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Grouse

mike243

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Sep 6, 2006
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15,917
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east tn
The 2 grouse that flew in were different shades, the first 1 was duller colors, it was a lot easier for me to look at both an guess that the female was the duller color, there may have been some other feathers that stood out at the time but I have forgotten. What amazed me was how did the 2nd 1 know where to find the first bird? it made no noise to signal where it was, I suspected that the food has been a source for a lot of years and the birds hit there frequently
 

mike243

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Sep 6, 2006
Messages
15,917
Location
east tn
We are on the tail end of their range looking at a map, up north they are a lot more plentiful, have read all animals have cycles, not sure if it applies to grouse or not
 
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fatboy

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Joined
Dec 9, 1999
Messages
792
Location
Charleston TN
It has been over twenty years since I have seen or heard one. Seems to me they disappeared about same time the yotes started showing up in mountains
 

41Magnum

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Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
572
Location
The Birthplace of Davy Crockett
32 years ago I was in Maine and I’ve never seen as many grouse in all my life. They were everywhere. You could get your limit every day. I even bagged a snowshoe hare while I was there. Those things are delicious. I don’t know how grouse hunting is up there today but it was great back then.
 
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bigjohn

Active Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
481
Location
east TN
32 years ago I was in Maine and I’ve never seen as many grouse in all my life. They were everywhere. You could get your limit every day. I even bagged a snowshoe hare while I was there. Those things are delicious. I don’t know how grouse hunting is up there today but it great back then.
I’ve got a good friend that lives in Maine and they are still plentiful. He always refers to them as pa’tridge.
 

Weegee

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Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
101
Location
Davidson County
I've spent very little time in east Tennessee, so I've never seen one here. Came across two in Idaho last October that let me get so close I could have almost grabbed them with my hands. I read somewhere that they are almost always found above 2,000 feet of elevation, does that sound right?
 

Setterman

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Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
4,196
Location
Knoxville, TN
The 2 grouse that flew in were different shades, the first 1 was duller colors, it was a lot easier for me to look at both an guess that the female was the duller color, there may have been some other feathers that stood out at the time but I have forgotten. What amazed me was how did the 2nd 1 know where to find the first bird? it made no noise to signal where it was, I suspected that the food has been a source for a lot of years and the birds hit there frequently
Color variation doesn’t indicate sex of the bird. Some say broken bands in the tail fan are an indicator, some say that isn’t the case. Others say it’s a double spot versus a single spot on the fringe fan feathers others say that’s not indicative.

grouse biologists far and wide say the only way to sex a bird is to have it in hand and examine their “parts”.

unless they have chicks or are sitting on a nest sexing grouse is basically impossible
 

jlanecr500

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Jul 16, 2015
Messages
1,537
We hunted northern Maine in 2019 and partridge are plentiful up there. Also had a bull moose trott along in front of our truck for a couple hundred yards on a logging road.
 

casjoker

Active Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Messages
225
Yes, Grouse (partridge) in Maine are still plentiful and this year was a banner year for most areas. While the hunting is still good there has been a decline in numbers in the state that correlate in large part with a change in forestry practices in Northern Maine and an increase in sub-divisions in Southern Maine. That changed about 30 years ago. No, you can not tell the sex of a Grouse by looking at it although some will claim you can by the length and band on the tail. Color variation is just that, a variation.

Yes, foxes and coyotes can catch Grouse and do. I find piles of feathers fairly frequently in areas with high concentrations of birds. Although, I would say nest predation is a bigger concern.

I hunted the mountains of East TN hard from 2006-2009 with two well-experienced dogs (GSP and English Setter) and had minimal success. While the cover around here might be the best it's been in years it's still severally lacking what is needed to produce sustainable numbers for hunting. Then again I am spoiled growing up in and getting to hunt in Northern Maine every year.

I am no biologist but from my experience, these are reasons why Grouse numbers decline.
1. Change in forestry practices
2. Urban sprawl/loss of habit
3. Domestic/feral Cats
4. Poor rearing conditions in the spring (cyclical)
While there is a lot of speculation that turkeys affect grouse numbers I am not sure you would get a state biologist to admit it with all the money turkey hunting can generate.
 

mike243

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Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
15,917
Location
east tn
I have never had 2 grouse in my hands at the same time, as far as telling male/female 1 was a duller color and I went with what is normal for other birds, maybe right maybe wrong lol all have been hood eating but 1 every 5-10 years ya kinda forget the taste 👅
 

41Magnum

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
572
Location
The Birthplace of Davy Crockett
I have never had 2 grouse in my hands at the same time, as far as telling male/female 1 was a duller color and I went with what is normal for other birds, maybe right maybe wrong lol all have been hood eating but 1 every 5-10 years ya kinda forget the taste 👅
Been so long since I’ve eaten a grouse I’ve forgotten how good they really are.
 

DRSJ35

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Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
1,592
I’ve started to concentrate more on woodcock. But am also looking for grouse. Definitely more woodcock than grouse. Still not gonna trip over woodcock either.
 

DoubleRidge

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Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
2,565
Location
Middle Tennessee
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.

Interesting you mention the gray fox.....I have the same observation in our area but never hear anyone speak about it? Growing up (I'm 51) I would always see grays and never or rarely see reds ...today reds are common and I hadn't seen a gray in years...always wondered why?

As for turkeys effect on grouse.....I've also heard folks blame the turkey for the decline in bobwhite quail....I've just never been able to wrap my mind around that theory?
 

Planking

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Joined
Sep 18, 2013
Messages
5,096
Location
Tennessee
I just think the coyote wiped the gray fox out from my area. They never show up on camera.

I used to have a few grays that were semi domesticated around the house. As a kid, i shouldn't of hand fed them but i did.
 

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