Grouse Population

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

  1. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

    343
    13
    Apr 4, 2010
    I hunted Harlan Co. yesterday. I have got as many hunts in without flying birds this year as with. This pine thicket was next to a creek with beech. Was grouse tracks in the snow next to the creek but did not fly a bird. Went through the pine thicket and the birds were flying from tree to tree. The one bird I killed did not have anything in its crop.





     
  2. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
    7
    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    Thanks I hunt in Jackson county. I figured with all the reclaimed mines up there it would be thick with grouse


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  3. autumn magic

    autumn magic Fawn

    28
    0
    Jan 29, 2007
    :DGrouse are way down this year in our parts. I hunt a lot of reclaimed land, auger bench roads, and logging areas and have yet to flush one grouse.That 's highly discouraging.Use to move 4 to 5 birds in a few hours.I talked to a biologist and there is truly no answer to the situation.His answer was predators more than likely.If you can, get me a picture so I can show my setter what he is after.Been a year or two since he retrieved one for me.Hunts and handles well but grouse dogs need grouse.He needs some hope that there are a few birds that do exist.Good luck to everyone in chasing the greatest reward in the woods.
     
  4. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
    7
    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    Yes I wood agree. The birds seem scattered from where they have been. Have had to hunt unknown areas based on topics and secondary growth. My GSP got on two birds quickly this morning. I managed to knock down one and get a shot at the other. The male bird I killed had sour briar berries and a two small laurel fern. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1389474797.079135.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1389474812.376426.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1389474822.896465.jpg


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  5. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
    7
    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    Went out today, was very warm. Walked 4 miles but no flushes, 2 points on bunnies is all we could muster. Hopefully colder weather is on the way.


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  6. Bee

    Bee 10 pointer

    1,518
    1,231
    Mar 14, 2005
    only an anecdotal observation, but earlier in the week l was in a place that is what l would describe as perfect grouse habitat. Right mix of thickets and diverse age class trees , pine winter cover, greens on the ground, not a turkey track anywhere, not a deer track seen all day, not a four wheeler trail within a mile or more and year round water flows. Had eight pointed seperate birds and a lot more flushes. Except for deer, turkey , four wheeler absence it looks just like fifty other places l hunt.that appear to be birdless the last few years. Here is one of those isolated pockets that may repopulate the grouse world of southern appalachia.
     
  7. Birdman

    Birdman Cyber-Hunter

    3,669
    1
    Feb 26, 2002
    Paintsville, KY, USA.
    I hunted two days this week, one day we covered 5.1 miles the other 4.6 miles. We hunted our best two dogs both days. We hunted as good a cover as there is out there. We didn't see or hear the first bird. We did have four points the first day and two the second but no birds. The first day we flew 9 turkey, that's the ones we seen and deer sign was everywhere. The second day no turkey but deer sign was everywhere. In both areas there were beach nuts hanging heavy but no grouse to eat them. In this part of the state when you have a heavy beach nut crop, the next year you'll have a good hatch. The only problem I see is there's no birds this year to have a hatch next year. I seen in the paper last week that the department was doing four studies this year none of which was to find out why our birds are disappearing. One of the studies was why one county didn't have as many large bucks as they should. Gentleman I think we need to load our dogs up and take a day off of hunting and visit the capital. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
     
  8. autumn magic

    autumn magic Fawn

    28
    0
    Jan 29, 2007
    Agree.There will be no tradition to carry on for the next generation if it doesn't change.Appalachian grouse hunting is not what it was.I hear several of my family members and friends tell me how good it was before.Drop the dogs and have several points all day long.Man,wish I could see that for myself some day.Not for me only,but for my kids!
     
  9. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
    7
    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    Yea I agree with you both. It's hard to understand what has impacted them to the point where they are now? I have found any turkey sign and very little deer sign to add. I love hunting this bird and sure wish there were higher numbers.


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  10. Bee

    Bee 10 pointer

    1,518
    1,231
    Mar 14, 2005
    the easy way out for game managers is to take the position that the season/bag limit be greatly reduced or closed until the population recovers or stabilizes itself. l think that is exactly what Ohio recently experienced or almost experienced. In the face of a grouse population disaster, l think the above reaction is exactly what will happen in ky. i wonder how many on here are wiling to take that dose, given the apparent lack of confidence that the cause effect for this decline has even remotely been identified
     
  11. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    The KDFWR could reduce the daily bag to two and not hurt my feelings, but they better be pouring some serious stacks of that elk money into grouse research if they take that step. I haven't heard dropping the daily bag mentioned, though. Let's not get in an uproar about it just yet.

    Indiana just suspended their grouse season, but apparently nobody's seen one up there in years so it didn't much matter.
     
  12. Brit's and Birds

    Brit's and Birds 10 pointer

    1,167
    915
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oldham County
    But how much help would that really help given the current state of the population? I dont think I know anyone that has ever taken a limit in KY. Know of a handful that have taken three in a day, but all those were 10+ years ago at the minimum. Anyone taking more than 2 birds a day this year should be ashamed of themselves. A two bird limit may help a little, but in my opinion is more akin to putting a band aid on bullet wound given the current state of grouse in KY.
     
  13. wildirishman64

    wildirishman64 6 pointer

    260
    7
    Dec 21, 2013
    Owsley County KY
    I know when I head out that my expectations are just getting solid points and flushes. Lol, low expectations I know but I still need a reason to get out in the woods with my GSP


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  14. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    You're right, it would be a band-aid, and that's even with the assumption that everyone is law-abiding and not greedy enough to still shoot every bird that offers itself.

    My point is that I just want some acknowledgement from the KDFWR that there's a problem and they're interested in addressing it.
     
  15. Birdman

    Birdman Cyber-Hunter

    3,669
    1
    Feb 26, 2002
    Paintsville, KY, USA.
    Who's willing to take their dog or dogs to Frankfort to show not only the department that we want answers but also the legislators? You've got to remember we can't go there with out great numbers. If you really want answers let me know and we'll set a date and head to Frankfort.
     

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