15-16 Kentucky Grouse Season

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

  1. Deadbeat

    Deadbeat 6 pointer

    310
    157
    Feb 4, 2008
    Frenchburg
    That's really good ,I've never quite done that good even at the peak, have you ever hunted on the eastern side of the U.P. Are the birds very wild up there ,and do you have to get in the cuts for the most part,or,are there alot of log roads to walk while the dogs hunt the cover.[/QUOTE]

    I have hunted as far west as Winter WI and usually hunt on the east side of WI. I bust the brush but usually around trails where others walk. My dad and I killed 9 in one day this last year, 21 in 4 days. Had one day the truck was broke down until 3 pm and quit early the last day.
     
  2. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    2,790
    896
    Jan 19, 2004
    Greenup, ky, USA.
    The best days ive ever had in the grouse woods was in the UP . In the peak of the cycle in the late 90s we was moving 100+ birds per day . Probably the worst year ive had there we would average 15-20 per day . If the woodies are coming thru its just insane . We would actually just put leads on the dogs to get out of the woods . But I have to say the best part of the trip was Birdmans biscuits and gravy
     
  3. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,717
    169
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    We didn't experience those kinds of days this year, but it was more than enough to keep you interested and definitely more than you will fly all year around here. I believe this was the bottom of the cycle. 5 year ago at the top, we were up around 40-50 flushes a day. All useless though when they are in alder. You just hear em and never catch a glimpse. The popple is a different story if you can catch em in it.
     
  4. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    2,790
    896
    Jan 19, 2004
    Greenup, ky, USA.
    Youve definitly got to hunt them different when there in the swamps there tougher to see and tougher them get up on . I usually shoot spreaders in a skeet choke and we try to circle way around the dog and use him as a block when we come in like a triangle . Seems to up the odds somewhat to atleast see the bird. Some areas tho its just futile.
     
  5. upland hunter

    upland hunter Spike

    78
    7
    Aug 6, 2015
    Sounds like I'm not.going far enough north!
    Is the U.P. better than Wisconsin, or not much difference between the two would you guy's say?
    I hope to go to Minnesota this year, fingers crossed.
     
  6. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
  7. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

    3,648
    1,684
    Feb 20, 2011
    the swamps of western KY
    I'm a firm believer that it'll be years and years before we fully understand the impact ticks, fleas and mosquitos have on humans and wildlife alike.
     
  8. Brawny

    Brawny Fawn

    28
    0
    Dec 5, 2007
    End of the line
    The perfect storm, West Nile mature forests and high predator numbers. Some of the northern states had West Nile info in the hunting guides a few years ago. Haven't seen any info on it in the guides lately.
     
  9. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    2,790
    896
    Jan 19, 2004
    Greenup, ky, USA.
    I talked to Lisa several years ago about this very subject . We also talked about stomach worm and diseases passed by potatoe bugs. Kuddos to Penn . DNR for stepping up and actually finding a cause to a problem . Im affraid its to late for much to be done around these parts but still good to know what took them out wasnt habitat and just not knowing what grouse cover looks like lol.
     
  10. upland hunter

    upland hunter Spike

    78
    7
    Aug 6, 2015
    I e-mailed Lisa Williams today, Pennsylvania's ruffed
    grouse biologist, praising her for their efforts on disease
    research in ruffed grouse.
    She was quick give credit to her volunteers, vets, laboratory researchers, and Idaho grouse propagator, in which this study was done with no budget.
    I asked her what she thought could be done physically about WNV,or did she think the grouse that survive the virus would build an immunity to West Nile.
    About the immunity, in her opinion, she didn't think so,and if it were it would take decades maybe centuries.
    Her immediate management response was 2-fold;
    1.She said we need to re-consider the season's and bag
    limits on grouse. She didn't think hunting was likely a
    major factor at the population scale, however, on the
    local scale it can have impacts.She went on to say, if
    this disease is having a large impact, as she thinks it is
    , every breeding grouse matters.
    2.Need to think about WNV when managing habitat,
    focus habitat management on drier sites, in more upland
    elevations.
    Of course, KY just needs to focus on creating habitat, if
    they can ever figure out a way to hire a ruffed grouse biologist !!
     
  11. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,717
    169
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    I wonder what our departments thoughts on this are? I've always said it was a disease. Atleast in the area I hunt, habitat is plentiful. Yes, they could create more, but there is more than enough to hold more than 4-5 birds. Public land is a whole different ballgame. It sounds like the good ol days are just that, the good ol days.
     
  12. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    1,064
    110
    Jan 16, 2008
    Every year the same talking points come up on here. It's habitat, disease, weather, etc etc.

    Sorry but I just don't see what you all are seeing, sure last year was rough but every other year has been identical or at least close in avg numbers of birds contacted over the course of a season.

    Bird numbers seem to be the same this year as they were 20 years ago. Every year though we find them in different types of habitat within larger blocks of habitat.

    I really wonder if it's not a bird problem, but a problem of hunters not adjusting where they hunt?
     
  13. upland hunter

    upland hunter Spike

    78
    7
    Aug 6, 2015
    I forwarded the link that "trust me" posted the other day,he said they certainly didn't dicount that disease
    has played an impact in the sharp decline of grouse numbers in E.Ky.
    He was glad P.A. has taken the lead on disease research, and if they decide that West Nile has been a
    leading factor in the decline, he hopes they can follow up with suggestions on how to handle it , if they exist.
     
  14. upland hunter

    upland hunter Spike

    78
    7
    Aug 6, 2015
    I agree, it's some better this year ,but, that's not saying a whole lot, cause in my opinion last year was the
    second worst year I'd seen, besides 2010 which had a flush rate in KY of (0.35) 2014 (0.42).
    This year I think I have logged so far about 68hrs grouse hunting, I have a flush rate this year so far of
    0.46 flushes per hr. so yea it's a little better.
    The places I hunt doesn't have the amount of habitat sounds like as you do, but it doesn't look like a park
    either, I think it varies, due to the amount of chicks that survive, (if any).
    I know some guys that have killed more grouse than I've seen this year, so I'm not disputing than you're
    finding birds.
    Lisa Williams sent me flush rates on several states from 95 - 2014 , here's the list it goes 95 - 2005- 2014
    I tried to go 10 yr spans.


    1995. 2005. 2014
    KY. 1.09. O.78. 0.42
    PA. 1.74. 1.07. 0.94
    OH. 1.10. 0.49. 0.25
    WV. 1.43. 1.00. 1.16
    VA. 1.50. 0.85. 0.61


    There were a few more states,but ,other than PA , I was just trying to illustrate the one's that border KY.
     
  15. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,717
    169
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    Made it out for the first time this season with a fellow member. I should lie and say we got tired of flying birds, but that's not the case. We logged in 8 miles, and had 5 flushes on 4 birds I believe it was. Deadbeat has a nice solid setter that is full of drive at 11 years old. She handles birds very nice. Held one for a long 5 minutes before we got to her. His female made mine look like pups. I could definitely tell my dogs and I, am out of shape.
     

Share This Page