Kentucky Grouse Hunting

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by nordmanky, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. nordmanky

    nordmanky Fawn

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    Nov 16, 2012
    My uncle and I are beginners at hunting upland birds and we are wanting to start grouse hunting in Kentucky. We live in Northern Kentucky and were trying to find some information on habitat as well as a good place to start. All of the articles on habitat seem to be based more upon the states up north, rather than in Kentucky, and the few people we know that hunt grouse, haven't hunted in Kentucky for quite some time. I am not looking for anyone's personal spots, but rather a general area as well as prime habitat.
     
  2. chris149

    chris149 12 pointer

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    Jun 17, 2009
    KY
    I have seen them in Morehead and in Knott Co. before but not a lot of them.
     
  3. GSP

    GSP 14 Pointer Staff Member

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    Dec 12, 2001
    Montrose
    This guy is correct. There is one in Morehead and another one in Knott County. Probably 7 or 8 scattered between them, though the numbers may be down this year.
    Save your money and drive north. From Cincinnati you can be in the north grouse woods in 8 hours. If you want to punish yourself in KY, start with the Daniel Boone NF. Contact them and find any logging done in past 10 years. Try that.
     
  4. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

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    Jan 19, 2004
    rush, ky, USA.
    What GSP said is good advice.. Lewis county also has one grouse if grouseguy didnt kill it last year. Scratch out the Morehead bird Rick he was taken out by a garbage truck speeding out 801.
     
  5. agr_hunter

    agr_hunter 6 pointer

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    Nov 30, 2005
    Over the Hill
    I agree head north and spoil yourself on flat terrain and plenty of birds. Then come back down to Kentucky to chase them in rough terrain and very few birds once you gain a little experience.
     
  6. grousec

    grousec 6 pointer

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    Jan 15, 2009
    mt sterling ky
    Sad to say it but grouse hunting in Ky is in the tubes. Few and far between, wish it wasn't so. I agree go north if you can..
     
  7. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

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    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    If the 10 year cycle holds true, next year should be at the top of the cycle. Back in 03-04 my cirle of 5 friends killed 119 I believe it was. Been on the drop every since with the last 4-5 being steep declines.
     
  8. TedB

    TedB 10 pointer

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    Jan 16, 2005
    Nicholasville
    If grouse had antlers kdfwr would be all over them.
     
  9. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

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    Jan 19, 2004
    rush, ky, USA.

    In my neck of the woods there hasnt been any cycle whatsoever since the to early to mid 90's. There was a few birds around in the mid 90's and when it fell off it hasnt went up any as far as ive seen . It seemed like you guys had a better population for a little longer than we did and I hope yours peake back like there supposed to but I really dont hold out much hope around here. I think there is something else going on besides a cycle whether its disease , predators,habitat I dont know but they simply are not here. Ive hunted Grouse for alot of years and I know what they live in , while there isnt an abundance of good habitat there is enough to hold birds around here and there always was plenty to hunt . I hunted very hard last year as work was slow for most of the season and I killed a grand total of 12 birds. I dont have the best dogs around but they know how to find a grouse and they simply arent there. When I go into an area of roughly 3000 acres of absolutly prime habitat and fly 3 birds something is going on . I had several days flying 30+ woodcock and never see a grouse. I just really wish Grouse had the ear of the department because i think there in serious trouble in our state . I see so many younger hunters or just hunters in general who havent had the opportunity to see how absolutly fantastic grouse hunting is and just how much fun it can be.
     
  10. brettfrancis1

    brettfrancis1 6 pointer

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    Oct 26, 2006
    Danville, KY
    Took a guy grouse hunting today with us. First time and shot his first grouse. Hunted in Pike County. [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  11. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,493
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    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    Im not so sure I believe in a cycle down here. We all have our own opinions to what it causing the decline/lack thereof. It is beating a dead horse. We all talk about it every single season. I believe the 3 main factors are turkey, avian predators, and not enough habitat close together. By that I am meaning not enough succesive hollers with habitat. We have plenty of habitat, but not enough that has cutting in hollers in close proximity.
     
