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Im heading up for a few days in Warren to hunt grouse. Im used to walking the hills of the laurel highlands. Small cuts of good cover.

Can anyone give any insight for where to go? I plan on going on Game lands. 29 and 86. I noticed 143 up there as well.

I've heard there being good cover due to the tornadoes that hit a few years back? Anyone with any good places to take the guns for a walk?

Appreciate any help, thanks.
 

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Hi Ryan,

I'm sure you've seen posts on HPA or read the Game Commission's Grouse cooperator survey results showing that Northwest and Northcentral PA have some of the best grouse hunting in the state. The gamelands you've listed all hold grouse, as does most of the good cover in the Allegheny National Forest. The problem with asking for actual locations is that hundreds of people read these posts. The post about "grouse food" had 1391 views, while "Today's grouse hunt" had 891 views. If a specific location for finding grouse was given and just 1% of the people reading about it went to hunt it, that would mean 9 - 14 extra people hitting that spot. Most grouse hunter's are lucky if they get to share a cover with one or 2 close friends. They certainly don't want dozens of internet readers descending on their covers.

I'm sure you'll find lots of good spots to hunt in the Northern part of the state by looking at satelite photos, then driving the back roads or walking in to check them out. Good luck on your hunt.

-DAP
 

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There are miles of clearcuts in that area of Warren/Forest/Elk counties. Just find some clearcuts and start walking. There are birds everywhere up there this year.
 

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Well said dap.. If specific areas are given is should be via PM.

Do your homework on google earth, you will find plenty to hunt.

G
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. Went up last friday to SGL 86 and had great success in the morning. 6 flushes and 1 pheasant. Downed the ringneck, put lead in the trees shooting the grouse. Its darn near impossible without a dog but we had a good time and I hope to go back once more before the season ends.

Thanks again
 

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dap said:
Hi Ryan,

I'm sure you've seen posts on HPA or read the Game Commission's Grouse cooperator survey results showing that Northwest and Northcentral PA have some of the best grouse hunting in the state. The gamelands you've listed all hold grouse, as does most of the good cover in the Allegheny National Forest. The problem with asking for actual locations is that hundreds of people read these posts. The post about "grouse food" had 1391 views, while "Today's grouse hunt" had 891 views. If a specific location for finding grouse was given and just 1% of the people reading about it went to hunt it, that would mean 9 - 14 extra people hitting that spot. Most grouse hunter's are lucky if they get to share a cover with one or 2 close friends. They certainly don't want dozens of internet readers descending on their covers.

I'm sure you'll find lots of good spots to hunt in the Northern part of the state by looking at satelite photos, then driving the back roads or walking in to check them out. Good luck on your hunt.

-DAP
Well said,I don't mind telling a guy a general area, but I've had more than one cover of mine ruined from showing people and having him take and tell people and so on and so on. It got so bad I can't/don't even go there anymore because theres always somebody there.

Sorry I worked/walked to many miles to just tell every joe, tom, dick and harry my spots. Plus, grouse are a sacred bird to me. And not everyone cares, treats or respects them like I do. I know a few guys that do and thats the only guys I'll go with or show my spots. Shoot, the last two years I've put snap caps in my gun when I hit the seven mark. I quit at seven every year and this is the first year in years that I will even be out in the second season and thats only because I didn't get to hunt at all in Pa. this year for grouse and I want to see how my covers are doing. I love watching my dog to much and she'd be sad if I gave away her spots and she couldn't find birds anymore. Theres clear cuts all over this great state and from what I've been hearing from friends and family this year grouse are everywhere. Lace up the boots, get a good compass or two and get strolling. Good luck and happy hunting.
 

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All this hype about the national forest and northcentral/northwestern pennsylvania being a grouse mecca would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. A few guys kill a few birds, post a couple hero pics on these hunting sites and the next thing you know guys from all over the country think they'll just drive up here and find grouse all over the place.
The truth is, if you aren't real familiar with the area and if you haven't spent considerable time scouting the area you're likely in for some disappointment when you get here. You'll have plenty of company though.
 

