Ruff Tales of Appalachia 10-11

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by JonDunn, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Catchmeifyoucan

    Catchmeifyoucan Spike

    76
    0
    Mar 16, 2010
    I took my pup again today into some new area that we got permission to hunt. It had been clear cut 15 yrs ago and this was some of the best grouse cover you could ever find. We started up one small hollow that had some awesome cover but no birds and then went over the ridge and down the hollow that ran back towards the truck. We just cleared the bowl where the creek started and the pup got her first smell of a grouse. She was out in front of my hunting partner on the other side of the hollow when she locked up. She was in some really thick cover when the first bird came out about 10 yards in front of her. She still held pt as my hunting partner tried to get to her and then that's when the woods erupted. Five more birds came out in front of her and neither one of us got a shot. I saw one bird head towards the top of the ridge and so me the pup went after her. We get to the top of the ridge and the bird gets up 50 yards in front of us. She didn't hear or see it so I took her down to where this bird flushed from. She got to where the bird was and locked up. I was really happy to see her lock up even though I new the bird had flown away. We left this hollow and headed up the road to another spot. We didn't walk 100 yards and she locked up again. She was on pt looking in a honeysuckle thicket. The bird ended up flushing from across the creek and presented no shot. I've hunted 8 times in the last two months and now believe that if you have the right cover you still may find some. I've jumped 17 birds in the last two hunts. There should be some birds for seed for next yr.
     
  2. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,727
    185
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    Hunted a holler with 2 buddies today that is well past its prime. For some reason though in February, it always holds birds. Today proved no different. Not the amount we would like to see, but we took a bird over a point today. Dogs never touched the bird after the kill so I think this one is going on the wall. His ol lady is putting the pressure on him awful hard for one.
     
  3. barney

    barney 12 pointer

    14,819
    24,120
    Oct 11, 2005
    Me and my 6 year old jumped 2 birds this afternoon off of a low finger point while walkin up the hollar..These birds were feeding, as we found a few basketball sized areas where they had been scratchin..
     
  4. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    Covered two loooong hollers today. A couple of points in likely places but no birds seen or heard. I'm killed.
     
  5. KY Fowl Hunter

    KY Fowl Hunter Fawn

    17
    0
    Dec 28, 2008
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Put in a long day Wednesday, 2 hours along the ridge top, 2 hours along the contours, and 2 hours in the bottom. Saw lots of hawks, one grouse feather, one grouse dropping, and finally 2 hours back to the truck. This was the worst hunt this year. On this particular piece of ground, the dogs have always found at least one grouse. Nobody was home today. Hope to do better this Saturday. Good luck to all hunting these last few days. Congratulations to Mr. Dunn for his posting on UJ. You had a memorable day for the records.
     
  6. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

    343
    13
    Apr 4, 2010
    I'm done! Had points on 3 woodcock today but no Ruffled Grouses. This was the worst grouse season in my 18 years of hunting. I sure hope next year is better.
     
  7. grousec

    grousec 6 pointer

    471
    2
    Jan 15, 2009
    mt sterling ky
    Sorry to hear that BirdBuster! I hope to hunt Monday (if weather permits). I am to the point that I want to just get my young dogs in some of the woodcock, so I will be out for the next few days with a blank. I first started hunting grouse in KY 1972, and I saw this coming 4-5 years ago. There was a very noticable decline starting in bird numbers. I also hope next year is better, but I don't expect it. There are a lot of things against them and they need a lot of help from KY grouse hunters.
     
  8. KY Fowl Hunter

    KY Fowl Hunter Fawn

    17
    0
    Dec 28, 2008
    Elizabethtown, KY
    I hunted for 5 hours today with 2 dogs. Each one got "birdy" one time. One dog relocated. I thought I would be seeing a grouse any minute, but nothing flushed. As I went down the road, I saw "Jonesy" of Lee County coming out of a side road. I pulled over and we talked. He said he got 6 for the season, one out of the holler next to the one I hunted today. Today, he hunted his dog for 4 hours and never saw a single bird. He was already looking forward to 2 weeks in WI this fall to keep his dog tuned up. With the weather forecast for Monday, I think my season is over. This was a disappointing season due to the low number of hits on birds.
     
