Grouse hunters that saw the good old days.....

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by msu_hunter, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. Bee

    Bee 10 pointer

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    Mar 14, 2005
    Some thoughts on snow and appalachian grouse: i think snow in appalacahia can be a serious death period for grouse. It generally is not great lakes snow (dry and fluffy) that allows burrowing and thus protection from predation from avians. Our southern foothill and mountain snows generally are wetter and shallow and crusty , thus generally not allowing burrowing. If ground is white and no pines, cedars, or conifers are available for cover a grouse is generally totally exposed to owls hawks etc. My sense over the years is that there have been noticeable dips in grouse populations in years following heavy lingering snow cover in the mountains. My diaries would support this in flush rates etc. I do not think the decreases are co-incidence.

    Turkeys and grouse: Turkeys are in the same covers as i typically have found grosue. They eat the same soft mass, particularly in a poor acorn year (acorns which turkeys prefer). I have killed more turkeys than grouse in several states in appalachia in the last decade and always look in their crops. see a lot of the same greens , buds etc that grouse eat. My theory is that a gang of turkeys can move in to a covert of a few acres that would provide winters food and stem cover for a couple of grouse. In a few days twelve young turkeys can eat everything in that covert that would sustain a grouse for a winter. Grouse thus relocates to less prime covert , more susceptible to predation etc. Repeat that twice or three times in a fall and the grouse is in pysss poor cover and the rest is history. Repeat this over a region for a decade and grouse really plummet. Nature can be cruel to a weaker competitive species. My theories. not a biologist
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  2. msu_hunter

    msu_hunter 6 pointer

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    Oct 23, 2011
    I'd have to agree that the average snow in the grouse zone is not very helpful but I think this one is different, it's lite and fluffy. Hopefully the majority of surviving birds will be able to use it to there advantage while these temps plummet over the next week.
     
  3. KY Grouse Hunter

    KY Grouse Hunter 6 pointer

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    Nov 2, 2007
    Southeastern Kentucky
    This portion of WV acts as if there's no decline at all! [video=youtube_share;V96cVq0ayiY]http://youtu.be/V96cVq0ayiY[/video]
     
  4. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

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    Jerkwater, KY
    Might give our poor Kentucky birds a break if everybody drove 2-3 hours and hunted WV for a few years.
     
  5. Sialia67

    Sialia67 6 pointer

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Rowan County
    Eight inches of powder is the minimum needed for snow roosting. Let's hope the grouse are under the snow tonight. During the Appalachian grouse study, first year birds that had never seen snow before instinctively roosted in the snow. This was observed at the higher elevation study sites in Virginia. A few years ago, I chatted with a contractor from the big mountains in eastern West Virginia. He mentioned that grouse numbers were up following deep snow in the mountains the year before. Unfortunately I cannot remember too many snows in Kentucky that were deep enough and lasted long enough to benefit the birds. Even this current snow will be crusted over after Saturday's warmth and rain followed by freezing again.
     
  6. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

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    We hunted grouse a lot in the 80s. My brother and I were the dogs :). We'd walk hillsides and dad the valley. We'd always jump a few. I was pretty young then so never got as many as my dad and bro but I have killed a few. We were in Madison Co, not really EKy so you know there were a lot of birds back then. Those were my favorite days I hadn't even been introduced to deer hunting.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  7. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Got out yesterday to try and break the cabin fever and the hunt did not go anywhere close to as me and my partner planned.

    Driving in we came upon a dead body about 5 miles from the paved road laying flat on his back in the snow. Needless to say between dealing with the sheriffs dept and detectives we never got the chance to hunt. Crappy day on top of a crappy season
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  8. djs

    djs Fawn

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    Hitch, that's awful. That's about the last thing you needed when out hunting.
     
  9. Brawny

    Brawny Fawn

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    End of the line
    Trustme's post about patchwork farms covers the big problem. Add in human population growth(long term habitat loss, increased predation from furbearers and most importantly Asians and you have a recipe for disaster. The crash has been coming for a while, island populations will not sustain a species long term. February hunting accelerates the problem, loss of brood stock.
     
  10. Brawny

    Brawny Fawn

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    End of the line
    Stupid auto correct, should read Avians as in captors, duh.
     
  11. Brawny

    Brawny Fawn

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    End of the line
    Raptors, I hate this phone.
     
  12. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

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    Jerkwater, KY
    Brawny, am I to take it that you've single handedly captured Asian grouse poachers? Good for you!
     
  13. Brawny

    Brawny Fawn

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    Dec 5, 2007
    End of the line
    Took awhile, had to go the local buffet to gather evidence.
     
  14. CSS archer

    CSS archer BBBC Members

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    Dec 13, 2001
    Central KY
    I've flushed 25 birds in a day in KY, that was before I'd ever hunted over a bird dog, just with a retriever. I got bird dogs and everything went downhill. That was 1991, the last time I hunted KY grouse was 2009, WI spoiled me on grouse hunting. I used to kill about 20 a year in the "good ole days", averaged about a bird flushed per hour. I miss getting after them..
     
  15. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

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    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    Well done.
     

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