2013-14 Kentucky Grouse Season

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by trust me, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

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    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    Trust me- I am scouting an area with some beech trees in and around a big holler. The area seems wide open and not my usual thickets. I may come across one two birds while bow hunting couple years ago. I guess what in saying is do you find birds in these areas with any frequency? I have to research to see how long it take a beech tree to start producing? I've had all my birds flush in a thicket and not a one around a beech grove. I wish I would I might have a chance at killing one lol. What is your experience with this


    Grouse and GSP, GAME ON!
     
  2. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Snow brings the predators out of the woodwork it seems.

    For all I care every coyote should die, but I personally don't believe predation has a major impact on our grouse numbers. I usually look at every coyote turd I find and have never seen grouse feathers present. Turkey feathers, sure but never a grouse feather
     
  3. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

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    1,367
    Jan 19, 2004
    Greenup, ky, USA.
    The red tails and owls don't give the yotes a chance to eat a grouse.

    sent from the front deck
     
  4. paint brush

    paint brush Spike

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    Jan 9, 2012
    The farm that I saw all the coyote tracks was where I killed my first grouse in 1968. It's hard to beleive that me and my brother -in- law in the 1970's and 80's killed from thirty to sixty birds each year in the general area of Lewis county, Fleming, Greenup and areas around Morehead. There were others that killed more. One of the best hunters I know killed sixty- grouse for several years in a row by himself and every year the birds came back. Recently, he told me that on the farm where I saw the coyote tracks he had fifty flushes in one day. The last time he hunted it he flew one bird. The habitat is still there with plenty of turkeys, deer and coyotes but no grouse.
     
  5. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
    7
    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    I couldn't imagine having that many flushes. My GSP would have a stroke lol. Wish the numbers would increase


    Grouse and GSP, GAME ON!
     
  6. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
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    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    In the big years of 10 or 12 years ago, birds were in open beech, dense blackberry thickets, even open poplar stands. You stood a chance of getting them up in a bunch of types of cover. 15 or 20 flushes a day were the rule.

    This year, all bets are off. I've seen all of 6 birds this year, 2 down low in a clearcut holler with scattered beeches left in it, one in a grapevine/multiflora tangle on the top bench, one in a grapevine tangle by the creek, and two high on open beech hillsides. I've the same types of cover I had back then, and I've got the same amount or maybe even more. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but I know what cover looks like, and I've got it. Just very few birds.

    I see lots of coyote tracks but I saw them 10 years ago as well. I see more hawks in a day than grouse in a season.
     
  7. msu_hunter

    msu_hunter 6 pointer

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    Oct 23, 2011
    I agree on the hawks! Its rediculous how many there are. Is there an honest to goodness biological reason that there protected? I mean can there population not sustain some thining? I can start a crow call and have 5-6 hawks at my location in 5 minutes. Thats any where in EKY.

    Sent from my SCH-R760 using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
    7
    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    Thanks and I agree with the Avarian impact. See and hear hawks all the time. I had a hawk sound off on my first hunt of the season and it was also the best point all season. I may invest in a hawk call next season. Lol. Based on what your experience tells me I'm going to scout this new hollar with lots of beach in it but mountain laurel too primarily. Appreciate the feedback


    Grouse and GSP, GAME ON!
     
  9. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

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    Apr 4, 2010
    I will say it also, our problem is habitat and predators, worst being hawks, owls, nest raders, such as coon, and skunks. Yes we still have cover, but it is very blocky. We use to have big blocks of cover with marginal cover between. Now, blocks of cover are smaller without much marginal cover between. Most hunters think of hunting cover, don't forget about brood cover. Don't think about the one big hollow you have that is in prime cover. Think about that big hollow and the four close by hollows that use to look the same. Think big.

    Hunted yesterday. Found the birds in grape & beech tangles. Flew a couple late in the evening out of some pines. Birds were very and I mean very spooky. The bobcat and yote tracks in the snow are a clue. Managed to get a couple of points. Moved 8 and killed 2. Not one of my local spots, I am having to lean on a couple of gracious buddies to get into some birds.
     
