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    Woodcock Season Starts Oct 22

    The woodcock season will start earlier this year and will be a split season. The first half will run from Oct. 22 to Nov. 11. The second half will run from Nov. 14 to Dec. 7. I cannot wait to get out there on the 22nd. Migratory bird hunters - remember to get your HIP number prior to hunting...
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    Ruffed Grouse at Bird Feeder in Ontario

    Very nice video of a male displaying while the hen feeds on the platform feeder:
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    Quail Update

    Since most of us are stuck indoors today, it might be a good time to read through the Five Year Benchmark Report related to quail restoration. Check out the summary of findings at the bottom of page 15 related to the research project at Peabody WMA. The lack of shrub cover limited where quail...
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    Quail Hunt at Shaker Village

    Shaker Village is offering a wild quail hunt on 1,000 acres managed specifically for grassland wildlife. The drawing date is Oct. 17, 2014. Hunt dates are Dec. 3-4, 2014, which includes overnight lodging and meals for two. Lottery tickets are available online at...
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    Biologist gets snake bit...on purpose

    This is one of my favorite segments from Kentucky Afield TV. Kentucky biologist John MacGregor picks up a large garter snake that then proceeds to chew on his arm. It all happens at the 4:35 minute in the segment.
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    What the Grouse are Eating

    A hunting buddy killed a grouse here in Rowan County yesterday. Most of the berries in the photo are from the bittersweet vine. Looks like some sumac and greenbrier berries in there too.
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    Quail Restoration Update

    There is an excellent article in the November Commissioner's Newsletter about some of Kentucky's quail restoration efforts: It starts on page 7. Hunted specifically for quail this afternoon with some friends and found two coveys. It was a great hunt...
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    Licking River Woodcock

    Hit some narrow bands of young tree regeneration along the Licking River today. Composition was boxelder and silver maple. The dog had a solid point in the first thicket. Two birds came up in succession. I started to swing on the first bird and the barrel hit a tree stem halting my follow...
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    Quail Population Jump at Peabody

    Quail numbers increased by more than 2,000 birds from last year based on fall covey counts. The bar chart is illustrated on the Kentucky Bobwhite Battalion page:
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    Grouse Broods on the Ground

    Had two reports of grouse broods spotted last week on the same property here in Rowan County. Peak hatch should be happening right now. The warm temps this week should help survival, I hope.
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    Grouse Nests Hatching

    The majority of grouse nests should be hatching right now in eastern Kentucky. The 10-day weather forecast looks very good for chick survival. Temperatures will be unseasonably warm and rain chances are just 40% on a couple days in the next ten.
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    Controlling Predators, or Controlling Predation?

    A revealing study was conducted to determine how best to improve quail populations. Two treatments were applied to farms in the study. The habitat improvement part of the study was the addition of narrow field borders to the fields on the farms. The other treatment was trapping and removal of...
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    Upland Bird Trifecta at Clay WMA

    Heard some good news from the Department's Small Game Program Coordinator this past week. One of the hunter groups drawn for the upland bird hunts at Clay WMA harvested a quail, grouse, and woodcock during the same hunt. That would be a pretty good day. I'm more than a little envious. I have...
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    Grouse Management Webinar

    Dan Dessecker with the Ruffed Grouse Society will lead a webinar on grouse management. Details from the American Forest Foundation follow below: Much of America’s wildlife depends on forests for their home and the majority of these forests are owned privately. Tree Farmers are some of the...
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    Purple Martin Roost - Lexington

    I thought some of you might enjoy witnessing the phenomenon of a pre-migratory roost of purple martins. There are thousands of martins pouring into the roost site every evening. The roost is located in a woodlot adjacent to the WKYT Channel 27 television station on Route 60 just east of I-75...
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    Hawks versus Squirrel

    A forester buddy of mine observed this encounter in Boyd County last week. He cannot positively identify hawks yet, but he said they were large and clumsy. I'm guessing red-tails or possibly red-shoulders. He was cruising timber and came upon a tree with about 5 squirrels running and chasing...
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    Mast Crop Looks Promising for Grouse

    The flowering dogwoods appear to be holding lots of green berries right now. The ironwoods or hornbeams are loaded with seed. I've noticed acorns growing on white oaks and black oaks in multiple counties here in east Kentucky. I don't know how big the beechnut crop will be, maybe just an...
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    KY Grouse Populations and a Decade of Disturbance

    According to the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Kentucky "lost" one million acres of young forest habitat in the 15-year period between 1988 and 2003. I think it is clear that the aging of our forests is responsible for the longterm decline in grouse numbers. The short-term decline that...
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    Grouse Habitat - Annual Increment

    I asked the University of Kentucky Forestry Extension office how much timber was harvested each year in eastern Kentucky. The answer was 1-2% of the land base. That seems to make sense intuitively given that our rotation length is 80 to 100 years. However, just 20% of the 1-2% of timber...
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    Grouse Foods 2010-11

    I enjoyed last season's thread about grouse food habits. It should be interesting to compare this season with last season, especially given the abundance of acorns this year. I will start off with a big male grouse killed in Rowan County over the weekend. The crop was stuffed full of white...