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Wingshot,
As I see it the answer is a good Grouse dog, no matter where you hunt Grouse. Its not how many Grouse you take, its how you take the Grouse. The Grouse dog work is why you go to the Grouse woods, taking the bird is just icing on the cake.
Pine Creek
 

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wingshot said:
All this hype about the national forest and northcentral/northwestern pennsylvania being a grouse mecca would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. A few guys kill a few birds, post a couple hero pics on these hunting sites and the next thing you know guys from all over the country think they'll just drive up here and find grouse all over the place.
The truth is, if you aren't real familiar with the area and if you haven't spent considerable time scouting the area you're likely in for some disappointment when you get here. You'll have plenty of company though.
You may not be able to just drive up anywhere and find them, but you sure don't have to look very hard. Especially this year. They are just about everywhere. We see them all over the place and we're not even hunting grouse. I even had one commit suicide into the side of my truck.
 

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You may not be able to just drive up anywhere and find them, but you sure don't have to look very hard. Especially this year. They are just about everywhere. We see them all over the place and we're not even hunting grouse. I even had one commit suicide into the side of my truck. [/quote]


Jeez, I had no idea Westmoreland County was a hot spot, I'll have to make the drive down there to check it out I guess.
 

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So I somewhat agree with Wingshot. I used to hunt Bedford county, 10-15 yrs ago and would scout after killing a bird or two and even in Feb/Mar after the season. Always looking to add coverts. But Bedford seems to have dried up. I went up to the ANF this week, hunted and afternoon and next day. Didn't put a bird up in the afternoon, was in a covert that 2 yrs ago Xmas week I put up 6 in an hour - but its all about where they are, not where they were. Hunted a gamelands the next day. Got 1 point and put up 6 birds, shot at 3. Hunted 3 hrs. But Wingshot is correct, 90% of the ground I covered was not viable holding cover. Had to walk and walk thru mature woods to find clearcuts and even then, the clearcuts without fall trees or pines did not produce. Classic grouse hunting, 3 hrs of walking, 3 minutes of action. Bottom line is you have to put the time in to scout, otherwise, it can just be a walk in the woods.
 

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Pine-Creek said:
Wingshot,
As I see it the answer is a good Grouse dog, no matter where you hunt Grouse. Its not how many Grouse you take, its how you take the Grouse. The Grouse dog work is why you go to the Grouse woods, taking the bird is just icing on the cake.

I agree...A seasoned grouse dog that can find grouse track and works it can make a world of difference in the grouse woods...
Pine Creek
 

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John Cordis said:
So I somewhat agree with Wingshot. I used to hunt Bedford county, 10-15 yrs ago and would scout after killing a bird or two and even in Feb/Mar after the season. Always looking to add coverts. But Bedford seems to have dried up. I went up to the ANF this week, hunted and afternoon and next day. Didn't put a bird up in the afternoon, was in a covert that 2 yrs ago Xmas week I put up 6 in an hour - but its all about where they are, not where they were. Hunted a gamelands the next day. Got 1 point and put up 6 birds, shot at 3. Hunted 3 hrs. But Wingshot is correct, 90% of the ground I covered was not viable holding cover. Had to walk and walk thru mature woods to find clearcuts and even then, the clearcuts without fall trees or pines did not produce. Classic grouse hunting, 3 hrs of walking, 3 minutes of action. Bottom line is you have to put the time in to scout, otherwise, it can just be a walk in the woods.
I'd also like to add...You need to hunt what they are eating, especially if you are using a dog. This is a warm winter...Usually late winter, grouse are eating hardship foods like barberry and aspen buds. No dog or dog, head for thermal cover....
 