  10. paint brush

    paint brush Spike

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    Jan 9, 2012
    Back in the day when we were not quail hunting, rabbit or grouse hunting we shot hawks. In those days everyone did it. I remember seeing ten to fifteen hawks one time hanging by their feet on woven wire fences. It became big sport to kill them with high powered rifles. I was quail hunting with a friend when we noticed a redtail hawk eating something. As we approached him he dropped it and flew away. It was a quail and war was declared on the hawk. He lost. On the grouse moors in Scotland fox and crows are shot on sight year round. It's a gamekeepers job to do it.In the summer game keepers shoot fox at night with lights and trap weasels. Hawks are also shot and there has been a big uproar over it with bird lovers. One game keeper told me that bird lovers need to realize how much damage they do and their livelyhood is at stake if fox and hawks numbers are not controled. Game keepers also burn moors and also put out medicated grit to ward off desease in young grouse. It's a multi million dollar business.
     
  11. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

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    Jan 16, 2008
    I agree, and with all the coyote talk I posted another topic asking how many of the folks blaming coyotes take time to hunt them. They are legal unlike most predators, and not one of the people pointing at coyotes as being a problem responded, which I take as a no as far as taking it upon themselves to beat back the yotes.

    I'm not questioning any views on coyote impact, just wondering why if a person feels their an issue, why that person isn't actively slaughtering them to try and help the grouse
     
  12. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

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    111
    Jan 16, 2008
    Exactly what I thought, dead silence from the folks blaming yotes. Being stuck at home and bored I've reread all the comments regarding Grouse numbers, and there are 15 different things people are blaming. Of those there are a handful which can be controlled, yet when asked about coyote killing no one responds not even the ones squarely blaming the coyotes.

    Can't change the weather, can't change the turkey influence if there is one, can't change timber harvests unless you own a timber company, changing limits won't matter, and shortening the season will me a colllossal amount of resistant. However, coyotes are fair game, and if you all who feel so strongly they are a problem why not kill every one you can? It's a simple question which is being avoided for obvious reasons.

    Griping and complaining is fine and probably warranted as things aren't great, but griping and complaint without realistic options to make things better is a waste of time.

    There's no love for the coyote from me, and if I thought for a second they were decimating the few birds we have in this area I would spend my time killing them rather than trying to kill a few grouse. But hey that's just me
     
  13. Feedman

    Feedman Cyber-Hunter

    16,294
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    May 28, 2003
    In the basement
    I don't grouse hunt but I kill every coyote that I can.
     
  14. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
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    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    I hunt grouse and kill coyotes but there are a number of things that impact grouse but habit degradation is one. 7 out of 10 grouse chicks die by the end of the week of life


    Grouse and GSP, GAME ON!
     
  15. Sialia67

    Sialia67 6 pointer

    253
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    Sep 4, 2008
    Rowan County
    I stopped living vicariously through my hunting buddies' stories and finally got into some birds with them today. We hunted Fleming County this afternoon. This property has seen timber harvests for the past 20 + years. The first stand we hunted was about 20 years old but it had recently seen a timber stand improvement practice called crop-tree release. The best 20-year old trees were released from the competition of the less desirable or poorly formed trees around them, thus giving the best trees more space to grow. The gaps between the best trees have had time to thicken up with new saplings, blackberries, and greenbrier vine. Multiple sets of grouse tracks crisscrossed through the snow. The Brittany got birdy as she neared a large blowdown. The first bird came up before she got on point. The man closest to the blowdown couldn't get the safety off on his Winchester Model 37 in time for a shot. We all stepped closer when the second bird erupted from the same blowdown. He was ready with the single shot this time around and managed to knock the bird down. We had just enough time to be excited when the third bird came out which I missed (but in my defense, the bird turned left when I shot, so it's not my fault). Then the fourth bird came out. The third man in the crew shot and it looked like the bird was hit but we weren't positive. The shorthair followed up on that bird but disappeared among the snow covered branches. We hurried in that direction but the dog came back empty. While standing around re-living the moments, all 4 of them, we saw the grounded bird jump over a log. The dogs finally caught up with it and were about ready to play tug-of-war. We decided not to follow-up on the remaining two birds.
     

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