Lets here some good dog stories as well.
Can we attach pictures in this forum now?
No limits and a long season on grouse along with very very limited turkey hunts is a huge problem. It's obvious turkeys play a large part in keeping our grouse populations down. Why our so called professional biologists can't see that is mystifying. It's high time our wildlife biologists start using their heads about game management in Wisconsin. The same old same old is just not going to work with the perfect storm of predators ,disease ,parasites and turkeys ( which could be all three to a grouse).
this article is from 6 days ago. Its not breaking news. The info is months and years old.
I recall the wnv problem in wisconsin crows back around 2002. We still have more crows than we can count.
I've been chasing grouse since I was a kid. When I got my first license the season was shorter and the limit was 3. The limit on woodcock was 5.
Bird populations have gone up and down mutiple times since then. Habitat has come and gone and come back again. But my experience is that the population highs are not as high as they once were and the lows are lower. Birds exist in the central forest area, but not in the numbers they once did.
My uncle who came back to Wisconsin from Rockford to hunt grouse when I was 12 was a real exception. This season every trip up north I saw out of state plates with grouse hunters.
While we can blame predators, loss of habitat, turkeys and out of state hunters, I think we also have to question the wisdom of the long seasons and 5 bird limit.
There is some truth n what you say FNB.
But the vast majority of predators we can hunt trap and kill at will. Problem there is we dont have as many well moneyed city folk eager to buy fur clothing as they have for the previous several centuries. Create a market for fur and this will solve part of the predator problem by getting trappers and hunters back into the pursuit of predators.
Small game bird population is suffering and declining in most other states as well. Some people blame the increased tick population. Others blame increase in 4 legged predators. Personally I blame it on the increase in hawks and owls. Could be a perfect storm of all these factors and several more.
Game preserves to hunt grouse in Northern Wisconsin! There is exceptional habitat in so many locations with all of the logging happening in the last decade. Yet year after year Wisconsin grouse never seem to bounce back. Common sense would blame how our WDNR keeps managing for a massive overpopulation of predators that we can't hunt or trap . Along with huge flocks of turkeys that we can't ever seem to get tags for,that's about the end of it. The end of grouse hunting and the Wisconsin small game hunting tradition along with it.
Only in Wisconsin
Dang RC, that does not sound like fun at all. Glad you got out at least,
Your right shooting would be easier overall. Doctor says though, the recoil would shatter the bone. Talking about a cast now since not healing. Mostly because im not resting to allow it. Falling almost daily cutting boughs is not helping. Every so often I take a hit that impact the shoulder some how. I can actually feel the bone move. Yes, very painful. Still cannot draw the recurve to snap shoot.
Bough season is now over. The last week most days not in grouse cover. For a couple I was, but not even a track. At least now though I can get the boys out for some work. Wont be shooting any, but getting them some work is more important.
Hopefully things will be better next fall for all of us. Otherwise the preserves might be better time spent. I hear Laona is $8 for grouse, and $10 for pheasants with 4 bird minimum is all. Sure hope not, just not the same!!
Steve I would think that pulling a bow is harder on your shoulder / collarbone than shooting a shotgun.
Hunted thurs, fri and satr and I put up a few birds each day but theyre flushing ahead of me, out of range even before the dog can get scent. Cant seem to win no matter what. Doenst bother me as I love just getting into the bush. but the dog seems to get frustrated.
Just after sunset I as still a mile from the car with no flashlight just a compass. had to hike a straight line to the car across a 200 acre swamp. Got into a spring flow and the dog fell through the ice in water over her head then I fell through the ice. Eventually we got out. Most interesting part of an uneventful day.
That is a hell of a goal to shoot one in flight! I also agree that the wet spring has been hard on the birds as the few that we shot were mature birds and not from this years hatch. I met a guy this fall from Penn. and he told me WNV has hammer their grouse in Penn. So my hope is that it was a wet spring. Good luck with the bow and lets see a pic if your successful in bagging one.
I doubt anyone knows if one bird is more prone to WNV than others. However, I can tell you that there are far less crows, and ravens around. Those being the ones I would guess more prone to get it. Still the main reason for the low numbers was the wet weather. WNV may be coming, but does not seem to be having a huge current impact. Really, the wet weather messed with many other things. Here it caused problems with most of the food sources out there. I know there were spots that were awesome. Overall though many of the mast crops were real bad. Everything playing a part in the whole game.
Im still out cutting these dang boughs. The areas I am in now. Are perfect grouse habitat. All the foods they want, water, and cover. Yet, not a single bird track. No surprise though.
Bough season is in it's last days. Guns are now out of the woods. Looking forward to getting back out there after Grouse, and Bobcat. Besides I got a goal to complete. If my shoulder can handle it. Doctor has not said no like a shotgun. Recovering from a twice broken collarbone. I want to harvest one with the bow. In flight that is! Couple weeks ago could still not pull the recurve to snap shoot. Maybe getting closer, I hope. Think it will be easier when they bust from the snow anyway.