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Author Topic: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!  (Read 3215 times)

Offline Flyfishin22

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Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« on: September 04, 2016, 09:28:27 PM »
Went up to the snoqualmie pass area today, hiking and driving looking for grouse from 11 am to 7:45, and saw nothing! I know the morning is supposed to be best, but I was still there for almost 9 hours. Ive only been out looking a few times in my life, but I keep hearing how easy grouse are to get and I'm wondering if I'm just incompetent lol. :chuckle:

Offline DaveMonti

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2016, 09:32:58 PM »
I see a lot of blues and ruffed grouse along the roads in clearcuts down lower than the pass, especially where the roads enter into the woods and near water.  I have no idea how many are up high, but there are plenty down low on the West side!

Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2016, 09:36:14 PM »
Try still hunting deer or elk and they'll find you, when you least expect it.

Offline Flyfishin22

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2016, 09:36:50 PM »
dang maybe I drove too far.. Are you talking about like the tinkham road area?

Offline Flyfishin22

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2016, 09:37:29 PM »
I see a lot of blues and ruffed grouse along the roads in clearcuts down lower than the pass, especially where the roads enter into the woods and near water.  I have no idea how many are up high, but there are plenty down low on the West side!

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2016, 09:44:24 PM »
The grouse I have been seeing. Are about 2500 to 3000 ft.
Near water source.
And I am been seeing most the last hour of light which surprises me.
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Offline DaveMonti

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2016, 09:45:23 PM »
I'm actually in the Skykomish valley, not the Snoqualmie.  I'm not sure were you can hunt clear cuts in the Snoqualmie Valley without a timber company permit. 
I've not hunted them in timbered areas.  I'm sure they are around there, and I'd guess closer to creeks.  Perhaps some others will be able to point you where to go on some public land off of I90. 


Offline Flyfishin22

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2016, 09:49:32 PM »
The grouse I have been seeing. Are about 2500 to 3000 ft.
Near water source.
And I am been seeing most the last hour of light which surprises me.
Are you on the wetside?

Offline Flyfishin22

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2016, 09:50:56 PM »
I'm actually in the Skykomish valley, not the Snoqualmie.  I'm not sure were you can hunt clear cuts in the Snoqualmie Valley without a timber company permit. 
I've not hunted them in timbered areas.  I'm sure they are around there, and I'd guess closer to creeks.  Perhaps some others will be able to point you where to go on some public land off of I90.
Oh okay gotcha. Thanks for the reply

Online JimmyHoffa

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2016, 10:08:37 PM »
I think the timing is kind of key, vast majority I see are really early in the morning.  Then they start to go to shade and water as the day warms up.  When it is cool and cloudy I'll see them all day, or if cold and cloudy or clear all day too.

Offline Big game archer

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2016, 10:10:57 PM »
Find creek bottoms with snowberries, service berries, choke cherries, etc. Also, Aspen and alder trees are good to look for. The key right now in my areas is finding water.

Offline Flyfishin22

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2016, 10:14:05 PM »
I think the timing is kind of key, vast majority I see are really early in the morning.  Then they start to go to shade and water as the day warms up.  When it is cool and cloudy I'll see them all day, or if cold and cloudy or clear all day too.
How early in the morning would you start hunting for grouse?

Offline Flyfishin22

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2016, 10:18:01 PM »
Find creek bottoms with snowberries, service berries, choke cherries, etc. Also, Aspen and alder trees are good to look for. The key right now in my areas is finding water.
So would you just drive logging roads until you get to a stream with berries on the bank, then poke around by the stream?

Online JimmyHoffa

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2016, 10:31:56 PM »
I think the timing is kind of key, vast majority I see are really early in the morning.  Then they start to go to shade and water as the day warms up.  When it is cool and cloudy I'll see them all day, or if cold and cloudy or clear all day too.
How early in the morning would you start hunting for grouse?
as early as possible, legal shooting time.  They're hungry in the morning wanting the get food and water after not moving all night.

Offline Flyfishin22

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2016, 10:34:32 PM »
Great, thanks for the advice

Offline Tiger1358

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2016, 04:55:47 PM »
Great, thanks for the advice
You might have better luck hunting grouse off Hwy 2 than off I 90, especially if you don't wanna drive far. During off season, I go hiking very often and have not seen many grouse off I 90.

Offline Nemo

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2016, 07:01:29 PM »
I had the same issue in the same area last year. I think there's a few issues. One is that, from what I've seen, grouse are almost everywhere but never very many of them. People say they're easy to hunt but what they mean is they're easy to shoot, the ones they encounter when hunting big game. That's true to a point, but they're never easy to find when I'm looking for them.  They also get shy around a lot of traffic- most places near snoqualmie are pretty heavily walked or driven, especially on the west side.

 Are you using a dog? Grouse flush very readily for dogs which in some ways can actually make it harder because you may not be in range. On the other hand, the dogs will find or flush birds that you will walk right past. They rely on being inconspicuous and when they're roosting they're invisible and silent.  A quiet, close working dog with a sharp nose will make your jaw drop with the birds he finds right in front of you.

I actually have shot a fair amount lately just before dark. They haven't been as specific to dawn as some other birds.  They do tend to like these twilight times much more than midday, but again a dog will help you find lazy ones.

Let me know if you need some more help. I might have some better suggestions.

Offline dmv9

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2016, 09:17:38 AM »
They can hold really tight. I can't remember how many times I have walked passed them. Then I backtrack and they flush behind me.

Offline heronblu

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2016, 09:36:00 AM »
I generally see at least one when Im driving the logging roads, but connecting with one is another issue. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that hunting grouse is easy. Dont get me wrong, you will come across the odd situation where a grouse is in the middle of the trail and you could almost pick it up, but in my experience those are rare especially the later in the season you get. If you aren't hunting with a dog its all about walking slow and when/if you flush one try and see exactly where it goes so you can sneak up and get a shot. Keep at it, and you'll get one.

Offline seth30

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2016, 09:38:20 AM »
I see more on my bike than another way and often when I stop my bike they stop and stand still.  It seems when I am bombing down a logging road they don't have time to react while walking (unless I'm bear hunting) they are no where to be seen.  They love to get in front of the truck as well.  For the internet police when I say bike I mean bicycle!
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Offline Nemo

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Re: Why cant i shoot a grouse?!
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2016, 03:15:55 PM »
I Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that hunting grouse is easy. Dont get me wrong, you will come across the odd situation where a grouse is in the middle of the trail and you could almost pick it up, but in my experience those are rare especially the later in the season you get. If you aren't hunting with a dog its all about walking slow and when/if you flush one try and see exactly where it goes so you can sneak up and get a shot. K

+1.  My understanding is that early season the birds are still interested in mating displays and full of hormones, making them approach anything, even humans, in an attempt to face off and defend their turf.  You can see this in videos all over the internet where they're called either crazy, stupid or playful, but like most things that wild native animals do there's a good explanation for it.  This late in the season, however, they're done with all that, the foliage that makes up their cover has thinned dramatically, and they've been getting shot at and walk over for a couple months.  I haven't seen so much as a pair since a couple weeks ago.  They tend to hold tight around people because they rely on being inconspicuous, which works anywhere except on a road.  Like I said, it's amazing when you see a group of birds hiding right under your nose suddenly flush when a dog runs by- my experience has been that they do NOT hold tight for dogs most times.  Because of this behavior shooting them off a road or out of a tree is sometimes easy but shooting them on the wing, or just finding them to begin with, can be real tough.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 03:23:09 PM by Nemo »

 

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