Where Do They Go?

Post Reply
User avatar
crappieguy
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:58 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Where Do They Go?

Post by crappieguy » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:34 am

Went out four times in two weeks...Ruffies everywhere..putting up 13 to 19 in a four hour afternoon. Went to my same coverts this weekend Sat and Sunday...we were able to only get a point and visual on one Ruffy. Other hunters said the same thing. Where do they go? I know they'll be back but we pushed through acres of tangle and nothing????
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." Benjamin Franklin

User avatar
DogNewbie
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1041
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:39 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by DogNewbie » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:28 pm

was there a big difference in the conditions?

User avatar
bonasa
Rank: Master Hunter
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:01 pm
Location: New England

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by bonasa » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:53 pm

Weather patterns, diet and time of day could each or all play a role.

User avatar
crappieguy
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:58 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by crappieguy » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:04 pm

Time of day was almost exactly the same...we had, a snow storm come through (18"), about 5 days earlier that knocked down a lot of trees. The snow had pretty well all disappeared but now theer were no leaves on the trees. Last time the trees were full of leaves. Temerature was a little warmer ~ 4 deg C warmer, ambient temp was 12 deg C.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." Benjamin Franklin

User avatar
m2244
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:04 am
Location: VT

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by m2244 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:35 am

Tell me about it. One day you're in grouse heaven, the next you don't see as much as a song bird. There must be studies out there that talk about how far a grouse will range in a period of time and why.

Here's a brief description I found:

"Male grouse maintain a territory of about 4-20 ha (10-50 acres). They defend this territory and will not tolerate other males nearby. Females wander over a larger area, as much as 40 ha (100 acres), but they tend to stay on a particular home range, though this may overlap with the ranges and territories of other females and males."

User avatar
northern cajun
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 836
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 9:28 am
Location: Breaux Bridge, La and Ithaca, NY

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by northern cajun » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:15 am

HAVE A GREAT DAY!!
GOD BLESS

DOGS COULDNT LIVE WITHOUT EM!!
NORTHERN CAJUN

JIM K
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:07 pm
Location: PA.

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by JIM K » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:09 pm

last week i had 6 timberdoodles in small area. i have puppy i am training.
i have gone back to this spot 3 times and no birds.
none have been shot etc. :(

food and weather conditions usually are reason to see birds or not too see them.

User avatar
mobeasto123
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:13 pm
Location: Baie-Comeau, Québec, Canada

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by mobeasto123 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Had the same problem last year... I have 2-3 particular spot that are really ruff heaven, even if there some other hunter that go in it.. I went on a saturday and had a great day.. the next week nothing at all ( NOTHING) not even a redbreast or a wood pecker. I tried it on 2 different thing in the following weeks and nothing.. till the day they were back on the third week... Sometime they are like ghosts and sometime I think my dog make them appear just to please me !!!

David
David & ''Hunter ''

Why put off until tomorrow a thing that we could do next week , next month or next year !!!

Mountaineer
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:23 pm
Location: State?...The one where ruffed grouse were.

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:47 pm

crappieguy wrote:Went out four times in two weeks...Ruffies everywhere..putting up 13 to 19 in a four hour afternoon. Went to my same coverts this weekend Sat and Sunday...we were able to only get a point and visual on one Ruffy. Other hunters said the same thing. Where do they go? I know they'll be back but we pushed through acres of tangle and nothing????

Ruffed grouse will not stand as much pressure as folks think...and hitting a covert two days in a row is a receipt for their adieu.
Grouse will be moved from home areas which is why late season hunting, in some accessible areas, is detrimental.
If the area has food and cover and there is sufficient cover with food they can be pushed into then they will likely spread back...or recruit from in tougher times.
Weather, if all else is good, will play a very small role for grouse; food depletion can play a role varying in importance....as can scenting conditions for a dog.
Also few coverts are actually secret tho the bigger country covers do spread the hunter impact....just depends.
Because of the human derived grouse movement, one can find areas with abnormally high concentrations of birds for which the cover can not support leading to some mistakes in population numbers....I have seen logging do this untill the activity ceases and the logging benefits take over.
Grouse, not so oddly enough, also learn hunters, dogs and exits...in the air and on the ground.
Find more coverts and hunt each less is the takeaway.

Woodcock, of course, migrate.
Weather can trigger woodcock migration spurts.

