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Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock

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Old 09-10-2019, 07:53 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock

I have been hunting grouse and woodcock since 1957 and I have owned Brittany's since 1976. I just got a new pup here in July, he won't be old enough to hunt really till next year but I am looking forward to it. Anyone else here enjoy hunting these birds?
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:57 AM
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Nontypical Buck
 
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well congrats on the new poppy, few things in life IMO are as much fun as getting a new one and then watching them grow an mature into the best friends a person can have

as for grouse and woodcock
I used to love hunting them from a kid up, I lived in a area that had high populations and dozens of flushes a day was the norm
then about late 90's populations dropped like mad, to the point, a flush a week is about what you get with a GOOD dog, and they have never bounced back like so many claim, swing deals in them
its been 20 yrs and populations are near NON, habitat is growing well, due to timbering and other things, so its NOT just bad habitat

the four or five other places thru out the state of PA, where I also logged a lot of hours in hunting them over the decades, are the same, very low numbers, flushes super rare anymore!

got to the point in about mid 2000's I quit shooting them when I had the chance, was worried I might be killing the last one !

what a shame, but seems to be a common issue with many upland bird species in PA (used to be a top 5 pheasant state at one time)
Turkeys took over IMO
but if your still lucky to have some good spots, good for you, I am stuck with just good memories now LOL
please post a few pic's of the pup too, sure more than me would enjoy seeing them here!
most of my hunting camp members all were Britt owners, and I sure , spent a LOT of time with them dogs over my yrs too, , some super funny stories as well with some
I'll share a few if you don';t mind, meant in fun, some of them were just amazingly talented bird dogs too!

one guys dog would find a downed bird faster than the other down and run off and bury it, then making a whole new hunting challenge to recover with other dogs, did this mostly on pheasants , and he paid a lot of money for that one too, we gave him a l flack on that

I also recall another one that loved to wait till everyone went to sleep and then would go and pee in all our boots, we kept in the mud room!
took a long time to figure out WHO"S dog it was too,a s we normally had like 3-6 dogs in camp
had to pretend we were sleeping to catch it in the act LOL
good times, I guess to a real dog owner, who can enjoy this stuff,!
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:06 AM
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Spike
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As I understand PA has a serious problem with West Nile Virus, depends on which side of the fence you are but it is said that is one of the main problems effecting the grouse population in PA.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:22 PM
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That is what the biologists are saying. I believe them, I am also wondering if west Nile is having something to do with the lack of doves for the last few years.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:17 AM
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Spike
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I personally believe the West Nile virus is affecting a lot of areas in the country, I feel it has affected the grouse population in my area. I don't know how many species of birds it affects.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:01 AM
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well I have a healthy population of doves here, heck, even have a bunch of resident one's that never migrate and stay all winter now?

so, west nile might happen on them, too, but doesn't seem to have put a dent in there numbers like it has grouse here!
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Old 09-14-2019, 01:52 PM
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Spike
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I remember this one covert where I went into late in the season in '73, I hunted in it for a couple of hours and it seemed pretty bare. As I was working my way out of it a grouse flushed and I killed it. I hunted the covert a couple more times that season and never moved another bird, I felt terrible for killing the last bird in it. The next year on opening day I went into the same covert and it was full of grouse, I hunted it for a few years and it was always a good covert. The reason I quit hunting it was it got sold to a person who would allow no hunting.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:54 AM
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Spike
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In the same covert I mentioned in my other post I also "Beaned" a grouse one season in there. When it flushed I got a shot off at him and apparently I led to much or I shot high, at the shot it started flying straight up and went maybe 10, 12ft up and all of a sudden dropped to the ground dead. I had read of beaning them but this was the first and last time I ever saw it for myself. Has anyone else ever had the experience?
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:55 PM
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We hunted them and used the Hevishot 5's which worked great for us
load wise
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