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Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby ridgerunner » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:56 pm

Would like to get peoples thought on this topic who live in my area or the southern Appalachian region. I am all for it and I have made known to the Tn. game and fish people. They finally cut out the Feb. season on quail and hopefully grouse will follow.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby volraider » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:23 pm

I wouldn't mind them cutting out the season if they would let you train thru April. I wouldn't mind them cutting out Jan if they would let you run your dogs thru April.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:01 am

Swell idea...finally happened in Ohio.
Too late, but whether in the Southern or Central Apps...super idea.
Be nice to see January leave as well but that will never happen....the grouse do deserve it tho.

Training or running dogs or hunting sheds or whatever woods activity is a very, very bad idea late season.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby volraider » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:30 am

why do you consider it a bad idea to run dogs in late season?
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:55 am

Food is of the poorest quality, by and large.
Raptors have an easier time, by and large.
Pushing grouse out of homeranges opens them to more predation and depletes energy and energy stores necessary for survival in tough(er) weather conditions and affects being in top shape for breeding/nesting season.
Grouse in the Apps, for the most part, do not have the advantages of snow for either roosting or limiting access.
Grouse in the Apps do not have the advantage of population levels able to absorb the smaller or smallest factors of a population decline.
That would be a start.
You do not have to shoot a ruffed grouse to kill it.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby volraider » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:45 am

Just curious but do you grouse hunt the east Tn?
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:25 am

Nope.

Just curious, do you think east tennessee grouse and the conditions they face to be different from elsewhere in the central and southern appalachian section of their range?
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby ridgerunner » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:16 am

I only can speak for East Tn. as far as hunting Ruffed Grouse...although I am going to get a N.C. license this season, but I am sure there is not that much difference in the Southern and Central Appalachians. I want there to be birds for years to enjoy for future generations and I think we need to start acting now. This year TN. closed quail season at the end of Jan. and it's time we do that for the grouse. I love working my dog through April in the grouse woods, but I want there to be grouse for future dogs that hopefully the good Lord will bless me with to work them on.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby ridgerunner » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:48 am

Don't know if my reply on this went through first time, but here goes again. I m sure there isn't difference between Southern and Central Appalachia...I just want to try to help preserve the bird for the future grouse dogs I might be blessed to have.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby volraider » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:23 pm

the difference is in Tn the tree huggers have stopped 99% of timbering. Our birds live in the mountian laural. WV, VA, Pa, have tons of habitat compared to us. I don't think hunters have much if any impact on the birds during late season. I hunted 30 plus days last year and only seen other grouse hunters twice. Hunting is not the problem. The problem is people, the loud minority, that is against any type of tree cutting. Habitat is the number one problem with grouse. There was a study that came out and it proved that hunting didn't play a role in the decline of grouse, even in late season. If I can find the link I will post it.


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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:54 pm

I pretty much agree other than the lack of cutting on state or federal has been slashed far beyond TN.
Your state is not unique nor are the grouse different.
Different than the upper great lakes birds, yes...apps. birds?, no.
Ohio's early successional on the NF is less than 3%.
Paper mills are no guarantor of birds either.
WVa is pretty poor as well tho the marcellus play may actually help just a little, along with coal lands.
A large issue both places is declining access however.
Pa. is different enough to be rated outside the central Apps.....they do have cutting and management going on...and big $$$s rolling in to the PGC compared to surrounding states.

As bird numbers drop so will hunter numbers...that does not change the fact that at low points on a decline curve late season hunter impact is a factor....slight most times but ignoring it makes the grouse wince.
The resource itself is far more important than either my hunting or my dogs...thinking otherwise verges upon the selfish.
We, as grousehunters, need to get past Habitat as the sole reason for problems...it is not.
Too often the bird populations have reached a point where all the small factors have gained in significance.
I am saddened to see too many yell Habitat! rather than realize the many reasons for the continual decline.
Nothing will change when taking that path.

