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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?

9/23/19 @ 8:02 AM
User since 8/24/07

I agree.  I don't put a ton of stock into drumming counts.  2017 counts were great and we moved very few birds.  Last year they were down in the northern section more than 30% and we flushed and bagged more birds than I've seen since 2007.  You just never know.  So many variables in play.

9/22/19 @ 10:01 PM
User since 3/6/18

100% on it's a grouse. This was from the Blue Hills in Rusk County. Hunted this weekend in Douglas County a flushed zero. My early season average is 10-20 per day. Something has dramatcally impacted the population the last 2 years. We should be at or near a peak. Drumming counts are a very poor indicator of population. They simply indicate more males are actively trying to attract mates. The dismal numbers from last year drummed alot in this spring. That does not equate to more birds. 

9/21/19 @ 9:51 PM
User since 7/28/16

Got out friday, flushed 8 got 2

9/21/19 @ 7:56 PM
Dead Bird Back
User since 9/21/19


You sure you shot a grouse? Looking at the tail feathers it looks more like a young pheasant or even a turkey. Even the length of its neck. 

9/16/19 @ 11:46 AM
User since 2/8/11

I’ve shot quite a few upland birds that had been previously shot, especially wild pheasants but also turkeys and grouse. One thing I noticed very distinctively is that birds that had been shot with plain lead shot get that infected wound and surely end up dead. Birds that were shot with copper plated lead or steel and survived rarely had the infection plain lead showed and often were healing or even fully healed with just some scar tissue around the pellet.

I have no idea why plain lead does that but I’ve seen it enough that I won’t shoot it. Plus on the slight chance I ingest a pellet, I’d much prefer anything than plain lead. 

As for the bird shot recently 2 posts below, that’s some sort of illness or injury. A bird in that shape certainly wouldn’t have survived since last hunting season. 

9/16/19 @ 9:06 AM
User since 8/24/07

I shot one that looked like that about five years ago.  When I butchered it, I found a pellet lodged in the back portion of the breast.  It was gangrene and boy did it stink.  Maybe a previous injury that resulted in an infection?  Of course, maybe but is indeed WNV.  Interested to hear about what you find out.

9/15/19 @ 9:46 PM
User since 3/6/18

This bird I shot today in Rusk County does not look good at all! The breast was 1/2 the size of a tennis ball and the bird was an odd light grey and missing feathers. Im suspecting WNV.

9/15/19 @ 6:00 AM
User since 10/24/04

Got out yesterday in Oneida county. Took a 2 hour walk w/ my lab and we flushed 4 grouse and 2 woodcock. A very nice start to the year after last years dismal season. Oh and I got 1 which the heart and blood sample will be sent in for the west Nile testing.

9/13/19 @ 6:27 AM
User since 1/31/09

I use to deer hunt the Necedah wildlife refuge.  I have not done so in about 18 years.  I would see a good amount of grouse.  Does anyone hunt the refuge for grouse still?  Is it worth a 3 hour drive for a weekend later in the season?

9/5/19 @ 10:58 PM
User since 3/6/18

Habitat in Douglas County where I hunt is the best it's been since the 70s. Despite that, there have been low numbers. Having pursued grouse for 40 years, I understand that there is something else, possibly West Nile, contributing to the low numbers. I agree that road hunters, including trail hunters on ATVs, ground swat far too many birds. This is not challenging, sportsmanlike, or ethical. Comparable to poaching deer from a vehicle.

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