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Author Topic: How early is too early?  (Read 941 times)

Offline magnanimous_j

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How early is too early?
« on: April 17, 2018, 10:32:09 AM »
Provided it ever warms up, I am planning a camping trip in the Olympic National Forest in the next month or so. I've never been to this spot before but its in the forest with a lot of logging and forest service roads. Fair amount of fresh water. 

Is it too early to scout for grouse? What kind of things should I look for in late spring to indicate it might be a good spot to head back to in the fall?

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 10:40:52 AM »
Im not familar with the Olympics much, but I would think this would be perfect timing.  I have been hearing a lot of drumming in sw wa, even during bad weather.  Listen for drummers and look for scratching , droppings and tracks in creek draws and overgrown logging roads. The same areas i find birds now, i find in fall. Good luck!

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 11:36:25 AM »
Well the blue grouse were in full blast last weekend so I am sure the natives are following suit

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 06:12:40 AM »
The majority of grouse in the fall are juveniles that survived so it's definitely too early to know how good the hunting will be.  I hear drumming all spring in the woods though.  Pretty sure in a lot of cases, grouse don't move unless pushed away by predators.

Two years ago, I bumped two separate clutches of mama grouse and chicks on the same hillside.  Three months later, in September, those grouse were under the same exact fir trees. 
“Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with too many facts.”

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 07:00:13 AM »
Probably feeding on alder buds/sprout.  But with the rain, they will wait it out during the heavier part of the showers usually under or in lower branches of hemlock trees.  When the rain lightens up, they kind of range out.  Possible good spots to check are roads that have some hemlock or young fir and a wide spot/turn that is filling up with 3-4 ft alder.

Online W_Ellison2011

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 05:05:16 PM »
scouting for grouse? Just wait until September and drive down the dirt roads right after it rains... stupid road chickens will be out everywhere!

Offline magnanimous_j

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2018, 01:48:09 PM »
Thanks for the reply, guys. So the takeaway is that if I can find them in the spring, they should be there in the fall?

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2018, 02:53:22 PM »
In general yes.  Also don't be discouraged if the area looks good but you don't hear/see any because they multiply exponentially between now and September
“Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with too many facts.”

Offline Hilltop123

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2018, 04:27:57 PM »
Never to early to learn the different road systems out on the OP. JMTCW

Offline ribka

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2018, 03:40:17 AM »
Scouting for grouse  :dunno:

Bird hunting for 40 plus years and first I've heard of this

Is this a joke?

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2018, 08:00:28 AM »
Any time is a good time, probably will not see much now, laying and setting time.  Just pick a likely spot and listen, good entertainment with all of that look at me behavior

Online bobcat

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2018, 08:04:10 AM »
This time of year I always hear blue grouse hooting, so I know they're there, but in the fall usually none to be found.   :bash:

Online W_Ellison2011

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2018, 08:17:05 PM »
This time of year I always hear blue grouse hooting, so I know they're there, but in the fall usually none to be found.   :bash:
You should watch Steve Rinellas episodes of sooty/blue grouse spring time hunting in Alaska!