unfortunately, I live at least an hour from grouse cover and in the area I hunt the bird numbers have been down. I was out turkey hunting and didn't hear any drumming this year. I intend to scout north central parts of PA because the eastern region (with some exceptions) has been really tough hunting for me the last few years.

In my home hunting areas (cabin about an hour and a half from home) I have been averaging about a flush every 3-4 hours over the last 2 years. I shot a grouse last year and for the first time started wishing I had missed because the birds were so scarce. There has been more logging in my area over the past several years so I have some hope that things will get better.
 

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Springer Rage said:
I think 2 flushes an hour on average is good.


Unfortunately this is what defines good grouse hunting in many areas of our state. I'm happy to see that a lot of folks are still fired up about going out, even with bird numbers that low! You can still find some areas with good bird numbers, but it takes some scouting! I also think that most of us have a bit of wunderlust and just like to try some faraway places where the hunting is different, not necessarily a lot better, just different. Good luck to all, no matter what you choose to do!
 
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