Ohio is experienceing a slight blip upward due to some good spring weather and a shortened season....40% of the grouse in Ohio were killed in February is simple math. That does not count the dead birds not shot by late season hunters.
A new Ohio forestry chief, a hunter, may help but the will is seldom present to fight the system, the SELC and their ilk.
We will see.
WVa has a grouse hunter heading the DNR...helped?...not really.
They are all excited to be able to hunt elk tho. :roll:

The study you are thinking of may be the ACGRP....I have a copy and was at the presentation. One thing with studies, they can be intrepreted many ways.I know where the study areas were in WVa....some of the true mountain areas that limits hunters natrually...along with locked Mead gates.
The importance is in the details of any study...not the public face. :idea:
Late season hunter additivity is also far different than hunter additivity using the early season as a basis or in the upper great lakes.
A true study dealing with late season affects has never been done...conclusions tho are readily jumped to.
Few DNRs want late season hunter numbers to drop...$$$$s.
There also was a study, a good one, in the Pigeon River area of Michigan that showed zero hunter affect...of course, that area is widely different than the Appalachians....no comparison...in truth, no real late season either.

Good luck for your dogs regardless, this season in TN.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby volraider » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:27 pm

I'm not as worried about losing late season as I am losing the entire grouse season and that is something being mentioned.

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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Vonrommel » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:43 am

The only problem I have with letting go of the February season is that's about the only time grouse hunters have the woods alone.

If you look at the deer seasons this year they basically run from Sept. 24th through Jan. 1st non stop (with the exception of 2 days, Oct 29th and 30th)

So you have 2 days in October and 28 days in Jan. if you cut out the Feb season to actually hunt without worries that some deer hunter will put an arrow or bullet into a dog.

Cutting out the Feb. season and not doing any habitat management won't bring the birds back.

And P.S.,
I use a blank gun, so I know I'm not hurting the population in February.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby ridgerunner » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:30 am

Maybe it's just me, but I really don't see alot of deer hunters except during the Thanksgiving week and I have found that if I hunt the Big Mtns. thenI don't see any and then when bear season rolls around I go back to my ridge and valley coverts. It has been my experience that deer hunters don't unt when the weather starts turning...especially after thanksgiving. That is not to say that I don't see them, but not in the numbers that I do in the pretty warm days of November...maybe just me.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:26 pm

Vonrommel wrote:...And P.S.,
I use a blank gun, so I know I'm not hurting the population in February.



If you are moving grouse in February then you have the odds of stressing the grouse when food is poor and opening them to predation when the raptor pickings are easiest.
Ruffed grouse deserve a break.
As I said, you do not have to shoot a grouse to kill it.
Consider the possibility.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Vonrommel » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:40 pm

Mountaineer,
You sound like an educated man, so tell me how it is? (what you already said somewhere before) That you do not have to shoot a ruffed grouse to kill it. Food isn't the issue if there are habitat!

How does it kill a grouse in February if I let my "BROKE" dogs find a ruffed grouse, point it, I flush it and fire a blank gun and collar my dog away from the find? (and by broke I mean steady to kill, and they only move if I send them for the retrieve)

Pressure?

I've got a feeling it's no more so than the pesky coyotes the TWRA imported here for god knows why. No more so than the turkey that was soo popular to re-populate and desimate the food sources, and those are the ones that dismantle the nest of a ruffed grouseproven fact, and definitely no more than the Black bear the TWRA transports into this "Bear sanctuary" they call the Cherokee National Forest. I'd bet I have a smaller footprint on this occasion that the deer hunter that goes and comes the same route every day to harvest a mature buck and bumps the same bird every morning and evening. You can't prove otherwise!
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:58 pm

I'm sorry...I thought I already gave two ways that very late season hunting can negatively impact a ruffed grouse.