User avatar
crappieguy
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:58 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by crappieguy » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:53 pm

Really funny...since I initiated this thread...my son-in-law wanted me to go back to my favorite spots yesterday..I said no..nothing ther anymore. He came back with6 and said that he quit counting flushes after 22 ruffies. Weird science. Tomorrow I'm heading to a new area that supports a large population of birds..I have never worked the area so it should be interesting. Not really interested in kills...just trying to get my newly trained dog hunting and holding point rather than rushing in. Need lots of birds. I guess everyone does. One thing to train with pigeons but they really need to learn hunting skills.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." Benjamin Franklin

JIM K
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:07 pm
Location: PA.

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by JIM K » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:54 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
crappieguy wrote:Went out four times in two weeks...Ruffies everywhere..putting up 13 to 19 in a four hour afternoon. Went to my same coverts this weekend Sat and Sunday...we were able to only get a point and visual on one Ruffy. Other hunters said the same thing. Where do they go? I know they'll be back but we pushed through acres of tangle and nothing????

Ruffed grouse will not stand as much pressure as folks think...and hitting a covert two days in a row is a receipt for their adieu.
Grouse will be moved from home areas which is why late season hunting, in some accessible areas, is detrimental.
If the area has food and cover and there is sufficient cover with food they can be pushed into then they will likely spread back...or recruit from in tougher times.
Weather, if all else is good, will play a very small role for grouse; food depletion can play a role varying in importance....as can scenting conditions for a dog.
Also few coverts are actually secret tho the bigger country covers do spread the hunter impact....just depends.
Because of the human derived grouse movement, one can find areas with abnormally high concentrations of birds for which the cover can not support leading to some mistakes in population numbers....I have seen logging do this untill the activity ceases and the logging benefits take over.
Grouse, not so oddly enough, also learn hunters, dogs and exits...in the air and on the ground.
Find more coverts and hunt each less is the takeaway.

Woodcock, of course, migrate.
Weather can trigger woodcock migration spurts.

you are right. after we got a quick cold spell,woodcock disappeared.


as for grouse, you are right. hunting presuure does move grouse to very secure areas like in pa, to mountain laural.i think predators move grouse too as leaves come off to heavier cover also.

JIM K
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:07 pm
Location: PA.

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by JIM K » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:56 pm

crappieguy wrote:Really funny...since I initiated this thread...my son-in-law wanted me to go back to my favorite spots yesterday..I said no..nothing ther anymore. He came back with6 and said that he quit counting flushes after 22 ruffies. Weird science. Tomorrow I'm heading to a new area that supports a large population of birds..I have never worked the area so it should be interesting. Not really interested in kills...just trying to get my newly trained dog hunting and holding point rather than rushing in. Need lots of birds. I guess everyone does. One thing to train with pigeons but they really need to learn hunting skills.
we kill very few grouse for our pups and adult dogs here in pa. fun is hunting not killing and having birds available today to hunt IS like gold is too market now.
DONT KILL YOUR BIRDS OFF ,TRUST ME THEY ARE PRECIOUS.

User avatar
SHORTFAT
Rank: 3X Champion
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:25 pm
Location: northwest Pa.

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by SHORTFAT » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:52 am

Many Native American tribes believed the buffalo went into a hole in the ground somewhere when they were scarce... I think that's where the Pa Grouse are... :wink:
Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
- Mark Twain.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
-Abraham Lincoln

User avatar
crappieguy
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:58 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by crappieguy » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:18 pm

Went out yesterday with my pup...to a new covert ...a 150 ft ridge that plateaus out in 3 levels..each level surrounded by thick fir forest but the ridge down to the bottom is poplar, birch and tag alders with wild cranberry etc. This covert has never been hunted by me,I just had a hunch that it should be good. Discovered it while out black powder hunting whitetail 2 years agao.
There has been a lot of hunting pressure at my old coverts because of blackpowder whitetail season.Of course they also take their .22's and pop anything that moves.lots of road hunters.

My hunch payed off...found 9 ruufies in about 2 hours and never pushed very far...still 3 miles of good covert to checkout yet. also put up 4 spruce grouse.

I take the gun for the dog to associate gun; hunting boots etc., but haven't been shooting mainly because I need as many wild birds as possible to polish my GSP.

She points but then creeps and then rushes the birds....when we worked her on pigeons in launchers she was quite staunch on point but out in the wild she's just too excited. I need advise whether to use the e-collar or whether she'll figure this out herself. She locates them like a darn and works so fast...but!!!

I'm open to suggestions on this pointing and whoaing out in the wild...don't need a flushing dog.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." Benjamin Franklin

User avatar
topher40
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2306
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: NE Kansas

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by topher40 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:21 pm

That is why they call it hunting and not shooting. :D
Chris E. Kroll
CEK Kennels
http://www.cekkennels.com
785-288-0461


Governments govern best when governments governs least


-Thomas Paine

User avatar
SHORTFAT
Rank: 3X Champion
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:25 pm
Location: northwest Pa.

