Grouse Population

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by hitch, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    In addition to the much needed habitat creation on state managed lands, I'd be very appreciative of some attention from the KDFWR toward the decline of grouse populations in general. We've hacked it to death here on the forum for 10 years but we have no official indication from those on high that they are aware of our concerns.

    Much of the resentment toward the KDFWR stems from all the attention in research and dollars and publicity that is poured on elk/deer/turkey while there is no indication of any concern at all about our small game situation. It's easy for the KDFWR to throw up their hands and say, "All of E KY is privately owned, and we can't manage private lands." That is true, but there is a lot of suitable habitat on those private lands that don't hold any birds, and I am of the opinion that the KDFWR should be conducting studies to find out why.
     
  2. birdshooter

    birdshooter 6 pointer

    234
    8
    Jan 22, 2012
    Greenup Ky
    Thanks Trust Me I left out another important point and request. I would like to see the dept start clear cutting at least a 1/4 of the wma's in the grouse zone and every 10 years cut another forth. This would help there habitat loss and the money that come from the timber sales would be used to fund the study and grouse restoration.
     
  3. Sialia67

    Sialia67 6 pointer

    253
    3
    Sep 4, 2008
    Rowan County
    It is interesting how parts of the state have lots of birds, while some are back to average, and other counties are still in the dumps. I noticed a real lack of birds for about 5 seasons in the counties that I hunt most often (Rowan, Lewis, and Elliott) beginning in 2007-08 and lasting through the 2011-12 season. Birds were back to normal last season 2012-13. Bird numbers look good again this season. I heard a fantastic report from Lewis County just recently. It is perplexing that Lewis County could be doing well while right next door, Greenup County is still down. The Pine Mountain counties were booming just 3 years ago. I think numbers are still good in those counties.
     
  4. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    We've compared anecdotal evidence like this for years, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the disparities. Several years ago I was the Pollyanna telling everyone how great the grouse hunting was, and the others couldn't find any. Now, you're getting into good numbers and I can't buy a bird. This is the kind of thing that deserves scientific research instead of hearsay and grumblings.
     
  5. birdshooter

    birdshooter 6 pointer

    234
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    Jan 22, 2012
    Greenup Ky
    I would love to hear the report from Lewis County, and what do you consider normal, 4 flushes out of 15 trips sucks from my experience. I know I'm getting older and don't cover near the ground you younger guys do. Maybe I'm just dreaming that there will ever be the 15-20 flush day again.
     
  6. Birdman

    Birdman Cyber-Hunter

    3,669
    1
    Feb 26, 2002
    Paintsville, KY, USA.
    From what I'm hearing, hunters are finding a few birds but in small pockets. I've had three people this week call from Lewis Co. wanting to come to Johnson Co. and hunt because their saying there's no birds left in Lewis. I'm sure Sialia67 got the report he shared but other hunter in Lewis and Greenup are not finding any birds. Last year Greenup and Lewis had good numbers along with the big mountains but not this year from what I'm hearing.
     
  7. msu_hunter

    msu_hunter 6 pointer

    253
    12
    Oct 23, 2011
    From what little I have gathered the birds have been pretty scattered and not where they should be in terms of cover. The guys I hunt with are finding them in odd locations this year and I seem to be to, I bumped a bird about two weeks ago out of what you could almost call a field edge. Granted there was cover close by but it just wasn't a place I expected to see a grouse at all. Seems like an odd year for sure.
     
  8. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
    7
    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    I've had them flush at the edge of a clearcut this year but mostly in the briar patch and acres of it


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. Sialia67

    Sialia67 6 pointer

    253
    3
    Sep 4, 2008
    Rowan County
    Normal is an average flush rate of about 0.84 birds per hour, not counting reflushes. Ky grouse hunters kill 6 birds on average during the season. That number is dated based upon a 1996-97 season survey. I'm not aware of a more recent survey.
     
  10. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    3,025
    1,398
    Jan 19, 2004
    Greenup, ky, USA.
    Wow those are some dismal stats ,the mid 90's were pretty good to me . I would say the average per hunter in my group of friends was in the 40's until the early 2000's . From then on we've been lucky to kill 6 as a group in a season.

    sent from the front deck
     
  11. birdshooter

    birdshooter 6 pointer

    234
    8
    Jan 22, 2012
    Greenup Ky
    Thanks for sharing that, but its hard for me to believe the grouse hunters in this state anywhere are flushing that many birds on average. I have not talked to anybody that has flushed a grouse every trip let alone every 2 hours(most have several outings with 0 flushes). If you remember 3 years ago when I had Linda from the Ruff Grouse Society in we traveled to the Black and Pine mountain area and talked to hunters and none of them had that kind of numbers. Even if these numbers are true and I hope someone is having success this norm is way to low to be acceptable. There's no way the grouse hunters in this state should be satisfied with this number and we deserve to have at least the norm that's up north. I could be bad wrong but I believe we have enough talent like yourself at KDFW to sole this problem it the money and resources were dedicated to it.
     
  12. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I did that well or better back in the day, but nothing near that in the last 10 years. that data is pushing 20 years old, and a lot has changed.
     
  13. zslinker

    zslinker Spike

    91
    0
    Mar 13, 2008
    morehead, ky
    I have been on a total of 8 hunts totaling 11 hours for 10 birds and killed 1 so far this year, (not to mention I've shot probably 10 or more times on those hunts). Out of those 8 hunts I have found birds on 6 of them, the other 2 outings weren't exactly ideal cover but I had an hour to burn and figured what the heck. All in all I feel like bird numbers are up from last year in my neck of the briar patch.

    Sent from my VS930 4G using Tapatalk
     
  14. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

    343
    13
    Apr 4, 2010
    Had a good hunt today. Moved 6 birds. All birds came out of trees tho. On one reflush it was on the ground. Had a great point on that bird. Had to kick the snow coverd briar patch to get the bird to fly. Nice adult male. Had 14 flushes for the day. But like I said, tree flushes, they all were in pine thickets except the one relush. One point, one shot fired, and one bird in the bag.
     
  15. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
    7
    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    Where are you hunting? Just wondering? Sounds like a good hunt


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