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PENNSYLVANIA GROUSE / WOODCOCK OPENING DAY SATURDAY, 10/16/2021


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Upland_Hunter

The opening day of the Pennsylvania grouse and woodcock seasons is next Saturday. 10/16/2021 and I am getting excited and cannot wait to get out in the field. I cannot wait to see if the grouse number are up this year. Last year I had about three to four flushes on three consecutive Saturdays in some coverts where there has no grouse activity for about five years. I remember just hearing them flush either way out in front of me or to my right or left and getting only two shots off at two of them. I hope to see that the grouse numbers may be up this year. Time will tell!!

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PGHgrouser

Can't wait myself.  Missing my Michigan trip this week with a newborn, but already have the ok to hunt opening day.  (I may miss my western Michigan honeycrisps as much as anything, sorry guys)  the dog and I have our hunt planned and although I have never hunted this spot I expect great things as the general area has produced multiple double digit flush days the last two years.

 

Goodluck!

 

 

 

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boon hogganbeck

I accidentally made another thread, I didn't see this one... Maybe Brad can combine them.   Here's what I wrote:

 

HUNTING:

 

Okay, let's get it out of the way before 5 people show up to say it, there are no grouse in PA, etc., etc., should have been here 30 years ago, etc.

 

... but who's going out Saturday? How are things looking in your area?   Pretty warm and green here, w/ some rain forecast.  But I've got Monday & Tuesday off, and they look better.  Flush rates were up 20% last year, and I encountered strong bird numbers myself.  Hard to know what this fall will bring.  We had a very cold spring, which helps on the WNV front, but then August and September brought incredible amounts of rain & hot mosquito weather.  We could use a couple hard frosts but they seem a ways off.

 

HABITAT WORK:

 

A couple other local RGS members and myself are meeting with our local state forester soon, to discuss a couple upcoming grouse projects on central PA state forest & what we can do to support habitat creation, along with a nat'l RGS rep. Good things in the works!  Timber harvest & prescribed burns, in areas where we have birds hanging on (in supposedly grouse-less counties) on public land, places that can't wait another 10 years.  If you're in central PA and want to stay in the loop, shoot me a PM.

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boon hogganbeck
On 10/8/2021 at 7:28 AM, Upland_Hunter said:

The opening day of the Pennsylvania grouse and woodcock seasons is next Saturday. 10/16/2021 and I am getting excited and cannot wait to get out in the field. I cannot wait to see if the grouse number are up this year. Last year I had about three to four flushes on three consecutive Saturdays in some coverts where there has no grouse activity for about five years. I remember just hearing them flush either way out in front of me or to my right or left and getting only two shots off at two of them. I hope to see that the grouse numbers may be up this year. Time will tell!!

 

That's great.  I ended up w/ about 2 flushes an hour last year, but it could be really uneven throughout the day. 

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Don Steese

Glad to see some folks still excited about grouse and woodcock in the Keystone State. If we lose hunters we lose the very folks who care about the future of our wildlife. I'm one of the old timers who lament the decline of our state bird, but if I were home I'd be out there on opening day, if only for a walk in the autumn woods.  I might choose not to kill one, but would not choose to stay home.

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I'm always excited got opening day but I am a little less enthused just because the weather looks crappy but we'll be out there. I'm still debating on where to go.

 

I moved more grouse last year than I have previously so I was really happy about that and optimistic for this year but all the rain and hot weather in August/September definitely has me concerned. I guess we'll find out when we get out there. Also hoping to get into woodcock on Saturday.

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Upland_Hunter

The weather forcast is rain and maybe heavy at times in the morning but turning to scattered showers in the afternoon. I think that I will be going in the late morning and afternoon. If there is a lot of rain my woodcock areas along the stream will get flooded out so I think that I will stick in the grouse coverts on Saturday.

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boon hogganbeck

Every time I look, the forecast looks worse!  Ah well.  I'll go out but it might just turn into scouting more than anything, I'll hit last year's best covers and see if we can walk something up...  Well, our local weathermen have not had the best record lately, so I'll continue to hope.  

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PGHgrouser

Still calling for under an inch of rain where I will be hunting, I'll take it!  Besides a good rain keeps the fair whether hunters at home.  

If the rain is hard I already marked the evergreen stands abutting my new cuts.