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by SHORTFAT » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:05 pm

crappyguy... I generally don't like the dog to associate anything about the e-collar with birds... especially wild ones... keep patient and consistant and she will figgue it out... more birds will teach her better than a few birds with a bad association with the e-collar... JMHO... Glad your into birds tho! 8)
Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
- Mark Twain.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
-Abraham Lincoln

JIM K
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:07 pm
Location: PA.

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by JIM K » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:30 am

my small munsterlander pup is pointing. he creeps also and points again.
i would just let your pup be pup but i am no expert on this.

if he did not point all time in future it would not bother me at all.
you like me ,i leave birds LIVE. I VERY SELDOM SHOOT ONE . fun is dog hyaving lots of birds around.
trust me, i saw grouse wiped out in areas because of over hunting.

User avatar
crappieguy
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:58 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by crappieguy » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:00 pm

When I was a young man I killed evrything that walked , ran , crawled, flew or swam. I guess I've matured in the last 15 years ...we catch a lot of fish all catch and release.We try not to kill the birds...I'm getting more of a rush finding pointing and flushing. Even gave up deer and bear hunting. I'm not a tree hugger but I have a different appreciation of nature. My son and son-in-law are where I was 25 years ago.
The dogs are good for me I walk a lot of rough miles every week and my dog (2), worships me . Guess I'll have to give my wife some of my GSP's training.lol.
We have a lot of ruffies, sharptails and Huns out here...just have to find them.That's why it's good not to shoot the ruffies..they stick around and help the dog to teach itself. I even have one farmer that lets me use his fields for Hun training so long as I don't kill the birds. Still carry the gun...just unloaded. Hope this all makes sense.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." Benjamin Franklin

JIM K
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:07 pm
Location: PA.

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by JIM K » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:24 pm

crappieguy wrote:When I was a young man I killed evrything that walked , ran , crawled, flew or swam. I guess I've matured in the last 15 years ...we catch a lot of fish all catch and release.We try not to kill the birds...I'm getting more of a rush finding pointing and flushing. Even gave up deer and bear hunting. I'm not a tree hugger but I have a different appreciation of nature. My son and son-in-law are where I was 25 years ago.
The dogs are good for me I walk a lot of rough miles every week and my dog (2), worships me . Guess I'll have to give my wife some of my GSP's training.lol.
We have a lot of ruffies, sharptails and Huns out here...just have to find them.That's why it's good not to shoot the ruffies..they stick around and help the dog to teach itself. I even have one farmer that lets me use his fields for Hun training so long as I don't kill the birds. Still carry the gun...just unloaded. Hope this all makes sense.
you sir, are sportsman that cares if your pup has birds to hunt etc.
i do same MOST of time.but i shoot my 20 ga over heads of grouse and then when toby is not looking ,i plant a frozen grouse in brush.
he thinks i shot it.
then i refreeze it when i get home.

but sad thing here in my area of pa even with what i am doing grouse are very scare this year here in clinton county,pa.

User avatar
setternewbie
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by setternewbie » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:58 am

JIM K wrote:
crappieguy wrote:but i shoot my 20 ga over heads of grouse

Cool I do that too. I can assure you though, my wildlife conservation tactics are second to none...My buddies call it missing but I calls it conservation!! At least the grouse population remains stable when I'm in the woods.

User avatar
wills1235
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:23 am
Location: Dayton, WA

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by wills1235 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:33 pm

I got on this thread, and it made me feel bad. Must just be awful to live out east. Grew up in MN and live now in WA. I only take the easy shots on pheasant out here. On an average day the pup might put up 10-20 birds, but I don't have to worry about conserving birds, just make sure I kill the ones I shoot at.
The best place to hunt is where the birds are. Next best is where they ain't. Anywhere else works too.

User avatar
crappieguy
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:58 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Where Do They Go?

Post by crappieguy » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:31 am

I don't worry about conserving birds...just don't have the bloodlust anymore.
I do take birds ie: sharptail, huns spruce grouse...but because the ruffies can at times become so elusive, which is how the thread started, I try not to decimate them in the areas that I go to more so that I maintain an ongoing supply of "wild" training birds for my dogs.
I'm not in the east, actually central CANADA, and we have loads of birds, but for the benefit of my gastank and my dogs it's more cost effective to keep certain hunting areas which are close to home relatively untouched.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." Benjamin Franklin

Post Reply