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Double U Hunting Supply Advertise on Hunting-Washington

Poll

Do you approve or disapprove of shooting grouse with rifle, pistol?

Approve
76 (90.5%)
Disapprove
4 (4.8%)
Not sure
0 (0%)
Shotguns Only!
4 (4.8%)

Total Members Voted: 84

Voting closes: September 30, 2017, 10:03:13 AM

Author Topic: Changes in grouse management?  (Read 1084 times)

Offline Dave Workman

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Changes in grouse management?
« on: August 31, 2017, 10:03:13 AM »
There's a rather interesting thread in progress on FACEBOOK about suggested changes in Washington grouse management. I encourage everyone to give it a read.

https://www.facebook.com/rich.landers/posts/10212775154127499?comment_id=10212776033429481&reply_comment_id=10212776172312953&notif_t=feed_comment_reply&notif_id=1504197897488220

Share your views.

And GOOD LUCK out there this season!  :tup:  :tup: :tup:
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Offline Henrydog

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 10:11:20 AM »
Good ol Evironut Lib, outdoor writer Rich Landers in the Jokesman Review also has a article today in the paper on Grouse wanting to push back the opener a few weeks so the momma and baby's don't get shot.  That's fine, the lack of logging and new clear cuts, and the invasion on turkeys in the NE have more to do with the populations decline vs a couple of rednecks and a 1/2 rack of keylight in my opinion.

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 10:46:10 AM »
Thanks for the link!  Here's my post:

I have been a grouse hunter for at least 32 years, and worked as a professional game manager and wildlife biologist for the states of Wyoming and Washington for 14 years before switching professions. Grouse do have lower productivity and are longer lived than many other game birds. Adult hens are important to the productivity of grouse populations, much of which was learned from sage grouse and inferred to other grouse species. I was a proponent of moving the Wyoming sage grouse hunting season to 9/15 from 9/1 in order to maintain opportunity while reducing the impact on adult hens. Juvenile or hatch year grouse have high annual mortality and hunting harvest of these birds is largely compensatory, having little impact on the breeding population the following year.
In high quality forest grouse habitat, which is fairly abundant in Washington but has declined for myriad factors, grouse populations are robust to hunting pressure. It is not surprising or an indictment of hunting that statewide grouse harvest shows a downward trend – it is an indication of the amount and quality of habitat.
I appreciate all grouse hunters, whether the deer hunter who shoots the head off a grouse with a .30-06, to the upland shotgunner behind a pointing dog, to the retired guys who buy a bear tag because it is the cheapest license that will allow them to drive around, *censored* and look for birds along the roads. One of my proudest limits was made while elk hunting in Wyoming, when I took an adult male blue grouse in the morning, and two hatch year ruffeds in the afternoon – all with rocks.  On another memorable occasion, my partners and I took 27 blue and ruffed grouse – nearly all hatch year birds in a boom year – with .22 pistols while scouting for moose.
 Much of our best habitat exists behind road closures on National Forest land and state wildlife areas.  If the data show excessive harvest of adult hens, I have no problems with moving the opener later – but I’d like to see some scientific evidence first demonstrating it is necessary for the conservation of forest grouse populations.
What I would really like to see, is an education campaign encouraging grouse hunters to select hatch year birds and let the adult hen go.  My friends and I have practiced this for years, primarily while hunting with .22 pistols or when broods are seen on the ground.  The hatch year males are often bigger than the females, and hatch year birds are superior eating compared to adults of both sexes.  Hunters with whom I’ve discussed this are invariably unaware of the benefits of letting the adult hen go.  Unfortunately, the most “sporting” hunting method – shooting grouse on the wing, allows the least selectivity for hatch year birds.  Something to think about before emulating the snobbery of method best left to fly fishing only purists. 
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline AspenBud

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 11:24:51 PM »
If you want to save grouse and increase their numbers you need to do something about their habitat. Shortening the season and changing the firearms used to take them is just a bandaid that doesn't solve the problem.

The Ruffed Grouse Society can speak volumes to this.

Offline T-Bone

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 06:27:47 AM »
If you want to save grouse and increase their numbers you need to do something about their habitat. Shortening the season and changing the firearms used to take them is just a bandaid that doesn't solve the problem.