  9. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,727
    185
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    My 11 month old really shined yesterday. Forgive me for bragging, but I feel I could take an 11 month old pup out and kill birds over her. She was hunted by herself and had 2 solid woodcock points and 1 solid grouse point. The grouse flushed while I was making my way to her. She ran into another grouse, the first bird of the day. She didnt handle that one all that well as she broke point. A lil come to Jesus about that and she seemed to straightin up on the next 3 contacts.

    I ended out the day in the same holler I killed 2 in last weekend. I knew there was 1 more bird there, but he wasnt around today. I did get a point on a woodcock by my pup. She has really came along the last 3 weekends. Shes the only reason Id like to see season stay in, otherwise Im glad its over. Its been a very long year.

    Hope everyone had a great season, but from bird numbers, I know otherwise. We will meet here again next year to talk grouse. Everyone have a great offseason. Until we meet again....
     
  10. CSS archer

    CSS archer BBBC Members

    4,728
    11
    Dec 13, 2001
    Central KY
    My first dog, a setter, I killed 3 grouse over and he retrieved to hand before he was 6 months old. He lived to 15 and sometimes would point a grouse just from hearing it walk and cluck. I learned a lot from that dog and many friends killed their first grouse over him... The first year I grouse hunted, I only had a lab, that was 1991, I killed 20 or so birds that year, and one day flushed 25 and had 35 total flushes - in KY...

    I never hunted KY last year or this year for grouse, just too far to drive for little activity.

    I did bobcat hunt one day in grouse country this year and flushed 7 birds just walking on atv trails, snow on, birds flushing from hemlocks...

    Today, I saw some of the best grouse habitat I've seen in a long time, no birds crossed the gravel roads or flushed while moving through the woods. I wasn't hunting, but it sure looked good.

    Grouse have to have good weather to raise strong clutches of young. 2-3 bad repro years will devastate grouse numbers here. That's what I think has happened, and it will take several years to rebound. Unfortunately, it's a catch 22, great habitat in a few years becomes marginal at best... so goes the KY grouse cycle...
     
  11. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,727
    185
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    Grouse have to have good weather to raise strong clutches of young. 2-3 bad repro years will devastate grouse numbers here. That's what I think has happened, and it will take several years to rebound. Unfortunately, it's a catch 22, great habitat in a few years becomes marginal at best... so goes the KY grouse cycle...


    I agree about the weather. It was mentioned last night at the meeting about the late freeze and flood. We cant control what mother nature does. All we can do is cut trees. The rest must fall into place itself.

    Our cirlce of friends came away with 28 birds this year. Last year was 39. I killed 9 birds this year. 7 of those came over points. I tried to limit myself from shootin unpointed birds. 1 I took on purpose, but the other one fluttered into a tree infront of my pup. She needed those feathers in her mouth, so I rolled it out. Like I said earlier, Im glad season is out. Ive been waiting for this day since January sometime. Seriously, this is like a full time job. Ive made some great memories this year, had 3-4 really great hunts.
     
  12. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

    343
    13
    Apr 4, 2010
    The litter mates of your female did well this season. All of them pointed birds. I believe it was a good cross. Have 2 people wanting pups if I make the cross again. Can't wait until Wisconsin next year. Love the way my pup works birds. Here is a not so good picture of her pointing some pen quail.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    17,305
    254
    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I'm glad the season is over. The pup is too. Cause if I had to hunt over her one more week I'd shoot her and leave her a-layin'.

    She's in the Terrible Twos. I just have to be patient. I go through this with every dog, and it always goes away, but there's usually one season that you just wish that dog would take the beeper collar off and lay it down and run away and never come back. She's jumping up and down on my last ragged nerve.

    She pointed and held 2 birds last February at 9 months of age. This year she's pointed several, but she's self-hunting now and I can't stand that. When with other dogs, she's got to be out front and in the lead, and it's a hard habit to break. She'll get over it. They always do.
     
  14. Birdman

    Birdman Cyber-Hunter

    3,669
    1
    Feb 26, 2002
    Paintsville, KY, USA.
    Sounds like she's going to make a good one, to me. Those two's do something to a dog for some reason. Every dog I've owned, has gone through that. It's sort of like, they for get who's buying the feed.
     

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