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jamesh said:
John Cordis said:
So I somewhat agree with Wingshot. I used to hunt Bedford county, 10-15 yrs ago and would scout after killing a bird or two and even in Feb/Mar after the season. Always looking to add coverts. But Bedford seems to have dried up. I went up to the ANF this week, hunted and afternoon and next day. Didn't put a bird up in the afternoon, was in a covert that 2 yrs ago Xmas week I put up 6 in an hour - but its all about where they are, not where they were. Hunted a gamelands the next day. Got 1 point and put up 6 birds, shot at 3. Hunted 3 hrs. But Wingshot is correct, 90% of the ground I covered was not viable holding cover. Had to walk and walk thru mature woods to find clearcuts and even then, the clearcuts without fall trees or pines did not produce. Classic grouse hunting, 3 hrs of walking, 3 minutes of action. Bottom line is you have to put the time in to scout, otherwise, it can just be a walk in the woods.
I'd also like to add...You need to hunt what they are eating, especially if you are using a dog. This is a warm winter...Usually late winter, grouse are eating hardship foods like barberry and aspen buds. No dog or dog, head for thermal cover....
Bingo! I took my father-in-law to one of my spots in the ANF yesterday and there was 4-6 inches of snow. The cynquefoil and rubus were buried under a compressed snow that would be hard for grouse to scratch up food, so I moved us down to a lower elevation and opposite side of the mountain and we got into some food (aspen, beechnuts and catkins) amongst some others. We moved fourteen birds in three hours. My father-in-law is 63 and his dog Tessy is 14 and the two of them still soldier on threw the forest. He felt bad he said because they were holding Sage and I back, but he knows better than that; I enjoy hunting with him more than anyone. Packed full of knowledge and he's the type of guy that can have fun anywhere no matter what. It was really windy and the birds were flushing wild and both of us only had one shot throughout the day, but it stilll was a pretty good day for the four of us. Today is his birthday and he's 63 and he wants to go hunting again, so were getting ready.
 

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Brown Trout,
Man you just made me feel old, I am in your fathers age group and although I have slowed down considerably I still train Grouse dogs and hunt Grouse every year. I am very glad you think of your father in the way that you do,
would give anything in the world to have one of my boys still alive to walk the Grouse woods with me, treasure your Grouse hunting time with your father, and pass his wealth of knowledge onto your son.
Pine Creek
 

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Pine,

sorry man, I didn't mean to make you feel old. Every dog has his day and at least your still willing and able to go hunt grouse. And if your anything like my father-in-law your probably an old beast and can out hunt/walk most youngens today. I'm 38 and PCM is younger than me and he is the only dude I know that can hunt grouse like I do. Last year there were a few days Sage and I walked from a little after sunrise till just before sunset. Due to work this year this is only the eighth time I hunted and I don't quite have the same grouse legs under me like last year. The hunts were to far apart due to work schedule. I'm still good for 4-5 continous mountain hours though and the way I've been shooting this year I better be. Good luck out there Pine. And if you keep your nose into the wind for aslong as you can; I'm sure you'll have a few more years under your hat.
 

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Age is a state of mind unless a person has some serious malady. If one makes himself keep active and in decent condition there's no reason an older man can't keep right on hunting these birds. I'll be 65 in about five weeks and so far this season I've hunted grouse 38 days. Last season I hunted every day of the Pa grouse season through Dec. 23 rd. with the exception of three days. I run two relatively young bird dogs, they're 4 and 2 years old and I hunt alone about 80% of the time. The key is you have to hike/work out all year long if your getting up in years and want to safely be able to hunt hard come fall. Unfortunately I don't see many guys my age out there.
 

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Just got back from hunting hare somewhere in Pa, had close to 100 flushes in 4.5 days. 25 in the first spot alone. Beagles were just flushing them too far away. Got 1, missed a ton.

As far as it being easy... Maybe not easy but not hard. I literally had flushes in every spot I went.
 
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