Food...it is an issue.
When I hunted late season, I could count on bittersweet.
Bittersweet, American, is only a late season food for grouse as they really do not prefer it and nuitrionally(sp), it is not the best.
Habitat is all well and good but food within a habitat is not inexhaustable....the Apps also have little to no aspen, which is good, for late winter snacks.
Ask why grouse in the Apps. enter winter with more fat reserves than those birds in the Upper Great Lakes where winter is more severe on average...it is because, IMO, that those birds have access to higher quality food than the birds farther south...the supermarket is better stocked.
Also, again, the Apps grouse are at population levels in many areas where the smaller factors of decline gain a greater significance...very late season hunter impact being one.
Is that impact important in high population areas?...nope, of course not. Nor is it as important early in the season.
Late..it can be critical to affect grouse entering breeding season, along with the increase in raptors we all see more and more.
Every flush consumes energy whether followed by a shot or not.
I only suggest to consider energy depletion and a grouse winging across an open woodland...with beaked crosshairs on it's back.

I do believe turkeys can have a local impact on grouse...small, but an impact.
Again, in low population areas that factor gains importance.
In the ACGRP, no nest was seen destroyed by turkeys, as I recall, tho I expect the location of grouse nests are just where turkeys scratch so interaction of the bad kind is bound to happen.
I agree on deer hunter impact and shed hunters, etc....point is, it is not each impact that matters...what matters is the total impact and that is what should be reduced.
Would the deer hunters stop or even consider?...No way, so it is up to bird hunters to consider and act their conscience.
Yes, few bird hunters makes a small dent but...why dent at all these late winter days?
Not about "proof"...it is about common sense.
But it is not for me to judge anyone right or wrong however I do feel it only right that I raise the very real possibility the we all matter in the grouse's woods.
I stopped grouse hunting 4 years ago in Ohio....not because I could not find grouse but because I was afraid that I would.
My dogs are unhappy and must be content with other states and other birds.
After 43 years...that was a tough decision.
You will live with your decision....as will future grouse hunters.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Vonrommel » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:29 pm

Bittersweet isn't the only late season forage for ruffed grouse in Eastern TN. It may be in Ohio, but not here.

I do hunt the NF lands but I mostly hunt private land with cuttings ranging in ages from fresh cut, to 20 yrs old and have seen the same birds enough to know their names. You feed em right and they will survive! Keep the pressure off of them by not allowing deer and bear hunting and they will survive! Preditor control is the number 2 issue. Darn Varmits!
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby volraider » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:03 pm

Jeff,

You know I'm with you on this. These birds live off the laural and they also live under it. I don't see any difference in late season grouse and early season grouse. The number one killer of early season birds are the beer drinking road hunters. Once the logging roads gates are shut the bird hunters are about gone. If we had the extreme cold weather I could understand but a couple of days this season in Feb it was in the 60's and harder on the dogs than the birds. I think the number one grouse killer in our area is the varmits. I can count on one hand the number of people that I know that hunt in Jan and Feb, also I can count on one hand the number of owls and hawks I have seen while hunting. Turkeys are a bigger threat than hunters, we need to have a turkey season where you can kill one bird a week from Sept thru Jan.

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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:19 pm

Vonrommel wrote:Bittersweet isn't the only late season forage for ruffed grouse in Eastern TN. It may be in Ohio, but not here. ...


Yes, just one example....not the only. :roll:

Ground predators would be number 3...number 2 would be spring weather, hatch and 30 days post hatch.
What helps the ground predators?....deer hunters with deer feeders whirring 365.

In many areas, top habitat is present and grouse are not.
There are other issues now.
Concentrating upon Habitat is not the answer....it is a answer.

I will never understand rating threats as acceptable.
Hunters fall waaaay down my list of importance....each to their own list.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby rschmeider » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:35 pm

+1 on the turkeys.Apps in Pa are getting more snow lately driving turkeys # down.Grouse numbers are going up.Hard winters helps grouse get threw the winter.They can make it on pine neddles,buds, crap apples so on.Snow roosting is the big thing.Owls take just the head,leave the rest.Easy pickens without snow.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:50 pm

