Grouse opener

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by Marlin'sDad, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Marlin'sDad

    Marlin'sDad Fawn

    Oct 25, 2019
    Is anyone heading to Clay WMA Saturday and want to hook up? I've got a few spots from On-X maps I want to check out it'll be my first time there. I'm not looking for anyone's honey holes just hope to find someone with a bit more knowledge of the area than me. Maybe give a little input on the areas I've got picked just make sure I'm barking up the right tree.
  2. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    Jan 19, 2004
    rush, ky, USA.
    There's no honey holes in the state of ky . It's more like if you happen to find one or see a feather just keep your trap shut and hunt it every day till you kill it . Lol just joking but not really... I killed several down there early season years ago but the area has never had to much of a population . I'm not sure that there is even one left alive down there now ,the way our f& w have dropped the ball on small game for the last 30-40 years
    Bee and grouseguy like this.
  3. Marlin'sDad

    Marlin'sDad Fawn

    Oct 25, 2019
    RGS is supposed to be working with the forest service and F&W on a big habitat improvement I can't find the article or post anymore but It was in that area and a large patch of Daniel Boone forest as well. Hopefully in a few years we'll have good hunting again. Having never chased them I'm not optimistic about finding them or getting a shot at them but can't afford a trip up north to chase them yet. It'll by mine and my dog's first time after them, we've chased timberdoodle and quail in a few places here locally and we are hell on the preserve birds but I need to get him after wild birds I'm more excited to explore some new country than anything.
  4. HeadedWest

    HeadedWest 6 pointer

    Nov 22, 2016
    I think the only folks headed to Clay WMA will be deer hunting, with rifles.
  5. Marlin'sDad

    Marlin'sDad Fawn

    Oct 25, 2019
    Unless I missed a quota hunt rifle season won't open until next
  6. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    Not being a downer here, but the sooner people stop buyin a hunting lisence in KY and supporting such abysmal management on small game, the better off you'll be. Lord forbid something happen to their money makers. They'd be on it like stink on shit then. I hate to hijack this thread, I do, but our Dept is a flat joke.
    Carl, Joseph and grouseguy like this.
  7. Deadbeat

    Deadbeat 6 pointer

    Feb 4, 2008
    Jon, I agree with what you are saying. It would be nice if they could split the license up by the actual game you are hunting. There would be a clear message if they sold a grouse permit like they do for turkey, and no one bought it and that was what the funding was provided through for each animal. Dove, turkey, and woodcock and actual pretty good to hunt some years and you gotta buy that same license to hunt them as you do for grouse (plus HIP training and turkey permit). I guess a person could focus all of their hunting out of state, but that may not be an option for everyone. I wish grouse hunting was as good as it was even 10 years ago, but I feel it ain't gonna get better anytime soon. I would hate to take a young person and their dog to even the best spots I can find right now because I know it would turn them against grouse hunting to walk them 10 or 15 miles and not even get a point.
    daniel harris likes this.
  8. Lucky Dog

    Lucky Dog Spike

    Feb 2, 2017
    I spent a day this past week searching areas that have been set aside for elk but are open to all hunting. Found a couple of cuts that would rival what you see up north. The Kentucky River Ruffed Grouse Society will hold a session highlighting these spots and how to locate other on December 7. Details will be forthcoming via membership email and at our new Facebook site. I do not agree with not supporting licenses. We have been in discussion about a special upland stamp. Sure, more could be done but much of what has happened is lack of habitat and other unknown factors. Turkey and quail numbers are declining rapidly too if you are out in the woods enough to notice. Efforts must be made to counterattack misguided environmentalists who have all but shut down logging in the national forest which is mostly what we have here in Kentucky. Private logging has been the most I have ever seen in recent years but tariffs imposed by Washington is about to bring this to a halt. Talk to a logger and you will see what I am talking about.
    If you want to see more upland birds quickly more work could more easily be done to establish quail populations on strip mine areas. This is where I have the most disagreement with our Game Department. I have seen too many areas where a stocking approach has worked contrary to their beliefs. This is an area that could be addressed more quickly.If you want to see changes in any upland program talk to your local Commissioners as they will be your voice to the Department.
    I also write a weekly outdoor column for a couple of newspapers and just finished one called The King of Appalachia. I will send it to our secretary and see if he can put it on facebook. There is also an article about the journey that is on the RGS blog. Hunting is a journey and our bond with the bird, the dogs, and the woods should not be broken by anything. If you want something done try and get involved. The grouse situation will not turn around quickly but not to try is a cop out. By the way I encounterd the largest grouse I have ever seen during opening week and on the trip last week talked to a deer hunter coming off the mountain in the area where we will meet on December 7 and he said I just passed three standing in the road.
    daniel harris likes this.
  9. bigbonner

    bigbonner 10 pointer

    Aug 5, 2015
    I don't want to hear that habitat has caused Grouse decline . I have lived in my area my whole life and owned my farm since 1993 . My area was full of Grouse . Now they can blame the decline on habitat but that is 100% wrong . My farm has not changed since I bought it and neighboring farms ( 1000's of acres) have grown up in thickets and bushes. If anything Grouse should be plentiful with cover that is here now.
    From my way of thinking is that grouse decline started when coyote populations exploded, fur prices dropped, trappers quit trapping and when Turkeys was introduced to my area.
  10. Deadbeat

    Deadbeat 6 pointer

    Feb 4, 2008
    Mark, I am glad people like you are trying to help instead of constant griping while doing nothing. It's weird, out west the pheasant population goes up when coyote population goes up, theory is they catch more predators than pheasant. I am not a very smart person but what I see with grouse is the same birds continued to be in the same thickets, but failed to reproduce. Once you killed them no new birds came back to that better cover. I am not sure if the young birds are being ate by predators, killed by west nile or another illness, or the nest being busted up before hatching, but the birds are not reproducing and I don't know why.
  11. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

    Aug 23, 2011
    Turkeys are hard on quail. I bet they are hard on grouse too.
    Winchester94 likes this.
  12. grouseguy

    grouseguy Cyber-Hunter

    I have spent my last $$$ supporting RGS, and will spend as little as possible supporting the KDFWR.

    25 years ago I also had quaint notions that these organizations were actually helping, but that was simply misguided idealism.

    I’m retiring soon and will be spending my time and money out of this state enjoying myself.
    BirdBuster likes this.
  13. Bubbles

    Bubbles Banned

    Oct 25, 2016
    Dont let the door hit ya on the way out.

    Why wait? Move now.
    Winchester94 likes this.
  14. Carl

    Carl 12 pointer

    Dec 1, 2003
    Underground Bunker in KY
    You are more likely to encounter a Bigfoot than you are a grouse in my part of the state.
    Deadbeat, Winchester94 and Bee like this.
  15. Grundle

    Grundle Fawn

    Nov 25, 2019
    I am in Pennsylvania and I have a hunting camp in Vermont and the grouse numbers are way down in the areas that I hunt. There is not as much good habitat as there should be but even in prime cover it is hard to find grouse. I am concerned about what is going on.

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