2014-15 Ruffed Grouse Thread

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by trust me, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I got a good double point on a bird today, dogs were pointed on the middle bench looking up the hill, and when I took one step up the bird busted on the bench above.

    Lots of snow and mud, sore knees were all I brought home.

    Season Totals:
    10 individual birds located
    7 birds pointed
    3 birds fired upon
    2 killed
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  2. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

    343
    13
    Apr 4, 2010
    Glad there was a couple post today. Perfect day to hunt. Sadly I had to work. Hitch, glad you are finding some birds. I have flown birds in the past out of bittersweet. Never 5 together. That must have been a treat.
     
  3. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    1,065
    111
    Jan 16, 2008
    Thanks, it been a rougher season then expected. The five would've been great but we bungled it somehow and never fired a single shot. It's all good though, just glad to see numerous birds
     
  4. biged

    biged Fawn

    19
    0
    Feb 16, 2007
    Hi everyone,

    It has been awhile since I have been on here, but wanted to see how everyone was doing this year. I have been able to locate a few birds in southeastern KY this year. My buddy and I have been out a total of 14 times in several locations. According to my records we have moved a total of 34 birds. I am estimating a total of 23 individuals overall. We have been able to kill 10 total off point. Someone had mentioned bittersweet earlier. We have hunted several large patches of the Asian bittersweet this year and have found several birds holding in them. I did not keep a record but I am guessing we have moved around 12-15 birds total in those two patches.
     
  5. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

    343
    13
    Apr 4, 2010
    Cut away from work early today. Had a good hunt. Hunted 2.5 hours. Hunted the first spot and within 45 minutes had walked to 4 productive points on 3 different grouse. Killed 2 and gave the third a pass. Loaded up and drove to a different spot that I wanted to check. No birds at that spot but still walked out with a big smile. My little flues and I are getting along pretty well. Think it is a keeper.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sialia67

    Sialia67 6 pointer

    253
    3
    Sep 4, 2008
    Rowan County
    Hunting buddy killed a bird earlier this week here in Rowan County. The hen was high on the hill. Her crop contained red oak acorn chunks, Christmas fern, greenbrier leaves, and some small twig tips.

    Grouse Crop - Rowan - Jan 2015.JPG
     
  7. jkurtkrauss

    jkurtkrauss Fawn

    29
    2
    Feb 13, 2006
    Lexington
    Finally got out Wednesday for about 3-4 hours with my two year old setter. Flushed one about 100 yds into a holler in some fairly decent cover. Unloaded on him (as usual) but het kept going. Amazing how the aching in my back and hips disappeared once I got that adrenaline boost.
     
  8. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

    343
    13
    Apr 4, 2010
    Had another good hunt today. Started high in the mountain but as normal, Daisy usually tells me where to go. The Astro beeped. Daisy was 200 yards down the mountain. Took a little while getting to her. When I got to her, a point and trail went another 50 yards. She was pointed and I was trying to get into position the bird blew out with no shot offered. My buddy came to me with his dog and she pointed. As we were talking about her pointing where the bird flew from, one came out of a tree over his head. No shot was offered. As we followed up the birds, we had a double point on a different bird, about 40 yards from the first 2, but again not shot was offered. We flew 1 more bird out of a tree that got a pass because of no point. That was the best shot we had all day. We loaded up and went to another spot where we had a wild flush that came by us wide open. It also flew off with not shots fired. The days total was 5 flushes on 4 different birds with a total of 4 hours hunting.
     
  9. KY Grouse Hunter

    KY Grouse Hunter 6 pointer

    274
    16
    Nov 2, 2007
    Southeastern Kentucky
    Gave up the grouse woods for the field edges today in pursuit of Mr. Bob. Hunted three hours and the young dog pointed a 15+ bird covey. Covey split and went two opposite directions and needless to say, I sprayed shot everywhere but where it mattered.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  10. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I went out with the old soldier today...he brought his 6 mo. pup and she was a joy to watch. She's getting her wheels, and that's good because as we all know, you can bring them back in, but you can't send them out...

    We went where I left two birds a couple of weeks ago. My Scout dog pointed high on the ridge in a locust thicket. I went in to flush, heard a shot to my left, but I never heard a bird flush. Turns out it bailed out of a tree and never made a sound, but he picked it up and fired. He had a good shot, but didn't see it falter. We followed it up and my dogs starting pointing and hunting dead for a few minutes, showed every sign of smelling the bird, but we never recovered it. I suspect that if he hit it, it hit the ground running and either hit a hole or just kept going.

    We went to another spot that had been logged a few years ago, but it was selectively cut, not much cover. My dogs double pointed in a pile of pine blowdowns, and the little pup was backing, so that was a good sign.
     
  11. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

    343
    13
    Apr 4, 2010
    Has everybody quit? Plan on getting out in a day or two.
     
  12. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I've been out a couple of times. Took the old soldier again to a bird he'd seen a couple of weeks ago. We got a good double point on it from my dogs, and when the pup ran through they broke and started hunting hard. We stood and watched them for a moment and then the sneaky bird broke out behind me. I fired once, missed as usual, then quit firing so old soldier could have a try. He crippled it as it went over the ridge, scoured the open beech hillside where it went and only found a hen turkey that held for a point for a few seconds. I hate to lose a cripple but it happens.

    Yesterday I left work early and chased rumors of grouse on a horseback trail below a strip reclaim. Cover was there, no flushes.
     
  13. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,727
    185
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    Flew one bird yesterday twice. Couldn't locate him for the 3rd flush, but got a point on him from the dogs. He was a jumpy lil fellar.

    Visited a single today in a 5-6 year old cut behind a locked gate. He wasn't home. I'll catch up with him next year.

    Ill be be happy if I get to pull the trigger on one this year. Very slim year, worse than last year.
     
  14. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    1,065
    111
    Jan 16, 2008
    I've been out quite a bit in the last couple of weeks.

    Weekend before this one we moved 2 birds on Saturday, neither offering even the hopes of a shot. Sunday we moved zero in places that are historically top notch. Last Wednesday in one of my best places we moved 3 with no real shots offered. This past weekend we moved 7 on Saturday none of which would allow a shot to be fired, and yesterday we hunted great cover all day without moving a bird.

    For the past several years the decline has been unnoticed in this area, but this year the numbers of birds are dropped to the point where the future of the species seem questionable. I hunt as good a habitat as you can find, and it's stacked on top of itself by the thousands upon thousands of acres so it's not habitat issue around here.

    The birds we do find are basically unkillable, and I wish I could blame that on hunting pressure but most places we are the only ones hunting them and with unlimited spots we generally only hit the same place twice in a season. So pressure isn't causing this issue IMO.

    I wish I knew the answers, but I'm dumbfounded by the trend we are seeing, and at this rate we may not have any grouse to hunt in 5 years as the species is virtually extinct.

    My only hope is that with the Acorn crop this year that the birds are not using their normal haunts in order to capitalize on the abundant high protein acorns.
     
  15. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I think the Appalachian grouse hunters will go extinct before the Appalachian grouse do.

    All the hard core grouse hunters are getting gray headed and long in the tooth and sore in the knees, not training pups, letting their dogs get old and slowly hanging it up. The younger crowd all want to hunt the glamour game like deer and turkey, and their soft butts are permanently welded to the seat of an ATV. The thought of climbing steep hills through brush and briars and getting their boots dirty strikes them as silly or outright stupid.

    I figure I've got 10 years of hunting left in me, and then bad knees and tired ears will take me out of the game. I only know one feller that hunts grouse in my county that's younger than me, and I'm nigh on 50. He's younger but he's not nearly as handsome as me.
     

Share This Page