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Author Topic: Where are the grouse?  (Read 4624 times)

Offline redalder

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Where are the grouse?
« on: December 07, 2016, 09:35:36 AM »
I had planned on headed over the pass to the east side this week, and hitting one of the pheasant release sites that's still open on the way over, and then doing my first chukar exploring and hunting on the dry side, but the weather is looking pretty ugly for a trip over the pass, so now I'm thinking I'll postpone that trip a bit. But I want to keep the pup working as much as I can before all the seasons are over, and so we've been back out after grouse again.

Problem is, we can't seem to find any at all! When I'm hiking with an elk rifle in my hands, I can't seem to help but flush at least couple of them per day, but head out with the dog and the shotgun and they all seem to vanish.

Where and when should I be looking for SW WA grouse this time of year, especially now that it's cold and a little snowy here and there? Tons of the roadsides around here got sprayed this fall, and all those new Weyerhaueser gates aren't helping either. Any tips? It would be nice to get her into some birds before the end of the year.

Thanks!

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 09:46:46 AM »
Might try a smaller overgrown road.  Especially if it has the wide spots at turn areas--tall evergreens (hemlock seems best) on one side, with grass and alder seedlings on the other.

Offline joe_dumy

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 06:30:08 AM »
First off expect nothing. There is simply not a ton of grouse on this side. A good day is a blind flush a great day is a shot and a miss and a bird in hand is a miracle.. Lots of things make it tough to hunt them with a dog on this side. Scenting conditions, cover and food is all over. This is my 5 year Hunting them here and third year with a dog. Last year we did about 10 hunts and 70 miles and got three grouse . Had about 7 points and about 30 blind flushes. This is hitting spots were I know there is Grouse. Keep trying and hit a variety of spots. They can be in a variety of covers. I find them in clearcuts early and Creek bottoms. Then off old logging roads. Then they disappear for a month then back to old logging roads with a variety of cover. I know my success will build as I keep going. So the price tag is probably 500 miles for continuous success is my guess. But I also suck at Hunting so you might find a area and wonder what the heck I am doing wrong.

Offline Big game archer

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2016, 01:10:54 PM »
It's hard to hunt grouse this time of the year because they aren't as concentrated in certain areas as they are early in the season. They also spend a significant amount of time in trees this time of the year feeding on buds (especially when there is snow).

Offline huntingbaldguy

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 01:32:22 PM »
They're all where i hunt but i haven't been able to hit one with an arrow yet.   :chuckle:

Offline Firedogg

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 11:50:54 AM »
It's right there!   Get him!
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Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 12:19:35 PM »
My dog is on them!!

Offline fish vacuum

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 05:18:43 PM »
I've seen more grouse this year than I have in a very long time. But like most years, they seem to disappear when there's snow on the ground. There's been snow the last two times out and I didn't see a single grouse either time. This was in places where I'd kicked up a few just a week before with no snow.

Offline redalder

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 05:22:40 PM »
The "up in the trees" thing makes sense, actually. There have been a few times when the dog got super keyed up and "pointy",  looking up into the trees. I couldn't see anything, but they could have been there before I caught up to her. I'll keep picking away at it. Unfortunately, I was working out of town for a few weeks in October, which was probably a pretty good time to be looking for them.

Offline John B

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2016, 05:37:42 PM »
They're all where i hunt but i haven't been able to hit one with an arrow yet.   :chuckle:

I got one, have yet to fill my deer tag though

Offline joe_dumy

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2016, 08:37:02 AM »
I found them in the swamps yesterday. The nasty stuff that you can't get through in the early season and can't see the birds if you do flush them because of the leaves. That's where my dog took me yesterday. Good thing we wore our muck boots and rain gear it was a mess in there. But we found Birds. 2 blind flushes one point and a miss, I smacked a tree.  Wet day but fun exploring the nasty stuff. Put you dog in a likely area and follow it's nose. And bring a pair of pliers as my dog decide to grab a porcupine yesterday as well.

Offline Firedogg

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2016, 08:59:29 AM »
... And bring a pair of pliers as my dog decide to grab a porcupine yesterday as well.

OUCH !!
There is no greater respect to have for wildlife than to harvest an animal fairly and use it's flesh to feed your family.  ~me

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 09:21:35 AM »
I found them in the swamps yesterday. The nasty stuff that you can't get through in the early season and can't see the birds if you do flush them because of the leaves. That's where my dog took me yesterday. Good thing we wore our muck boots and rain gear it was a mess in there. But we found Birds. 2 blind flushes one point and a miss, I smacked a tree.  Wet day but fun exploring the nasty stuff. Put you dog in a likely area and follow it's nose. And bring a pair of pliers as my dog decide to grab a porcupine yesterday as well.

Forget the grouse, did you get the porcupine? :chuckle:

I haven't had a ton of luck with the grouse this year but I've got a few. I always catch them along overgrown logging roads with a mix of mature alder and fir trees around.  It's almost a guarantee that there will be one at the end of the road.

My dog got spooked after getting hit by a shotgun wad last year so I'm not shooting over her this year, but she has a hard time locating grouse in trees. She runs in circles trying to get a location before she just sits and looks up. I probably could have shot 5-6 birds this way but I'm still trying to break the dog to gunshots again, so I don't shoot the shotgun when she's with me.
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Offline BLDtraLR

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2016, 09:51:19 AM »
They are out there watch the tree's. He's looking !!!  :bash: :dunno: :chuckle: :chuckle:  I switch from the mathews to the ruger 10/22 after the first week of hunting do to the pressure.
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Offline joe_dumy

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Re: Where are the grouse?
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2016, 06:18:26 AM »
Yorke transport
I left my porky under the log surrounded by it own poop. Just didn't look appetizing. My son was all about reventage but decided to leave it alone. Certainly dog want my dog to think it is worth it.

Carry a 22 with subsonic cc or bb rounds. They won't freak you dog out and will give it the reward of the bird. Seriously they are quiteter then a bb gun.

 

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