The Ruffed Grouse Society can speak volumes to this.

Totally agree!

WDFW does nothing to work with the USFS, DNR and private timber companies (that allow public hunting) to enhance habitat for forest grouse.
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Offline jackmaster

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 06:58:56 AM »
I just wish the state would STOP spraying and put a bounty on possums !! I can hunt places that have always held lots of grouse and now your lucky to a few!! My son who is almost 22 has NEVER expierienced a great day of grouse huntn, sure he has killed a few but never had shoots like I did as a young kid 🙁 It's sad, and all the pheasant "naturals" have all but disappeared from the west side, I can't remember the last time I heard cackle  :bash:
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

Offline Luna butte

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 07:47:21 AM »
In my opinion, the grouse has always been the states "token campmeat" which they graciously offer to the peasants during the "kings deer/elk season" for a nominal fee. I see no reason to upset the natural order established by our caregivers from the Wdfw.

Personally, I'd like to see the rifle option expanded to include fall turkey's.

Offline Hilltop123

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 07:49:53 AM »
Just my two cents. But I believe for the westside, aerial spraying, of 2,4-D has done more damage to grouse populations, than any other factor.  I know private timber companies do it, not sure of DNR or the USFS. And private timber company land is where I draw this conclusion from. Having been raised hunting on Pope & Talbot land, I have personally seen the grouse populations plummet. Which just so happens to coincide with aerial spraying, that started heavily in the 70's. But what do I know... like I stated, it just my :twocents:

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2017, 07:56:31 AM »
Let's form an 'advisory group' for WDFW.  Aspenbud, T-bone and Luna butte leading.  We own a little multi species grouse habitat in Oregon and Washington, any cross line cooperation possible?

Offline kirkl

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2017, 11:11:52 AM »
All the grouse I shoot I could of been able to shoot with a .22 or shotgun. Why fill them with pellets when you can head shoot em?

Offline 4T

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2017, 12:46:02 PM »
I am curious if the increase of turkey population the last few years have impacted the grouse much. Seems to be more turkeys than grouse where I like to go. 

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2017, 12:52:12 PM »
Interesting enough, this is the most grouse I have seen in a long time.  Hatches were incredible for grouse and quail.
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Offline kirkl

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2017, 02:00:59 PM »
We seen a group of 11 couple weeks ago up riding. Probably seen 25 grouse that day.

Offline wildweeds

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2017, 05:35:15 PM »
I don't think the state should be allowed to manage anything wildlife, they continue to prove it over and over again and again they aren't any good at any of it from fish to elk and everything between. They are good at segregating licenses down to needing half a tree in your wallet that is ridiculous in sizing.

Offline Smokepole

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 06:50:38 PM »
TURKEYS THE PROBLEM?

Grouse numbers in my area do seem to be good this year.  Must have been a great spring.  But...

I have observed turkeys taking a toll on grouse habitat.  Turkeys require a lot of food, and come through our area in droves -- picking bugs, snowberries... and just about everything available.  They even will eat grouse eggs from the nest.  They come by the dozen and do a complete job of gleaning available food, then move on.

The young roughed grouse I observed this summer were pretty skinny.  Easy prey for a coyote or wolf.  I am surprised the WDFW hasn't addressed it, since turkeys are not native to Washington State.    :twocents:   
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Offline Wacenturion

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2017, 08:33:21 PM »
Unless things have changed, there isn't anything research wise that would indicate grouse numbers being impacted by turkeys as suggested above.  Kind of like the coyote/predator suggestions for declining pheasant populations or other upland birds.  The sky may be falling but it comes down to habitat plain and simple.  What used to be excellent habitat irregardless of species, changes for one reason or another for better or worse.....fact.
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Offline 4T

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2017, 08:34:41 PM »
I never even thought they would eat the eggs.  I'm glad the grouse had a good hatch this year.  I don't have any scientific  data to prove turkeys are even a threat to the grouse.  I have just noticed that where I've hunted in the last 10 years that there is more turkey and less grouse.  It just makes sense that turkeys eat the same food and would require more of it.