For all the worry over turkeys...work to get some health studies done on grouse.
See if the turkeys aren't having a health affect by virus spread, etc. rather than simply nest destruction, akern gobbling, etc.
We know grouse can carry West Nile...does it weaken them?
No one is looking.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:38 am

ridgerunner,
Grouse hunting has very little effect on the over all Grouse population thru out the USA, changing game laws and eliminating seasons is always a bad idea, might be better to cut back on the limit numbers than to completely elimate hunting seasons. One of the best studies ever done by the RGS & PGC here in Pa shows that unhunted forest right next to hunted forest, ended up proving that the smaller Grouse population was actually in the unhunted forest. This study was done over a 10 year period and shows that the elimination of Grouse hunters has little, if anything to do with the actual Grouse populations. Non human predators, such as predator birds and land animals had the greatest effect on over all Grouse populations, when the habitat was the same in both areas studied. Limiting human hunters has little effect on over all Grouse pupulations. In fact this studies shows just the oppsite, the Grouse numbers were greater in the hunted forest area. Many of the Biologists and Foresters involved in the study believe that human hunters, helped keep the other predators in check as they hunted, actually benefiting the over all Grouse population in the forest where the humans were hunting. Sport hunting has no adverse effect on over all Grouse populations, as long as the hunters abide by the law and are ethical wing shooting hunters.

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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:23 am

Ryman Gun Dog wrote:... Sport hunting has no adverse effect on over all Grouse populations, as long as the hunters abide by the law and are ethical wing shooting hunters.



Feathers!....only applies when grouse populations are sufficient to absorb the impact....which would be Pennsylvania.
Untill population dynamics are added into any true study and late season is seperated from thruout the season, ruffed grouse will continue to be in trouble across certain areas of the range....apart from habitat, weather and predator issues.
Applying study interpretation willy-nilly in non-comparable areas will keep the hunter happy and the grouse sad.

Harvest limits are ineffectual as to population control.
Adjustment of the season length is a small part of the many needed answers for the ruffed grouse.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Vonrommel » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:34 pm

Alright, I'd be willing to give up my Feb. season for an increase in grouse numbers across the board in the southern apps, particularly, East Tennessee, without any change to habitat improvements in the process.

Can you present facts that it will happen?

Facts that it has happened in a previous State/County/Region/or area, for that matter?

Tell me where those documents are.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:05 am

Vonrommel wrote:Alright, I'd be willing to give up my Feb. season for an increase in grouse numbers across the board in the southern apps, particularly, East Tennessee, without any change to habitat improvements in the process.

Can you present facts that it will happen?

Facts that it has happened in a previous State/County/Region/or area, for that matter?

Tell me where those documents are.


Nice way to set the stage....losing February MUST increase grouse numbers across entire the southern apps, must help YOUR east tennessee especially, must not have any habitat improvement to cloud the any result, must have happened elsewhere, must be documented by the past, must on and on......
Try using a little common sense and forgeting your own wants and needs for a minute.
Realize that habitat improvement on the southern NFs will not happen to any degree important, realize that great habitat with food exists now in many areas w/o a grouse recovery, realize that deer and turkey are the $$$ bringers, with all their negatives, to the grouse woods and, realize that sometimes little steps must be taken on any long journey.

There NEVER has been a study on hunter additivity in late winter....you lucked out there.
The intrepretation in the ACGRP was, in one case, in WVa( I know and have been to both WVa study areas) was on land that had both terrain and snow to limit hunter affect...the important factors in a study must often be ferreted out to determine if the result was meant to gain knowledge or meant to achieve a desired result. :!:
The other grouse studies constantly alluded to have either different parameters involved or were in areas uncomparable to our beloved Apps.
The devil is in the details...ingore those details to the grouse's loss.
*As a note, Ohio is seeing a very slight upward blip in grouse numbers.
I expect from the good springs we have lately seen but perhaps from the loss of February(see the 40% below) as well.
The damaged area from the ice storm, that has the DNR perplexed from the little grouse response, may help sightly as well.
Point is many factors can help the grouse...some we can have a hand in and some we can't....but why concentrate on only one?

