15-16 Kentucky Grouse Season

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by trust me, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    1,065
    111
    Jan 16, 2008
    I've got to say the numbers of grouse hunters in my area is essentially zero. I haven't crossed paths with another hunter in at least 5 years, never see boot prints, hulls, etc any where that I hunt. For me that's not a bad thing, but just shows how few of us there are chasing these things. One of the guys I hunt with did run into a guy last year, but that was one encounter in a heck of a bunch of trips.

    Our bird numbers took a terrifying drop last year, to the point that I wondered if the end was near. However, this year they have rocketed back up to where they were a few years ago. We are consistently moving double digit birds each outing, with many appearing to be very small young birds in groups still. Good news is due to our incompetence we are moving them around, but shooting them is seemingly impossible. And that's not necessarily because the shots are difficult, we just can't shoot, haha.
     
  2. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

    497
    0
    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    Feel free to post gps cordinates on the grouse hot spots Hitch. I won't hurt the population much either,but it would sure be nice to have proof that grouse do still exist in kentucky
     
  3. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

    497
    0
    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    My dogs are confident that there not one within 12 hrs of here
     
  4. upland hunter

    upland hunter Spike

    78
    7
    Aug 6, 2015
    Good to here hunting reports from you guys keep them coming.
    Myself, i believe there are a few more grouse than last year,of
    course, that wouldn't take many, last year and 2010 were the the
    worst I've seen, i think the reason they are a few more in areas
    this year is because of a few broods being able to survive,when
    you don't have young birds you don't have many grouse.
    My results are 12 hunts, found 18 and killed 2 that's about the
    cream of it.
     
  5. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,717
    169
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    I've not been out once this year. I'm building a house and don't have the time. From the sound of it on the home covers, I'm not missing a thing. Sad. I think I flew 4 birds all year last year. Not killed a KY Bird in 2 seasons I believe.
     
  6. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    2,790
    901
    Jan 19, 2004
    Greenup, ky, USA.
    Havent been out in two years and havent made any plans to go anytime soon. I can definitly see me and the dogs havent missed a thing. The best grouse hunting is far in the past for this state and getting farther away each and every year with little to no hope of changing the trend.
     
  7. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

    497
    0
    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    I haven't moved 18 grouse in kentucky in the past 3 years combined
     
  8. upland hunter

    upland hunter Spike

    78
    7
    Aug 6, 2015
    I know it's not been very good in KY in the last several years, but in the
    areas i hunt there seems to be a few by no means an overabundance
    an example would be a couple weeks ago i hunted 7hrs i should say i
    walked 7hrs and never found a bird, discouraging needless to say.
    Today i hunted 5hrs and found 4 birds, dogs set 3 of them 2 of the 3
    came out 20-25yds in front of the dogs about the time i got about 15yds
    from them the other one crapped in my eye shot 3 times never touched
    a feather, dogs done their job me not so much, that's about par for the
    course lol. 13 hunts found 22
     
  9. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    1,065
    111
    Jan 16, 2008
    Got out this afternoon for a short hunt, had 6 pointed birds and none came home. Today it was the birds fault for not holding well enough to offer a shot, other then my lack of shooting ability.

    I will say I'm in awe of the doom and gloom attitude by a few, by no means is there a bird in every bush, but there certainly seems to be enough to make it worthwhile in my area. Personally I enjoy being out and getting some exercise, the birds are just a bonus
     
  10. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

    497
    0
    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    For me personally. The doom and gloom is brought on by finances. When you have to drive 2 hrs one way to hunt grouse. Not seeing a bird in three hunts turns into $200 worth of walking in the woods.
     
  11. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    Seems some were commenting on here last year how low the bird numbers were, but it is all better now. I've gone from seeing hundreds of birds in a season to seeing single digits, all in the last 12 or so years. Something has happened. Maybe it'll swing back for me but it hasn't yet. And no, it's not because I have bad dogs, or am hunting old cover. I know what good cover looks like, and I'm in it every weekend. I've seen 4 birds this year, and probably won't kill any of them because it makes no sense to kill what little seed you have.
     
  12. GrouseAssasin

    GrouseAssasin 12 pointer

    2,460
    45
    Aug 1, 2009
    Jackson, ky
    Thats why I gave up. Dogs I had got too old and just didn't seem worth it to fool with the time and effort to train another pair of pups. You can go to Wisconsin but all that does is make you that much more depressed when you get back here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  13. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    1,065
    111
    Jan 16, 2008
    I went through the same thing last year, where traditional spots just seemed to dry up, and even this year those haven't been as good. I'm also one of the ones trust me alluded to as having birds forever but last year hitting a drought. This year started off sluggish, so I changed the cover I looked for to hunt and have found plenty of birds, it may be that last year I spent hunting where the birds weren't.

    We we seem to cruise along at a steady avg for the last 15 years in this area other then last year. And as I said last year may be because of the places I hunted rather then because of a lack of birds.
     
  14. upland hunter

    upland hunter Spike

    78
    7
    Aug 6, 2015
    I know exactly what you're talking about last year i found 17 birds i think and alot of hunting involved in 2010 i think it was 13 birds, this year so far it has been better by no means great , i think my flush rate per hour with 53 hours of hunting is 0.471 which is nothing to write home about, but, i have already moved more grouse this year than last.
    I never hunted in the 80's or 90's, i probably would have been old enough for the latter part of the 80's none of my family grouse hunted and i was more interested in deer, i wish i would have.
    So, i said all that to ask this, what do you and anyone else that would like to comment think has happened to the grouse population in Ky.
    Would you say it's habitat, that's what every biologist I've ever talked to has said or predators, turkeys,or a combination of all the above, all the hunters i know that hunted the 70's ,80's,90's, when I've asked them why they are not grouse like there used to be, everyone without exception will say, when we started seeing more turkeys, we started seeing less grouse.
    In you're guy's opinion's is this a correct assessment, or is it more habitat related , thanks.
     
  15. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    1,065
    111
    Jan 16, 2008
    You didn't ask me but I am happy to offer an opinion or ten :)

    I think back in the day (before my time), when all the stripping, timbering etc was going on there was an abundance of habitat. As that stuff matured it began to limit the areas where the habitat was ideal, and thus bird numbers began to decline. Now in my area it seems that over the past 10 years the human disturbance cycle has begun again in ernest. They are now relogging the areas that matured out, mining again, which includes reclamations which are regenerating into cover. As a result we are finding birds. Habitat here is not an issue there is thousands upon thousands of acres of habitat right now, literally more then could be hunted in a season. The issue I believe is that the bird numbers have not risen to fill in the vast amounts of habitat available. I do think with the right conditions they will, but it takes time obviously.

    The turkeys have to have an impact, I used to not think they did, but right now they spend time in grouse cover eating the same greens the grouse do. However, I think the gap in available habitat had a bigger impact then the turkeys are right now.

    It dang sure isn't hunting pressure since it seems no one evens hunts anymore around here.

    Our numbers other then last year stay pretty constant, but this year we are seeing family groups still and some of the birds we have killed are really small like young of the year birds.
     

Share This Page