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      TO THOSE REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UJ   01/06/2018

      To the Guests who have decided to register for Membership. PLEASE read Terms of Service, not just checking it off. This is covered there: Add more info than just "hunting" or "Upland hunting" or "birds" or "outdoors" or similar nebulous terms in the required INTERESTS field. Despite this Boards strong spam filtering function, some Spam registrations do sneak through. I need an inkling that you are a human being not a Spam Bot tagging onto key words. Also please do not use a business name as your User Name. Thank you.
chilly460

Another VA report....no grouse

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GraceinVA
1 minute ago, ANF grousin said:

 

 

This one?

IMG_4395.JPG.9b36c74cfcd1c918a3dab1547bc

 

 

 

I like laurel cover, some is good, some not so good.  That laurel should hold birds, protection from avian predators along with mast crop on the floor.  I'm headed out shortly and will be hitting a couple laurel covers.  One is well known around my house, everyone sees grouse out on the road picking up grit, yet no one hunts it since its considered to hard to hunt and kill birds in it.  

Yea that's her...freakin poser! Although she didn't point that grouse, she found it after I had shot it and I would have never looked where she found it. No doubt in my mind I would have lost that bird without her. She did point it the second time she found it...

 

And I think I know the covers your headed to. If I remember they are old burns. I'd give my left nut to be walking out of this cubicle to go hunt right meow...even in these birdless mtns of VA :)

 

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GrousinFF

GraceinVA is spot on with tons of good advice. I also prefer not to hunt laurel, but it can hold birds. Food has everything to do with finding birds, and figuring out what they are eating and where will determine your success. This year has provided a bumper crop of mast and a crappy year for grapes and berries, which, in-turn, have the birds really spread out. Also, at least in my observations, the heavier spring rains have hurt the clutches and I’m finding less juvenile birds than normal. Hang in there, and it’ll happen. There are still plenty of birds around. Also, as mentioned, if you can’t walk through it, (really young cuts) a bird probably won’t either. Just my experiences and 2 cents worth. Good luck!

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Curt

I know little about hunting in Virginia but here in PA I wouldn't spend much time hunting 5-9 year old cuts.  Nine years old would likely be my starting age, and I'd be looking for some a little older, say 9-17 years old.  As it gets colder I'd try to find some south facing covers as well.  Hunting grouse dogless can be very productive, especially if you have a knowledgeable partner to hunt with.  I know two guys locally here who have hunted together dogless for decades and they kill more than their share of grouse.  Keep at it, you'll figure it out.

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Mike Connally
2 hours ago, Curt said:

I know little about hunting in Virginia but here in PA I wouldn't spend much time hunting 5-9 year old cuts.  Nine years old would likely be my starting age, and I'd be looking for some a little older, say 9-17 years old.  As it gets colder I'd try to find some south facing covers as well.  Hunting grouse dogless can be very productive, especially if you have a knowledgeable partner to hunt with.  I know two guys locally here who have hunted together dogless for decades and they kill more than their share of grouse.  Keep at it, you'll figure it out.

There’s a big difference in success rates between two hunters without a dog and a single hunter. A grouse feeling trapped between two hunters is much more likely to flush than one skulking near a single hunter. 

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Curt
32 minutes ago, Mike Connally said:

There’s a big difference in success rates between two hunters without a dog and a single hunter. A grouse feeling trapped between two hunters is much more likely to flush than one skulking near a single hunter. 

 

Yep, two are definitely better than one.  However, even a lone hunter can increase his odds if he hunts properly.  He can also increase his flush rate by how he walks in any given cover.

A steady walking pace will allow some grouse to hunker down and let a hunter walk past.  If the hunter walks several steps, then pauses for several seconds before walking on for several more steps, pausing, etc., some birds will become unnerved and flush.  We used to do that when we were kids, it works.  Also stop near any really thick spot such as a blow down, toss a couple sticks or rocks into the thick spot, be ready for a flush.  In other words don't just amble through likely cover hoping to push one out on your path, there's more to it.

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