What is sad is that many grouse hunters refuse to see that, at low population levels, every negative affect in the grouse woods is heightened and every help can bring a degree of positive response. At a time when positive responses are few and far between in the Appalachian grouse woods.
They refuse to acknowledge that late winter is tough(er) in both provinding quality and quantity of food; carries a higher raptor predation factor with a more open woods and, at times, increased raptors numbers with migration; refuse to see the ruffed grouse entering a period in breeding when health is of utmost importance, refuse to acknowledge that hunter harvest is often greatest in February(Ohio's was 40% of the total with other areas varying)...not to mention all the woods activity from non-associated individuals can be a factor or the vagaries of weather.

Focusing totally on Habitat now is foolish and ignores where grouse hunters and non grouse hunters can make a splash...of whatever size.
We indeed need to maintain a call for early successional, not from the ruffed grouse point of view, but from the angle of all critters affected...along with forest health.
The SELC, et al will always find it easy to target hunters as selfish....less so with folks wanting to put the Golden-winged warbler on a Life list.
We need to fight on all fronts and not just the too often trumpeted ones.

I have often heard on message boards and in barbershops that Apps grouse are doomed so "kill 'em while we got 'em."
Is that what we as Grousehunters have come to?
Hunter first, Ruffed grouse second?
Give the ruffed grouse a break...of whatever size, and work toward improving their lot wherever possible.
They have given us much that we value...time to unselfishly return a bit of commensurate value.

I reckon tho that nothing I said will make a difference to you and others intent upon their on lot...so be it.
Can't break thru that shell of fear over losing your hunting.
OK, I'm sure you and those others are good folks who simply have a clouded vision....I hope the skies clear down your way or the scales fall away from eyes.
For you...but mostly for the ruffed grouse.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Vonrommel » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:25 pm

OK, that was a little bit off on my end, I'll admit it, but you could still change my mind if there's proof that closing the hunting season (say Jan/Feb) helped the birds survive and increased their numbers in any given area.

Is there such a study available?
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:52 pm

Is a study of late winter hunter additivity in the Apps., that takes into account all the types of terrain plusses and minuses, available?....Nope, as I said.

While I would like to see January ruffed grouse season closed in many places, the benefit there is not as strong.
It is true that shortening the season will find many folks stopping hunting grouse for that reason alone and that carries negatives of it's own....course those are folks who hunt grouse and are often not Grousehunters.

I reckon you have sufficient experience to form your own opinions re grouse and late season and will hunt your conscience...can't expect more than that from anyone....so, I really am not trying to change any person's mind.
I am simply putting my thoughts out there for whatever small value they may have for consideration.
Along with stating the obvious mistake of managing ruffed grouse based on a one-size-fits-all analysis that is too often the direction taken.
I do that because I am sick of the Habitat call when so many other factors are now more important than they once were.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Vonrommel » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:32 pm

Mountaineer,
I want to apologize if I have sounded like an A-Hole during these postings; those that know me would probably say I'm an easy going guy.

Obviously there's no study to prove that eliminating the late season hunting to show that it will improve the livelihood of the ruffed grouse, so you must have somewhere that you draw your info from, either gathered by your observation, through talking with forest managers, or it's all in your head. Either way, it's irrelevant. I would tend to agree that if grouse are not killed in February they will have a chance to produce offspring and continue to populate as opposed to if they were table fare. I can also agree that there are fewer food sources available at that time of year no matter the living conditions we give them. But,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

We all should know by now that:
(1)Grouse need young plants from succesional forest for most of their preferred food intake, and that cannot come from a mature forest.
(2) Grouse need that same type of living arrangement for cover from overhead and ground dwelling predators, and that cannot come from mature forest.
(3) Grouse need that same type of cover for nesting, and that cannot come from mature forest.
(4) Grouse can't be helped in any "hands-on" approach, like re-stocking or being reared in a pen. Mothers need to Educate their young in the type of cover mentioned that cannot come from a mature forest.
(5) Grouse are not the only ones to benefit from this type of forest.

