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Author Topic: late season grouse?  (Read 2347 times)

Offline derk3687

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late season grouse?
« on: December 12, 2018, 03:44:02 PM »
First time grouse hunter here. Just trying to understand more about the species and their habits. I went out for my first scout last weekend started early walked around some DNR trails hoping to find some life. I didn't see anything besides a chipmunk. Since I'm pretty new to upland birds and don't have a dog to locate them. I am curious as to how much the cold weather and recent freezing temps have an affect on grouse? Or if hunting without the help of a dog or 2 is even worth the effort and gas? I am sure its possible without dogs, just makes it easier to have them. Honestly I wasn't too sure if I was even in the right area for grouse habitat. I might try again this weekend since it may be my last chance before the end of the season. If it helps I was hunting at around 500'-600' elevation on the west side central cascades area.
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Offline smithkl42

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2018, 04:20:31 PM »
I've definitely seen grouse at that elevation and in roughly that habitat, and at this time of year. But I don't see them often enough to consider going out and hunting specifically for them - I usually see maybe half a dozen a year, maybe one for every 5 days in the woods? Presumably a dog would make quite the difference, but I don't have one.
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Offline Mtnwalker

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2018, 04:36:45 PM »
Grouse go up during winter when everything else is coming down. They can get tough to hunt once the snow starts to fly in my experience

Offline derk3687

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2018, 07:28:52 PM »
Grouse go up during winter when everything else is coming down. They can get tough to hunt once the snow starts to fly in my experience

Would it be better to hunt east side the later the season gets or just focus on higher elevation DNR roads on the western side?
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Offline tdpointer

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2018, 08:46:20 PM »
Interested in hearing more about this as well.  I was hoping to scope out some of the DNR land east of Enumclaw around the green river. Anyone have experience out there?


Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2018, 04:57:10 AM »
What areas were you hunting?

Online bobcat

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2018, 05:50:54 AM »
Blue grouse move up, but ruffed grouse don't. I see ruffed grouse now in the same areas I see them in September. Try the usual method- drive gravel roads early in the morning until you see a grouse or two. Then get out and hunt in those areas. If you can find overgrown roads that you can walk, that's what I would do. I just got a ruffed grouse last weekend. I saw it in the road, while driving. It flew off but I walked about 100 yards back into the timber and was able to finally spot it sitting up high in a fir tree. Saw one the day before too, but wasn't able to find that one after it flew from the road.

Offline bwiede

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2018, 09:44:41 AM »
The grouse are where they are !
I've seen them at snow level recently ,as well as just down by the river ! Look for water berries,gravel, etc the kinds of things they need !

Good luck !

Offline BaggerRyder

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2018, 02:47:51 PM »
I took my step son out today around the Yacolt Burn area and got a shot at one about 5 min from the truck.  That was the only one we got into.  Ive seen grouse at all kinds of elevation, and really donít think a dog is necessary if you can find some old closed logging roads to walk.
I jump them all the time, or maybe they jump me, elk hunting in Eastern OR at 4k-5500 feet elev. 
We were at about 1100 today. 

Offline derk3687

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2018, 07:21:35 PM »
Thanks for all the info. I went out Sunday but was unsuccessful. Walked around DNR land up by sultan. Seemed like some promising area but nothing to be seen. Well plenty of time to find them till the next season comes rolling around.
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Offline W_Ellison2011

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2018, 07:24:59 PM »
Early season, September, We usually shoot limits every day while just cruising gravel roads in between areas we hunt for deer. Late season Its pretty much the same. Especially if it rains for a while and then either lets up a bit or stops. They will be out on the roads. There is a reason people call them road chickens. Ohh and they are as dumb as can be! If they fly off, watch how they fly. If they fly flat out then they aren't stopping for a while. If they go up then they are going to go up into a tree and hold tight to a limb and close to the tree body itself. If you watch where they land and move into range just keep watching and they will move again and then bam grouse down!

Offline joe_dumy

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2018, 09:37:28 AM »
Late season i find them on the edges of swamps. Creek bottoms, old homesteads. Etc. Over grown grassy bottoms with good cover from preditors from above and below. Find old logging roads that stick to the bottom of canyons, rivers, creeks. Plan on walking 5 miles per flush on the wet side.  Not a ton of birds on the wetside. Once you get a 100 miles on your boots your success rate will go up. You will start putting things together, you will have spots that you have seen them before. Its a fun game and hunting without a dog is just as successful than with. But finding down birds can be frustrating and watching a dog work is fun. Grouse are a fun challenging pursuit, they get a bad rap of being stupid cause they are found on the road. Getting out of the truck and into the woods makes them a fun game bird to chase around. Good luck and enjoy exploring and learning the woods.

Offline W_Ellison2011

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2020, 05:42:35 PM »
Late season i find them on the edges of swamps. Creek bottoms, old homesteads. Etc. Over grown grassy bottoms with good cover from preditors from above and below. Find old logging roads that stick to the bottom of canyons, rivers, creeks. Plan on walking 5 miles per flush on the wet side.  Not a ton of birds on the wetside. Once you get a 100 miles on your boots your success rate will go up. You will start putting things together, you will have spots that you have seen them before. Its a fun game and hunting without a dog is just as successful than with. But finding down birds can be frustrating and watching a dog work is fun. Grouse are a fun challenging pursuit, they get a bad rap of being stupid cause they are found on the road. Getting out of the truck and into the woods makes them a fun game bird to chase around. Good luck and enjoy exploring and learning the woods.
Not a ton of birds on the wetside? You are joking right? If I go a day in september without my buddy and i killing a limit of grouse and seeing many more theres something wrong.. and we hunt the west side of the state.

Offline joe_dumy

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2020, 07:18:12 AM »
September is a fine time to find a lots of this years broods on the gravel road. The subject was late season and it didnt seem like he was just road hunting. Big difference between road hunting and chasing the in the bush like a real game animal.

And yes way less birds on the wetside.

Offline bornhunter

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Re: late season grouse?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2020, 07:43:01 AM »
Late season i find them on the edges of swamps. Creek bottoms, old homesteads. Etc. Over grown grassy bottoms with good cover from preditors from above and below. Find old logging roads that stick to the bottom of canyons, rivers, creeks. Plan on walking 5 miles per flush on the wet side.  Not a ton of birds on the wetside. Once you get a 100 miles on your boots your success rate will go up. You will start putting things together, you will have spots that you have seen them before. Its a fun game and hunting without a dog is just as successful than with. But finding down birds can be frustrating and watching a dog work is fun. Grouse are a fun challenging pursuit, they get a bad rap of being stupid cause they are found on the road. Getting out of the truck and into the woods makes them a fun game bird to chase around. Good luck and enjoy exploring and learning the woods.
Not a ton of birds on the wetside? You are joking right? If I go a day in september without my buddy and i killing a limit of grouse and seeing many more theres something wrong.. and we hunt the west side of the state.

All the areas I used to shoot lots of grouse in on the westside are now completely void of them. Not sure why but they are gone.

 


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