Lets here some good dog stories as well.
Can we attach pictures in this forum now?
I hope it was the wet summer! My report after two weeks is similar.
The population crashed in KY a few years ago and biologist want to blame habitat loss. Habitat loss would be a gradual decline our birds were gone basically in 3 years. I suspected a disease and tried to bring attention to it. What know one wants to talk about is the Coincidence of grouse populations tanking when wild turkeys move in. This has occurred up and down the Appalachian mts. I suspect turkeys may carry a disease or parasite into the woods. Just hypothesis we’ll see certainly can’t blame it on habitat in the industrial forest lands on northern WI
Even the biologists are guessing when they blame the wet weather ruining the nesting seasons but west nile is scientifically verifiable dependent upon funding.
I noted a lack of insects this spring and summer wonder if there is a relationship there. Also noted was the presence of ice rather than snow for good of last winter and spring of 2017.
Hunter&Hound - yes - on that board too, so if you are seeing my info in two places - not two different guys.
While I agree this past spring hatch had the deck stacked against them, there is more to what is going on than just a wet spring (barstool biologist here). I am thinking it has to be something like the west Nile.
I keep going back to past hunts. Had a honey hole for the past 5+ years. Very remote area, NEVER saw another hunter there. In 2015 I was putting up 15-25 birds when I hunted it. I harvested 2-3 in 2015. In 2016, the road was washed out and no one could hunt it, including me. Hit it in 2017 and flushed 1. No other signs of anyone else in the area. So I scratch my head - what happened. The old birds should have no issue surviving a wet spring. It is the hatch that suffers. When I was there, plenty of food - like an over abundance. Just no birds.
FWIW - my flush rate is down 63% form 2015. This is my worst year ever.
Harvested 9 grouse so far this year. Last year was over 20 at this time.
SJB, those minty leaves would be wintergreen. A grouse favorite. I have been noticing there are almost no berries on them this year. Then on saturday we were along the shore of a remote lake. There were berries on them near the water. Been on the lookout since near water sources.
As for the bird numbers. Absolutely agree they are way down. Regardless of who I talk to it's the same thing. Talking with old salts, and the DNR. The belief is the heavy spring rains. Knocked out both the first and second broods. Not a good thing.
If you have not heard about it. The MI DNR issued a statement which was posted to the MI RGS facebook page. Stating they have been finding west nile virus in birds across the UP. That if you harvest a bird that is or looks skiny. To not eat it, and contact the DNR. So us WI hunters should be on the lookout, and do just the same. Hopefully it does not find its way to our birds.
Now how about a laugh. There I was today. Deep in the woods bent over pushing one out. When suddenly above my head a grouse explodes. Talk about literally scaring the crap out of you!!
Hunted some great cover today,flushed one grouse and six woodcock.for a change I shot well and got three woodcock.Last week I was hunting Florence county shot one grouse in 4days and six woodcock.This is by far the worst season I have had on grouse in 40 years.It does not help that my springer is 11 and is a shell of himselve.
Same dog in the avatar as in the photos. Lucy is a Weimaraner. She turned 10 on October 11th. This is her tenth season hunting. She is not as fast as she used to be but her nose always points me in the right direction. She is a big female for a Weimaraner.