Those things would be happening right now in the Apps, and particularly in Eastern TN, if not for the mature forest loving individuals that are sometimes referred to as "tree huggers". And I AM TALKING ABOUT HABITAT IMPROVEMENT. Habitat improvement by way of selective cutting, clear cutting, and done so on a rotational basis, to create various age groups of forest within the range of the "thunder chicken". It's just like the process that's used in Wisconsin, Michigan and Maine (to name a few) by the timber companies and that's where the major populations are located, wonder why? Every time the process gets started here, and a plan in place to start cutting, the process is shut down and held up in court by those individuals.

Granted, it's not the only thing, but I DO BELIEVE, it is the most important thing, and we can disagree on that and be OK with it.

I won't post anymore on this topic, I think everyone has heard enough of me by now. But it was nice to chat with you on this matter. If you ever get down this way, look me up, and we will go hunting.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:22 am

No need to apologize...we all become passionate at times based upon what we see and do not see happening.
That is my excuse anyway.
No doubt Habitat is the #1 concern....I do not believe I have indicated differently if all is read.
But, there are those little steps I mentioned before.
"Big steps and little 'uns" as James Herriot wrote.

Grouse do benefit from mature trees as mature oaks can produce acorns.
Acorns are important in late season.
Do deer and turkey suck away the akerns?...yes.
Beyond that, no to mature woods, of course.
Nesting can be in more mature woods but they do need travel corridors toward brood habitat....orientation of cuts re slope can be important.

I have read, I believe, almost every study of the ruffed grouse....state or thesis-derived.
I have friends who are graduate foresters, state forest chiefs, Mead folks, etc.
I attend NF development plan review neetings in several states and see, first hand, the tree hugger mentality you mention...I also sat beside the SELC fella at the ACGRP and saw what his take was on the info presented. I have also seen RGS chapter heads bug out from those NF meetings...to go deer hunting.
I did attend the ACGRP and talked to DNR folks from some of the different states involved....stories abound there.
I have hunted grouse since '64" so have some observations from experiencing change.
I saw my Ohio grouse moved/hour number drop from 3ish in 2003 to <.75 in about 2007 when I quit in Ohio(that flush number is to low to pursue the birds, IMO)...in areas of prime early successional with soft and hard mast...paper mills are creating super cover as I type!!!....there are other important issues involved than habitat for the grouse's decline. Habitat is critical....but not alone in effect.
These experiences are obviously no more than many others share...we all tho have our own valuing of the factors involved.

The upper great lake states have grouse because their food system is different, their late hunter access is low due to snow and they are blessed with swamps, etc. which serve as recruitment areas in tough times or when their "cycle"( we, again of course, have no noticible comparable cycle) hits and, ditto of course, they have a forest products industry that utlizes aspen on a developmental basis, by and large....not hardwood to our degree. Those are a few reasons why they have grouse...there are other reasons uncomparable to the Apps.....and Pennsylvania exhibits plusses and minuses of both. :wink:

We do not disagree on Habitat being most important in the big picture.
We do apparently disagree on Habitat blinding us to other issues that are having a profound affect upon ruffed grouse dangerously low on a decline curve...now.
Issues where we as Grousehunters can help.
And every help...helps.

I expect all have heard more than enough from me long ago....that is of tradeoff which I am not ashamed.
One has that amongst concerned folks.

Interestingly...my first name is Jeff as well.
Who'd of thunk.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby ridgerunner » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:02 am

I have seen everybody talking about this late season thread that I started and there are many factors that go into determining the survival of the ruffed grouse...I know that cutting out the late season isn't the cure all. That being said...PA., OH., and even VA. ( who ends in the middle of Feb. ) have to believe that surely it has to benefit the birds in some way. Bird Evans who hunted Appalachian Grouse( exclusively) for 75 years thought that the late season was hard on the birds...esp. if you have a deadly shot who takes out the strong ones in the late season. I spoke to the small game person in the state of Tennessee and he said it was not the cure all, but it WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE and that is why I started this thread and that is why I will write letters to who ever I have to and express my concern. This bird means a great deal to me and I want to see it in huntable numbers for along time!!
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:53 pm