  12. Bee

    Bee 8 pointer

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    Mar 14, 2005
    Ribspliter said it all
     
  13. grousec

    grousec 6 pointer

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    Jan 15, 2009
    mt sterling ky
    You said it well! I have grouse hunted in KY for almost 40 years and have never seen much of a cycle either. Oh some years were better than others of course. Something else is going on or lots of things perhaps. Sad..
     
  14. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

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    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I live in the middle of the best grouse habitat in the state, right out the back door, and there's barely enough birds to keep me in dogs. If I lived out of the area, I wouldn't even consider it.

    I'll always hunt them, but only because I hunt locally and can keep tabs on where a bird or two can be found. I don't know how an out-of-towner could justify the time and expense of traveling to hunt Kentucky grouse.

    In 2003-04 I killed 16 birds, hunted occasionally with others, and didn't have a dog. Last year I had a great dog, hunted every available day, actually shot pretty well for a change, and killed 5. It's bad.
     
  15. no.5 Buckshot

    no.5 Buckshot Spike

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Cumberland Ky
    Ya'll need to be talking about kdfw's success stories like Turkey, elk, bear, deer, dove, and what ever else that runs it's self on automatic. Ya'll don't need to be talking about the failures such as grouse and quail that requires actually having a little knowledge of what there doing and putting leggs on it and doing a little work. That makes the kdfw look bad.
     
  16. bone hunter 74

    bone hunter 74 Spike

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    Apr 26, 2009
    SANDY HOOK,KY
    I'm the same as trust me I know where a few are always at old coverts that are getting to mature as time goes on. If it was not for that I would sell out, I travel to hunt The U.P. every fall. Right now I'm in Nebraska hunting sharp tail and prairie chickens. When I was young in the early 90's birds where, every where I hunted that is why I wanted a dog figured it would be easy hunting was I fooled lol. But as the turkey, hawks, owls, etc. pop. climb the birds have gone away. i think it's mostly the timber in general is to mature, the reason I say that is I DON'T find turkey or sign of turkey where I find good numbers of grouse. Good coverts are not what turkey prefer, when they are good sized not the one bird kind of cover.
     
  17. no.5 Buckshot

    no.5 Buckshot Spike

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Cumberland Ky
    I live in Harlan co. and we have plenty of good enough cover for grouse. I hunted the up's for the 1st time last year and again this year and you have to hunt where the right cover is even up there and that's not just anywhere in the woods. Even then you have to find the birds but at least there there to be found. I've hunted the last 4 days hard. I saw 5 the 1st day, 12 the next and 2 the next and 1 and 1 woodcock yesterday . We have cayote's of 2 kinds, the 4 legged 1's and the 2 legged 1's ( road hunter's shooting from the truck. ). I've run across 1 guy with a couple of 14 years old girls Where I hade been seeing alot of bird's. Anybody has the right to hunt but when I do I do it right. And if I'm going to teach somebody I'm going to teach them right. Just thought I'd throw that in.
     
  18. nordmanky

    nordmanky Fawn

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    Nov 16, 2012
    I appreciate all of the responses to my post. Even though going North sounds like the easiest way to find birds, I think we are going to stay here in Kentucky and try to hunt locally. GSP, I am going to take your advice and talk with the people at DBNF. To me, success will come from putting in the long hours and walking the rough terrain to find grouse in my home state. We are going out to hunt on Sunday, so I will post the results of our hunt next week. Again, thanks for the help.
     
  19. GSP

    GSP 14 Pointer Staff Member

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    Dec 12, 2001
    Montrose
    Good luck to you and I do mean it!
     
  20. trapshooter

    trapshooter 6 pointer

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    Jan 3, 2012
    Hungry Hill Ashland,Ky
    i like burd huntin & i like dogs, so if i got a pet dog, it mite as well be a burd huntin setter pet
     

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