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Grouse Reports ! ! !

9/12/03 @ 11:53 AM
USER SINCE 8/24/01
Let us know where youre finding the birds, what were the conditions, what type of terrain.

Lets here some good dog stories as well.

Can we attach pictures in this forum now?


TODAY @ 2:38 PM
USER SINCE 7/24/01
Hunted for a few days but I had to quit until I get some eaten.

10/17/21 @ 11:49 AM
USER SINCE 10/17/21

Hunted western UP last week. Saw lots of birds. Several days with over 30 flushes. Seemed to be more birds than last several years. Warm weather at beginning of week didn’t help the dogs or hunters. All in all a great hunt.

10/14/21 @ 7:15 AM
USER SINCE 7/29/01

Hunted ducks in northern Oconto, Forest County and a little Marinette County this past week and grouse numbers looked improved from the last two years. My son and I shot some grouse missed some birds and saw many more while scouting and hunting ducks. We duck hunted the same areas 3 weeks ago for 5 days putting on over 300 miles on gravel roads and only saw two birds and they were on blacktop near town. After our September hunt I told my son the population was the lowest I have seen in my 50 years hunting.  After this week I would rate it just slightly below average. Most of the birds were around swampy thick areas, creek bottoms and beaver ponds(where we duck hunt). We spent some time in areas with clear cut poplar that looked great but saw very few birds. Not sure why the grouse were in the wet areas it had rained every day for a week and the road to our favorite duck spot was impassable. We stopped the truck in a large clear cut Tuesday afternoon after duck hunting to let the dogs stretch and saw someone had cleaned 3 birds where we parked so someone else had some luck in that area. We did see plenty of woodcock buzzing the beaver ponds every morning if you like those, we do not. We saw grouse singles, multiple groups of 3 and one group of 5 that is now only 3  

The picture shows a nice double my son made Tuesday after missing a couple of easy ones earlier. His 10 year old Lab retrieved one bird and his pup(the one in the picture) got the other, so that was nice to see. The picture shows the type of cover we found most birds.  

We noticed very few bird hunters compared to other years.  The leaves are pretty well gone but the ground cover is still very thick but that should improve when the weather cools down and freezes . I had to put the air conditioner on in my shack Sunday it was 76F outside and smelled like stale beer and dogs inside  . 

Good luck bird hunters and I hope things improve for those struggling to find birds.........

10/14/21 @ 6:18 AM

Brule100, agreed. WNV appears to be a big threat. 

My setter is likely in her last year of hunting and I don't see another dog in my future until (if ever) the grouse population rights itself. In my area of the state (SE) I only get maybe 3 weeks of decent woodcock hunting and I refuse to chase around the pen-raised ditch parrots that the dnr stocks. I'll be sad to see it go but this may be my last year upland hunting for a while. 

10/13/21 @ 9:23 PM

The low numbers are definitely the direct result of WNV. The habitat in Douglas County where I've hunted for 40 years is better than it's ever been and the grouse population continues to struggle. I find it difficult to believe that some hunters don't  yet understand the impact of WNV. This is a game changer for serious grouse hunters.

10/13/21 @ 1:14 PM
USER SINCE 8/29/12

Hunted Washburn and Sawyer county this past weekend. Walked 5 hours total. Flushed 15 grouse and and 17 woodcock. Had to do some serious brush busting. Hunting trails and roads isn't going to get it done.

10/13/21 @ 11:49 AM
USER SINCE 10/24/17

Saw the same thing happen in KY, population basically disappeared over about 3 year period.   WNV i suspect was the cause there and suspect its happening here.  I've hunted 4 days with dogs in Sawyer, Washburn and Bayfield counties,  seeing a couple of birds a day.  The only bird harvested was a bird caught by my young pup.  The breast was tiny, it did have a broken wing so may have been a cripple but no shot was in it.  It could've been WNV and my pup broke its wing when he pounced it.  Anyways, something is definitely going on.  The weather in early June for the most part was ideal hatching conditions.  Hoping for a decent woodcock flight in the next week or so I need to get my pup into some birds.

10/13/21 @ 10:01 AM
Walleye Warrior
Walleye Warrior
USER SINCE 8/23/01

Hunt the N Oconto and S Forest areas and as Ive stated for years, something strange is happening.  The population has basically vanished.  I log a lot of hours in the woods and dont see any grouse.  Im concerned for the future.  -WW

10/12/21 @ 2:53 PM
USER SINCE 3/17/09

Pool, thanks for the info, dropped off the bird for testing.

10/12/21 @ 9:49 AM
USER SINCE 8/24/07


I have to agree regarding Price. Too many articles written and sporting shows filmed there. I only have one spot I hunt there and it’s big enough I can spend the day and I’ve only encountered another hunter there once in ten years or more. I also don’t hunt weekends as a rule. Too much pressure. One year, we travelled south on Swamp Creek (I think) which is a really long gravel road. Travelled about ten miles and every gate had a truck parked in it. 


Good advice Hunterandhound.

I’m heading up Monday for a week. Weather looking better so far. 

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