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PA GROUSE AND WOODCOCK OPENS 10/17/2020...........


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boon hogganbeck

Went looking for woodcock this afternoon, but alas, the cupboard was bare...

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Finally knocked one down over my pup!  He made a nice track & retrieve.  These PA birds are a challenge...  Missed another bird on a wild flush.  Hot dry woods made for tough conditions but I'm gl

Starting to find some woodcock. Fortunately, some held tight!

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boon hogganbeck

Anyone seeing flight birds in central PA?  Went out after work, looked hard for a couple hours on an SGL area managed for them (prescribed burns, etc.)... Nothing.  Had one unproductive point but I'm not what was going on there.  Saw a bird veer off in another part of that cover but I'm not convinced it was a woodcock.

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floodcity

Flushed 4 in Bedford County Monday. 

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We moved almost 15 this (Sunday) morning in Northeast PA around my lake. Nothing yesterday morning though.

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boon hogganbeck

Darn... you guys make me jealous. My son and I worked the dog for 2.5 hours today in good-looking stuff, nothing. Couldn’t find any in the fall, either.  I don’t know if it’s the dog, the cover, or if they’re just not here in my county.  

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shoot-straight

They were good here the last few weeks. Most seemed to have moved on. Not supposed to run dogs off leash here after March 15. So good timing.

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boon hogganbeck

I went to a new spot today, a little public land near water, where I’d vaguely heard might be woodcock territory. Cover and soil looked excellent but we found nothing.   
 

Decided to throw in the towel on woodcock (after a fruitless fall and spring I’m  kind of disgusted with looking, I’ve checked every public land spot around here) and scout a ridge on SF land in this supposedly grouse-less quarter, to check out a new little patch of cover. Didn’t look like much from the road, but the deeper in we got, the better it was. Birch, teaberry, laurel, grapevine, etc. On the way back to the truck I flushed a really nice, mature grouse. Red phase bird. Unfortunately my dog was making a cast elsewhere when it flushed. Brought him back through and he got birdy. Unfortunately we couldn’t relocate the bird—it crossed the road and vanished. You don’t make it as a grouse in central PA by being dumb!  I’ve had a few flushes in the general area... Hope they have a good nesting year. 

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boon hogganbeck

Okay, help me understand what the Game Commission is thinking here... today I went to an SGL that has a specific woodcock management area (with signage) and all.  Took the kid and the dog after school to look for woodcock, only to find that, to my surprise, a huge controlled burn had taken place today (3/23) on the woodcock management area.  All the young thick stuff is now ashes, in all the places I typically run the dog.

 

Why would this be done exactly when woodcock are migrating through this area?!  Wouldn't it put additional stress on migrating birds?   

 

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On 3/23/2021 at 6:53 PM, boon hogganbeck said:

Okay, help me understand what the Game Commission is thinking here... today I went to an SGL that has a specific woodcock management area (with signage) and all.  Took the kid and the dog after school to look for woodcock, only to find that, to my surprise, a huge controlled burn had taken place today (3/23) on the woodcock management area.  All the young thick stuff is now ashes, in all the places I typically run the dog.

 

Why would this be done exactly when woodcock are migrating through this area?!  Wouldn't it put additional stress on migrating birds?   

 

As you already saw good info on the other site, nope it really won't do any harm to migrants and any resident birds on a nest in a burn area this early will re-nest. Buring is important because it aids the regrowth of preferred shrubs and grasses and tends to harm and kill the invasives. The crews have a very limited window in which to burn in the spring and that can be further narrowed by weather conditions. For instance last week there were a number of days of very low humidity and moderate to high winds, which cancels any burning.

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boon hogganbeck

Okay, boys... has anyone been out scouting in PA?  Been hot & wet around here.  Had a cool morning finally so I went to the local grouse house, shelterwood cut on SF land.  Man... green, lush, & buggy, might as well be walking in Cambodia.  Trail had grown up to my neck.  Didn't see any birds (might get 1 or 2 flushes in here, tops) but with the conditions I was not surprised. Hoping we get a hard frost before the opener.  Tons of wild grape & acorns.

 

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The wind is kind of out of my sails as far as PA grouse goes.

I will go out and feel guilty if I happen to shoot one.

I can find some woodcock here and there and feel the same.

Good luck.

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boon hogganbeck
14 minutes ago, grouse28 said:

The wind is kind of out of my sails as far as PA grouse goes.

I will go out and feel guilty if I happen to shoot one.

I can find some woodcock here and there and feel the same.

Good luck.

I get it.  But I found strong numbers last year (and last spring) in my stomping grounds. Only shot a couple birds, though.  And once I shoot one, that cover is done for the year.   

 

In my more local covers, I leave the gun at home, because the population is quite thin.

 

 

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