Gentlemen,
So far no study has ever proven that closing Grouse season to human sport hunting has increased any Grouse population any where in any state.
The PGC/RGS study actually proved hunting was benificial to the over all Grouse population, this study really up set the late season theory big time. GBE did no one any favor with his unproven theory on late winter Grouse hunting, infact the Grouse Biologists in WV told him just that, and they still hunt into Feb in WV. Until Predator birds are put back on the hunting list, and forests are managed properly the outer edges of the Grouses living range, will continue to shrink in population.
You will never hear a Professional Biologist like Eric Miller (PGC SGL Chief Biologist) or Bill Parmer retired PGC Rought Grouse Biologist, advocating the closing of
Grouse seasons, or late winter hunting. There simply is no biological proof that it increases Grouse populations. In fact Bill Palmer advised the PGC to further extend Grouse season because there were fewer Grouse hunters, than there use to be. In fact he advised the PGC that letting the season open year around would have no adverse effect on the over all Grouse population. Don't get me wrong Bill Palmer did not want a year around Grouse season, it was his way of making a Biological point.
These unproven theories have been used by politicians to limit Grouse seasons for generations, they need to be discarded and biological proof should determine
Grouse seasons and Grouse hunting limits. The late winter Grouse hunting theory and Global warming are both political BS, fact disproves them both, and yet certain people still want it to be true.
RGD/Dave
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Mountaineer » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:10 pm

Ryman Gun Dog wrote:Gentlemen,
So far no study has ever proven that closing Grouse season to human sport hunting has increased any Grouse population any where in any state.
The PGC/RGS study actually proved hunting was benificial to the over all Grouse population, this study really up set the late season theory big time. GBE did no one any favor with his unproven theory on late winter Grouse hunting, infact the Grouse Biologists in WV told him just that, and they still hunt into Feb in WV. Until Predator birds are put back on the hunting list, and forests are managed properly the outer edges of the Grouses living range, will continue to shrink in population.
You will never hear a Professional Biologist like Eric Miller (PGC SGL Chief Biologist) or Bill Parmer retired PGC Rought Grouse Biologist, advocating the closing of
Grouse seasons, or late winter hunting. There simply is no biological proof that it increases Grouse populations. In fact Bill Palmer advised the PGC to further extend Grouse season because there were fewer Grouse hunters, than there use to be. In fact he advised the PGC that letting the season open year around would have no adverse effect on the over all Grouse population. Don't get me wrong Bill Palmer did not want a year around Grouse season, it was his way of making a Biological point.
These unproven theories have been used by politicians to limit Grouse seasons for generations, they need to be discarded and biological proof should determine
Grouse seasons and Grouse hunting limits. The late winter Grouse hunting theory and Global warming are both political BS, fact disproves them both, and yet certain people still want it to be true.
RGD/Dave



David,
you must have brown eyes.
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:39 am

Mountaineer,
My eyes are Blue/Green and I believe in biological proof before changing Grouse seasons & limits, and if you believe in Global warming, I fully understand why you believe Grouse hunting should be eliminated in the late season. You think with your heart not your brain.
RGD/Dave
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Re: Cutting out the Feb. season in East Tn. for grouse

Postby steve » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:22 pm

I am against taking out the Feb. season by 100%. The problem is not hunting pressure, the problem is lack of habitat. In some areas of East Tennessee they are starting to turn the mature woods over to clear cuts and in every case I have found birds. I have also found hot spots that I have hammered for several years now and every year the birds are back.

In addition I own a six hundred acre farm that has been set up for nothing but deer, turkey and quail hunting. We have not killed a quail in 8 years in Feburary and we have yet to see an increse in the number of quail on our farm.

Finally, let the experts tell us.....................the Appalachian Cooperative grouse research project has concluded that hunting does not cause any significant decline in the bird population what so ever.
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