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Grouse

cathunter

Active Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
488
I used to hunt the brown bomber as we called them. Would rather chase them than any thing . Some of my hunting buds would kill 75-100 a season. But that’s all they hunted and had really good dogs. Some of the best hunting memories.
This was back in the 80’s. One of my best hunting memories, had a pointer lock up in mid air on a bird after jumping off a log . She was something else. I think we killed 5 that day.
 
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Stu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
1,246
Location
Nashville area
Used to hunt them when i was younger in PA but they too seem to disappear. Then this year i flushed a few while up there hunting.
 

DRSJ35

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
1,592
I have a German short haired pointer and try but the numbers are not there. If you get a few hot points where birds were at earlier it’s considered a successful hunt. Let that sink into your crawl for population estimates. They are a few around. But a few amongst these endless mountains is a tuff one.
 

mike243

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
15,917
Location
east tn
Hunted Scott county a lot years ago, was setting up against a tree when a hen flew in and landed 5' from me, 3 minutes latter a rooster came in, they fed on some little red berries for about 10 minutes before they flew off, was 1 of the most interesting encounters I have had with them, had 1 pretend to have a broken wing up at royal blue while turkey hunting, I thought killdee's were the only birds to guard a nest like that but evidently not
 

Setterman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
4,196
Location
Knoxville, TN
Hunted Scott county a lot years ago, was setting up against a tree when a hen flew in and landed 5' from me, 3 minutes latter a rooster came in, they fed on some little red berries for about 10 minutes before they flew off, was 1 of the most interesting encounters I have had with them, had 1 pretend to have a broken wing up at royal blue while turkey hunting, I thought killdee's were the only birds to guard a nest like that but evidently not
how could you tell which was the hen and the rooster?
 

SES

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2011
Messages
1,668
Location
Corryton, Tn
Declining grouse numbers coincide with the hog population explosion where I used to hunt in New River, on the North Cumberland WMA. There used to be a ton of birds up there. Wasn’t unusual to see 10 birds a day while deer hunting.
 

Setterman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
4,196
Location
Knoxville, TN
Coyotes imo...grouse disappeared as coyotes showed up in the southern Plateau...
If bird dogs trained and singularly focused on grouse can’t catch one regularly there’s zero chance coyotes are having that big an impact. Sure they might get an occasional bird, but it’s not the reason.

this decline started well after coyotes were prevalent, turkeys were everywhere, pigs in places where there are pigs etc

Its not hunting pressure, I don’t think I’ve seen another grouse hunter with dogs in over 5 years

Its not habitat, predators, or weather IMO. It’s either disease, or a slight shift in climate which since we are on the southern fringe has caused them to decline.
 

Planking

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2013
Messages
5,096
Location
Tennessee
If bird dogs trained and singularly focused on grouse can’t catch one regularly there’s zero chance coyotes are having that big an impact. Sure they might get an occasional bird, but it’s not the reason.

this decline started well after coyotes were prevalent, turkeys were everywhere, pigs in places where there are pigs etc

Its not hunting pressure, I don’t think I’ve seen another grouse hunter with dogs in over 5 years

Its not habitat, predators, or weather IMO. It’s either disease, or a slight shift in climate which since we are on the southern fringe has caused them to decline.
Its entirely possible that he is correct. I certainly wouldn't dismiss his opinion. I too noticed the decline of the grouse about the same time the coyote showed up. The gray fox also declined.
 

PickettSFHunter

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
20,209
Location
Jamestown, TN
If bird dogs trained and singularly focused on grouse can’t catch one regularly there’s zero chance coyotes are having that big an impact. Sure they might get an occasional bird, but it’s not the reason.

this decline started well after coyotes were prevalent, turkeys were everywhere, pigs in places where there are pigs etc

Its not hunting pressure, I don’t think I’ve seen another grouse hunter with dogs in over 5 years

Its not habitat, predators, or weather IMO. It’s either disease, or a slight shift in climate which since we are on the southern fringe has caused them to decline.
My money is on the climate, though I know people on here don’t want to hear that. It was awesome being in Minnesota in the Spring and listening to grouse drumming all night and day long from camp.
 

DRSJ35

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
1,592
It’s not climate and probably not just predators. I think it’s habitat. There use to be a bunch years ago. But now everywhere I hunt them it’s all mature forests. The National forest is almost all mature hardwoods. Grouse like areas that have immature forest of say five to 15 years old. With plenty of berries and food. A mature forest is a dead forest but you can’t see that without closer inspection. I think nature has taken its course because of that. Wether it be no places to hide to raise there young or food. Probably keeps them from having as many offspring. And the ones they do most likely don’t make it. We need more logging and fire. Can’t imagine why they don’t do that anymore.
 

jag1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
324
Location
Fayette County
Can’t imagine why they don’t do that anymore.
It's the Lorax man, don't you know ; )
I've only seen a fan...never a bird. My uncle shot one many years ago had had the fan displayed in a room. Used to think it was one of the prettiest things ever.
 

Setterman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
4,196
Location
Knoxville, TN
It’s not climate and probably not just predators. I think it’s habitat. There use to be a bunch years ago. But now everywhere I hunt them it’s all mature forests. The National forest is almost all mature hardwoods. Grouse like areas that have immature forest of say five to 15 years old. With plenty of berries and food. A mature forest is a dead forest but you can’t see that without closer inspection. I think nature has taken its course because of that. Wether it be no places to hide to raise there young or food. Probably keeps them from having as many offspring. And the ones they do most likely don’t make it. We need more logging and fire. Can’t imagine why they don’t do that anymore.
Come take a ride with me, never in my life has there been more ideal grouse cover in East Tn and SE KY. It’s astonishing how much habitat there is here
 

Setterman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
4,196
Location
Knoxville, TN
My money is on the climate, though I know people on here don’t want to hear that. It was awesome being in Minnesota in the Spring and listening to grouse drumming all night and day long from camp.
I sort of think this may be the issue. coyotes, pigs, hawks etc did not just show up 3-4 years ago. Rabbit populations are really high which would show a serious decline if it was predators.

the birds just vanished in a relatively short period about 4 years ago.
 

timberjack86

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2011
Messages
9,089
Location
Polk County
If bird dogs trained and singularly focused on grouse can’t catch one regularly there’s zero chance coyotes are having that big an impact. Sure they might get an occasional bird, but it’s not the reason.

this decline started well after coyotes were prevalent, turkeys were everywhere, pigs in places where there are pigs etc

Its not hunting pressure, I don’t think I’ve seen another grouse hunter with dogs in over 5 years

Its not habitat, predators, or weather IMO. It’s either disease, or a slight shift in climate which since we are on the southern fringe has caused them to decline.
Lack of forest management imo
 

jlanecr500

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
1,537
I believe the climate played a part but coyotes were a huge factor. They not only eat the birds but also eat the eggs. And don't think for a minute that a dog can't catch one I've got a female French Brittany that takes great pride in catching birds.

20190608_102836.jpg
 

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