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boon hogganbeck

Man, what a day...Weather was pretty brutal where I was.  Moderate to heavy rain with hardly a break.  Still ran three covers because, well, opening day, and kept circling back to the pines, trying to rustle up birds.   1 point, 1 flush, 0 shot opportunity.  I saw the bird running but it got up right behind a big pine.  The dog & I are beat.  Kind of disappointing as these covers produced a lot of birds for me last year... but happy to blame the weather for now.   Must be a banner year for bears, tons of sign everywhere.   Saw another group of hunters working a brace of dogs (3? 4?) through a pipeline & heard them go bang a couple times... I think that's what you'd need to find a bird in this... Well, I got Monday & Tuesday off, weather looks better.

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Odin and I had a pretty good day today.  We ended up calling a last minute audible and went an hour south of the original plan to duck possible t storms.  Similar to boon had lots of rain, but Odin and I hit some spots I know pretty well and found birds.  All told we put up 11 grouse and a woodcock, which with my bad shooting was the only one who came home, in about 4.5 hours between half dozen covers.  Given the conditions it makes me very optimistic for the season. 

 

Of course the sun came out as soon as I was packing up, but with a 2 month old at home, could not stay to take advantage.  Will most likely be the year of half days. 

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I did not make it out this pas on Saturday (10/16/2021) for the opening day. It rained pretty steady the entire day and got pretty windy in the afternoon and I did not go out and went to a gun show instead in the afternoon. My friends son went out for about three hours where we usually do our grouse and woodcock hunting and did not flush anything and he and the dog both ended up getting completely soaked. Will be taking a vacation day this Friday and heading out. Cannot wait.

 

Did anyone else here in PA make it out on Saturday?

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boon hogganbeck

Went out today... what a fiasco.  Took the dog into a promising cut... got halfway in and ran into a guy and his kid muzzleloader hunting for bears, right where the cover gets prime, as well as a couple bow-hunters... I backed out.  So we looped back through another corner with aspen, up on the ridge, on the way to the truck.  While the dog was making a cast below, I flushed 2 grouse out of the tree tops.  Took a (poor, rushed) shot. Got the dog back and worked all over that place, trying for a re-flush, but it was hard in all that greenery and aspen.  Right about when we were about to give up, my young dog bumped those 2 grouse. Sigh.  They crossed the pipeline never to be seen again.  This is his 2nd season, and while he's pointed a handful of grouse, he just hasn't figured them out yet. I keep hoping the lightbulb turns on for him.  But he is hunting closer and more methodically, whereas last year he was buck wild.

 

Decided to pull up stakes & go to another cover.  On the highway, a big six-point buck launched himself in front of me, and now I have a busted grill, front bumper, radiator, and maybe even the condenser.  In the middle of nowhere w/ no cell.  The radiator was messed up but thankfully I was able to limp home without over-heating, but it needs work ASAP.  Gotta send this one through insurance, body shops are all booked up a month out, and I'm out a hunting vehicle.  Not sure I'll be hunting much this season.  It's a drag--my dog really needs exposure right now.

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8 hours ago, boon hogganbeck said:

Went out today... what a fiasco.  Took the dog into a promising cut... got halfway in and ran into a guy and his kid muzzleloader hunting for bears, right where the cover gets prime, as well as a couple bow-hunters... I backed out.  So we looped back through another corner with aspen, up on the ridge, on the way to the truck.  While the dog was making a cast below, I flushed 2 grouse out of the tree tops.  Took a (poor, rushed) shot. Got the dog back and worked all over that place, trying for a re-flush, but it was hard in all that greenery and aspen.  Right about when we were about to give up, my young dog bumped those 2 grouse. Sigh.  They crossed the pipeline never to be seen again.  This is his 2nd season, and while he's pointed a handful of grouse, he just hasn't figured them out yet. I keep hoping the lightbulb turns on for him.  But he is hunting closer and more methodically, whereas last year he was buck wild.

 

Decided to pull up stakes & go to another cover.  On the highway, a big six-point buck launched himself in front of me, and now I have a busted grill, front bumper, radiator, and maybe even the condenser.  In the middle of nowhere w/ no cell.  The radiator was messed up but thankfully I was able to limp home without over-heating, but it needs work ASAP.  Gotta send this one through insurance, body shops are all booked up a month out, and I'm out a hunting vehicle.  Not sure I'll be hunting much this season.  It's a drag--my dog really needs exposure right now.

Oh man Boon, that's a bummer! Hope you can arrange a plan B!!

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