Offline wildweeds

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 09:18:39 AM »
A family freind retired from the state as manager of the WT wooten, he told me turkeys wreak havoc on pheasant and quail chicks, he said they eat the chicks like popcorn shrimp. Saw it happen time and again at the headquarters. The pheasant population has diminished to the point of "releasing pheasants" and the turkey population has soared. I made mention that turkeys prey on young chicks and the biologist at the St John satellite office said that is false and it doesn't happen. My thought is his school book has lied, and the man in the field who had feeders out at the headquarters and saw it first hand over and over in real time is correct. There was a field down there I drove by for years and years that would have 100s and 100s of pheasants in it, I was down that way 4 years ago deer hunting for a week and saw but just half a dozen pheasants in a weeks time. All of those birds were fresh off the truck. The farming hasn't changed, the habitat hasn't changed but it looks like 25 years of predators from the sky and ground have changed the population in that area to almost extinct.

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2017, 09:45:17 AM »
We must kill all the turkeys to save the grouse? Grouse have a natural cycle of boom and bust on their populations every ten years. What part of that cycle are we in? The turkey population has exploded over the last twenty years. As to what part they play in damaging the grouse population I am not sure but I do remember many lean years in grouse hunting before the turkey population took off.  When I shot my first turkey in this state after hunting them for several years I was one of only 100 successful hunters that year that killed a turkey in this state. Nowadays they kill about 5000 turkeys. Some day the turkey population will bust again like it did over a century ago. The game department has liberalized the amount of turkey tags you can buy for certain areas and has expanded the seasons for hunting them.

Offline T-Bone

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2017, 05:09:47 PM »
A very interesting article on the subject in the September/October issue of Pointing Dog Journal magazine. The Michigan Department Of Natural Resources has a GEMS (Grouse Enhancement Management Sites) program to not only enhance grouse habitat, but hunter enjoyment, as well. By taking state owned forest land and cutting walking pathways for hunters and encouraging growth of known grouse food sources; the DNR of Michigan have come up with a great program. Each site has a nice parking area with a large map and informational signage.

Would it work here?...You bet!...Will it ever happen?...Highly unlikely. :twocents:

Even with having grouse and public land grouse habitat that any New England grouse hunter would dream about; grouse indeed are a low WDFW priority with the majority of WA upland hunters in a "Ditch Chicken Or Nothing" state of mind. The Pheasant Release Program and its cost/loss of $$$ is a major example. A major re-education of the upland bird hunting public with a program like Michigan's GEMS for obvious opportunity would have to be installed and well...That's unlikely to happen, folks.
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Offline Curly

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 05:22:49 PM »
Just my two cents. But I believe for the westside, aerial spraying, of 2,4-D has done more damage to grouse populations, than any other factor.  I know private timber companies do it, not sure of DNR or the USFS. And private timber company land is where I draw this conclusion from. Having been raised hunting on Pope & Talbot land, I have personally seen the grouse populations plummet. Which just so happens to coincide with aerial spraying, that started heavily in the 70's. But what do I know... like I stated, it just my :twocents:

I agree. Too many chemicals are sprayed, ruining much grouse habitat.
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Offline grundy53

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2017, 06:03:44 PM »
Just my two cents. But I believe for the westside, aerial spraying, of 2,4-D has done more damage to grouse populations, than any other factor.  I know private timber companies do it, not sure of DNR or the USFS. And private timber company land is where I draw this conclusion from. Having been raised hunting on Pope & Talbot land, I have personally seen the grouse populations plummet. Which just so happens to coincide with aerial spraying, that started heavily in the 70's. But what do I know... like I stated, it just my :twocents:

I agree. Too many chemicals are sprayed, ruining much grouse habitat.
Agreed. The grouse population in my main stomping grounds has been doing poorly for awhile and you can't blame it on turkeys because there aren't any. Although, it has been a good grouse year.

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Re: Changes in grouse management?
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2017, 06:12:21 PM »
We got tons of turkey and grouse  :IBCOOL:

Seriously, the turkeys have had a stellar year pumping out chicks, there's still little ones running around from a 3rd 4th? hatch.   Grouse are doing very well too, and the quail  :yike:  they exploded
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