Grouse numbers

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by hitch, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. grousehunter ky

    grousehunter ky 6 pointer

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    Jan 11, 2008
    London, KY
    Sunday Hunt

    Hunted a new area for me that I had always heard there were grouse but just didn't seem like grouse country for me. Moved 3 birds and knocked one down. My young male bumped it the first time then my little female pointed for a re-flush.
     
  2. grousehunter ky

    grousehunter ky 6 pointer

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    Jan 11, 2008
    London, KY
    I agree. I have never had a dog that I would even consider close to finished until they were at least 3 and some were a little older than that. I might've seen flashes of a grouse dog before then but then they would blunder onto the next 3 or 4 after doing something good. I always heard of the dogs that finished early and could stick the grouse at 1 or 2 but I've not been lucky enough to have one yet.
     
  3. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,728
    186
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    Makes me feel real good then about my experience Tuesday, then to have the dog do a 180 Saturday.
     
  4. no.5 Buckshot

    no.5 Buckshot Spike

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Cumberland Ky
    my dogs are 18 mo. I never hunterd them til this season I was told by friends of mine to yard and command train them first. I have a male that I took a bird launcher and launched a Quial that flew over the hill after I shot it and the male same one that bumped the grouse went over the hill a good ways and brought it back to me. That felt good anyway.
     
  5. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

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    Jan 16, 2008

    JMO, but when I was training my pup I never shot at birds unless they were pointed and held. No reason to reward poor behavior by downing a bird or firing my gun. Of course I was more interested in the pointing and holding aspect rather then the flushing aspect of a bird dog, and could've cared less about retrieving.
     
  6. no.5 Buckshot

    no.5 Buckshot Spike

    99
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    Jan 1, 2009
    Cumberland Ky
    Like I said I'm new to this and I've never heard that one before. I am more interested in pointing and holding and as far as the retrieving go's he does that on his on not something I taught him. But tell me how do you get them to point grouse if you don't try to bring one down ?
     
  7. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,728
    186
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler

    It helps out a whole bunch if you can train with pigeons and quail. The pigeons I trapped a short while back, they flew good. The quail I had, after a couple days they just started running, so I went and bought a launcher. You plant the bird, take the dog in on a check cord. When the dog points, you either tie the check cord around a stake, or put your foot firmly on the check cord. It helps if you have someone helping out. If that dog moves, you go in and flush the bird. My female will hold well on quail and pigeons, but when we get out in the woods, Ive seen its a different ballgame. Lots of grouse in front of them is what it takes. They hafta learn on their own how close they can get to a grouse before it will flush. Just to show you it takes some time...Ive had 2 lightbulb moments this season out of her. Ive jumped right around 30 birds to have them 2 moments. Granted some has been wild flushes, but I would say she has brought up half of them. Like everyone keeps telling me, keep him in the woods every chance you get.
     
  8. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

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    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    I am starting to think all the grouse have moved north for the winter :D. I hunted 5 hours sunday on the jackson/rockcastle line and didn't even get a wild flush. I have hunted 10 days and have seen 3 grouse total, killing none of them
     
  9. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

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    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    Yard training should be in place way before 12 months. Regardless of age, the dog should be in the woods at every opportunity in his first season, whether he's 6 months old or 12 months old. You can't teach a dog to point and hold grouse; only the grouse can teach them that.

    My previous dog was pointing and holding reliably at 13 months. I've had others that did it earlier, but not many.
     
  10. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

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    Jan 16, 2008
    A dog should point instinctively at 6 weeks, but holding point varies. I worked my current dog on pen raised quail 4 days a week, 10 birds, for 2 months straight. I never let him touch a bird until after I picked it up, and I never shot unless the bird was pointed and held. I whoa broke him at 5 months and by month 7 he was steady as a rock. Month 8 I was hunting him exclusively on grouse, and yes he screwed up, ALOT! However that was just part of the fun of having a very young pup after a very wiley bird.

    Month 9 and 10 he really started to get the hang of it, and by the end of the season showed signs of a veteran grouser. He still messed up, but that year on the last day of the season I contacted 13 birds, and he pointed 10 of the 13 with me killing 2. Not a bad way to end his first season.

    Now 2 years later he very rarely if ever runs a bird up, he will "false point" some but his over cautious approach is maybe why he doesn't push many birds up.

    I did some things wrong which I won't do again. I was hard handed season 1 which was not necessary.
     
  11. no.5 Buckshot

    no.5 Buckshot Spike

    99
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    Jan 1, 2009
    Cumberland Ky
    I've been working these dogs since they were 5 mo. when I got them. I have hunted them some while whoa breaking but not that much because there wasn't much season left. I've done alot of yard work with check chord and some on quail and still do but I'm trying to hunt them all I can. They mind well in the woods. They have alot of point to them I tried them out when I bought them on pigeons. They would point but holding was a different story. If I can make a grouse dog out of these I would like to breed them and get a pup and start another. As bad as I am at it I still really injoy working with these dogs. I've have made some big mustakes on the way but maybe I haven't destroyed them. And it's hard hunting around here.
     
  12. no.5 Buckshot

    no.5 Buckshot Spike

    99
    0
    Jan 1, 2009
    Cumberland Ky
    appreciate the input fellows I will try some of these things.
     
  13. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
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    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    Not much point in breeding dogs; plenty of good pups available from proven dogs.
     
  14. KY Grouse Hunter

    KY Grouse Hunter 6 pointer

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    Nov 2, 2007
    Southeastern Kentucky
    Here is my theory along with alot of others. I know that everyone wants to raise and have that dog they can trademark themselves with and breed to every female in the surrounding area but honestly most of the time that is not best for the breed and quality of the bird dogs. I suggest to use proven dogs that have consistently put out top quality dogs breeding after breeding. Requires a little research on which stud to go with but it will pay off. (most of the time.)
     
  15. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
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    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    My theory is that it is cheaper and more certain to just pay 500 bucks for a good pup out of a proven breeding than try your luck and possibly get hung with a dozen pups that you can't even give away.

    Not trying to step on anyone's toes, but most of us hunt over average dogs and convince ourselves they're something special. I've done it myself. But average breeding breeds average dogs. I want a pup out of a great breeding that has a past history of making great dogs. Don't be afraid to spend a few bucks to get that; it's cheaper in the long run.
     

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