Grouse Hunting Dec 10-11

Discussion in 'Upland Game and Hunting Dogs' started by Bassnpro1, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    I went grouse hunting for two days with a couple of buddies and managed to get 4 or 5 birds up 7 times. We weren't able to put any on the ground though. We were hunting public ground in Southern Ohio and we walked new areas to us without much luck.
     
  2. lovemylabs

    lovemylabs Bird Crazy

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    Where 'bouts in south Ohio?
     

  3. I think you are lamenting over the lack of grouse, right. I also 'used to' like to hunt grouse but have pretty much given up on it. I still occasionally will hear one or two drumming in the woods when turkey hunting in the Spring but they are not nearly in the numbers that they once were. 25-30 flush days were the 'norm' only 25 years ago. Oh, you hear the professional game managers say that the woods are maturing, foxes, coyotes and birds of prey
    take a lot of them, etc. but I have my own theory.
    Since turkeys have been repopulated so successfully, I think they are the reason for the severe dwindling of grouse populations!! Think about it, they are the larger, dominant species of gamebird now. They need more food that the grouse once used, and take the lion's share of what is available and the lowly grouse is left to dwindle in numbers. I'd be willing to bet you saw, or observed large amounts of turkey sign where you found very few grouse during your days in the field, right? That's why so few grouse were contacted-they simply are not there anymore!
     
  4. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    Bassnpro1,
    At least you got a few birds up. Last year, I managed only a couple flushes here in NE Ohio. Almost feel bad about taking shots at them.

    c. j.,
    The turkey theory is worth looking into, but IMO, if they clear cut the woods, the grouse will come in a few years. Hopefully they'll start with Wayne Nat'l Forest and work their way north to Lake Erie! Turkey can live in the big woods, grouse cannot. They need edible understory, alders, wild strawberry, clover, etc. which is usually absent in mature forest. It would also help if the price of pelts made trapping vermin like coons and yotes more worth the effort. Maybe an open season on hawks and owls too. Oops, was that out loud?:eek: I'm a big fan of the ruffed grouse, it's the true king of American game birds, I think.
     
  5. If you have ever been to Michigan it is obvious what works for grouse management- clear cutting- the grouse thrive in second gowth. The problem in Ohio is that if the DOW did start clear cutting and putting effort into grouse management they would want to sell us a special $24.00 grouse permit! The bottom line is $$$$$$$$$$. With an estimated 400,000 hunters going deer huntin alone at $44.00 min each (license and 1 deer tag) = $17,610,000.00!!! Then add turkey tags spring and fall to that. Do you really think they give a rats _ss about the grouse! Just my 2 cents.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  6. littleking

    littleking Crossing Lines LIKE A PRO

    bingo!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  7. Snag, - I think you hit the nail on the head, DOW doesn't care about gamebirds, period. Except turkey of course becasue of the $24 tag.

    Steelmagoo, - You did say that out loud, congratulations, that's what most people think. I would never shoot one because of the very expensive repurcussions (someone is always watching). But if there were an open season... :) :) :) . Speaking of $, what is the economic value of a bird of prey? Can anyone answer that?

    Couple weeks ago I released a doz pheasants, went back next day... hunted 45 min or so, here comes a pheasant out of the woods flying right towards us, cackling with a hen right on it's tail... oh wait its not a hen it's a cooper hawk. That bird dove in the field and disappeared, but that hawk hung out around that field for days, I'm sure until he cleaned up all the pheasants. And we wonder what happens to all the gamebirds.
     
  8. Does anybodyelse think that shooting them in Feb. is a good thing for a bird whose numbers have declined drastically in the last 20 years? Used to hunt them hard and back in the day and Feb. was our favorite month because they would be concentrated in the best cover. Late winter is a tough time for all wildlife and I personally don't think we should be shooting Grouse any later than mid Jan.
    I was taught that in prime Grouse habitat you could expect 1 bird for every 15 acres of land. With Pheasants in prime habitat it was 1 bird an acre. We don't shoot hen Pheasants but we do shoot hen Grouse. Pheasant season is much shorter than Grouse season. Doesn't make sense to me why we don't shorten the season on Grouse while there numbers are so bleak. You don't see them shooting them in Feb. up in Michigan, Wisconsin or Minn.
    Done venting.
     
  9. i only have ever saw a dozen in my life i saw 2 this year so far the one scared me so bad i dropped my bow both were saw while hunting deer in north eastohio
     
  10. littleking

    littleking Crossing Lines LIKE A PRO

  11. with the huntable private land pretty much non excictent people are flooding to public grounds to pursue their game of choice (deer)the dow isnt interested in the small once aboundant game and how they can recreate better habbitat.its all about deer and turkey,its a huge money maker for the state
     
  12. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    Sorry for the late reply, but marriage, honeymoon, Xmas, and muzzleloader season has kept me busy.

    I personally don't buy the turkey theory. The turkeys start showing up when the woods start to mature and that is when the grouse move out.

    On a good note, I jumped three birds while muzzleloader hunting on public ground in the marietta section of the Wayne. A much different spot than where I jumped the birds in Southern Ohio. I'm sure there are more birds in this area, as I saw a good amount of grouse habitat that I didn't walk through since I was deer hunting.
     
  13. Ah the honeymoon, the good ol days! :)

    I would agree that the that turkey show up when the woods mature. The problem is that as they mature the DNR sees income $$$ w/ turkey so why spend money to create habitat for the grouse. The Wayne National woods that has decent grouse habitat was brought about by I believe the ice storms a few years ago. So I guess in order to get grouse habitat we need to have more Natural Disasters. The way I see it is at the rate the ODNR is going they have a pretty good jump on paying off the national debt :)
     
  14. lovemylabs

    lovemylabs Bird Crazy

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    I would agree that the that turkey show up when the woods mature. The problem is that as they mature the DNR sees income $$$ w/ turkey so why spend money to create habitat for the grouse. The Wayne National woods that has decent grouse habitat was brought about by I believe the ice storms a few years ago. So I guess in order to get grouse habitat we need to have more Natural Disasters. The way I see it is at the rate the ODNR is going they have a pretty good jump on paying off the national debt :)[/QUOTE]


    Amen to that. I agree 110%
     
  15. Hello,first time post.Just recently inherited land in southern Ohio between Athens and Ohio River.Mostly mature hardwoods but have seen a couple of grouse while exploring boundries.I was wondering who I could talk to about improving habitat for grouse.
     
  16. Although the state of grouse hunting has been poor at best, Allegheny National Forest in PA has been fantastic over the past several years. I have consistently had 3-5 flushes an hour with and without dogs. For us in the greater Cleveland area it is only a 2 hour drive for some of the best grouse habitat in the country. I am actually going out this weekend for one last trip. We might have to bring the snowshoes.