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Status of Woodcock Organizations?


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In Louisiana, the number of woodcock hunters has declined dramatically and almost all of the forest land is off limits to woodcock hunters since it is leased to the deer clubs who don't want us or our dogs on their leasehold.  With the exception of a couple of small, highly publicized public hunting areas, Louisiana is one big wintering woodcock sanctuary.

You are right on with that observation.  I know that in N. La. I am one of maybe a handful (at most) of woodcock hunters.  As a matter of fact I have never encountered another woodcock hunter while in the woods.  The folks that I have come across usually look at me like I came from a different planet when I tell them I am hunting woodcock.

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Pennsylvania, I believe, requires a state migratory tag for woodcock. I've always bought one for it!

RGS seems to be doing all the woodcock habitat work around here - I've not heard of any other organizations...

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Thanks--I thought there was an RGS component to Woodcock Limited closing its doors.
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Rosies dad,

Don't fret much over the plight of the woodcock on the wintering grounds.  Michigan alone kills 25,000 more woodcock than the states of Florida, Georgia, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas combined.  

In Louisiana, the number of woodcock hunters has declined dramatically and almost all of the forest land is off limits to woodcock hunters since it is leased to the deer clubs who don't want us or our dogs on their leasehold.  With the exception of a couple of small, highly publicized public hunting areas, Louisiana is one big wintering woodcock sanctuary.

In the North country, its the same about deer hunters on private land. With bow season beginning Oct 1 spreading into firearms season ending Dec1 (its tough to get any cooperation here too).

Thankfully we have an abundance of State Land(open to the public), and Timber Company Land (open to the public). The timber companies are/have sold to Plumb Creek who no doubt will sell/lease to maximize income. Sorry to say things will be changing down the road.

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Thankfully we have an abundance of State Land(open to the public), and Timber Company Land (open to the public). The timber companies are/have sold to Plumb Creek who no doubt will sell/lease to maximize income. Sorry to say things will be changing down the road.

If that is the case I strongly urge you to get a lease at the get go.  The timber companies down here have leased land for close to twenty years now and if you didn't get a lease early on you are out of the game.  Your other option today is try to join an already est. club (lease).  The main problem with that is as you have stated, deer is what it is all about on leases.

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Thankfully we have an abundance of State Land(open to the public), and Timber Company Land (open to the public). The timber companies are/have sold to Plumb Creek who no doubt will sell/lease to maximize income. Sorry to say things will be changing down the road.

If that is the case I strongly urge you to get a lease at the get go.  The timber companies down here have leased land for close to twenty years now and if you didn't get a lease early on you are out of the game.  Your other option today is try to join an already est. club (lease).  The main problem with that is as you have stated, deer is what it is all about on leases.

That land would be 6 hrs away. I consider that a once a year trip. Maybe twice a year if gas stays reasonable. I will NEVER lease bird hunting land. You just cant lease 40 acres and walk over and over on it. Bird hunting requires lots of different areas, deer hunting requires much less.

I am hoping that by the time this phases in, my age will have phased me out. They can spread my ashes over the coverts.. :blush:

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Back onto woodcock hunters in the South.  There are relatively few in East Tennessee although we do get a good flight.  The biggest reason I think it's this way is because the lack of huntable game (quail and grouse) has forced bird hunting to almost disappear.  The only woodcock hunters I know of are the very few hardcore old school quail/grouse hunters left around.  Our season isn't long enough and there aren't enough 'hardcore old school' bird hunters left in these parts to put a good hurtin' on the 'doodles.  I know the two I took surely didn't hurt the numbers too much!
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Pennsylvania also has a group working for woodcock.

http://woodcocklimitedofpa.org/

I just got this e-mail yesterday:

WOODCOCK LIMITED OF PENNSYLVANIA THIRD ANNUAL MEETING

The Third Annual Meeting will be held at 9 AM on March 7 2009 at the Grove City Comfort Inn.  Discounted rooms are available to WL members of reserved by February 6.  In order to receive your discount, identify yourself as a WL member when you reserve your room by contact the Inn at 724-748-1005.

PGC Biologist Bill Palmer will be discussing the PA Woodcock Management Plan and WMI Biologist Dave Putnam will talk about WMI's woodcock initiative in Pennsylvania.  There will also be an update on our PLOW program.

Please plan to join us for this informative and timely meeting!

PLOW PROGRAM UPDATE

   

PLOW Coordinator Bob Friedl and WMI Biologist Dave Putnam, along with WL of PA Board Members John Terefencko and Joseph Faux, met with Forest Investment Associates Regional Investment Forester Michael McEntire on January 19 to discuss a possible PLOW management plan for a 25,000 acre tract in McKean and Potter Counties.  The meeting resulted in a tentative decision to go forward with the plan.  This will involve some immediate research by Mr. Putnam so that he can overlay known soil types and forest types onto a topographic map of the tract.  This will help us pinpoint the most likely areas to look for woodcock.  A singing ground count will then be conducted in the spring, utilizing these identified sites as a starting place.  Once we have a handle on where woodcock currently exist on the tract, a management plan will be developed so that current forest management practices can be incorporated into the plan for the benefit of both the investors who own the tract and the woodcock who live there.

We will keep you informed as this project progresses.

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I hope you are right.  I know many of us down here never thought we would see leasing in our life time and well, we were wrong.  I don't think you could lease a forty if you wanted to R.D.  Most leases (timber company tracts) are quite large.  Anyway, the only place to hunt here not leased is state or federal land.  Good luck and hopefully your neck of the woods will not become what it has down here.
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Bill Palmer is the woodcock's best friend in PA, I remember talking to him for a Traveling Wingshooting fall forecast, and it was obvious that woodcock are special to him. I'm sure he had a lot to do with the formation of a PA woodcock org...good news for all wingshooters in PA.

Woodcock Limited was the brainchild of Steve Smith and Frank Jezioro...first, they "stumbled" with the two woodcock thing and the very name of the organization, which hinted to hunters that it was a protectionist org rather than a voice of wingshooters. Then, Jezioro took a poisition with W. VA Game and Fish, and Steve began traveling all over with the TV show and work on a new magazine that I don't believe ever really took off-for elite bird hunters, as I recall...plus, the fact that's he's getting older left him with little time after he was finished getting something like 30 trade publications off to press.

Al Stewart from Michigan's DNR...well, I could say a lot, but I won't. But his interests are not in volunteer organizations, rather those with perks, shall we say. They drafted Jim Hamill, from Crystall Falls, just retired as a 30 year well known and respected wildlife biologist, as their leader, but Jim also had other independent gigs, as an independent wolf consultant, etc...wolves are what his expertise was in for many years. Again, not a whole lot of interest in dedicating time to a volunteer organization.

And from there, it just crumbled. If there had been funds to pay the guys salaries, like the big national orgs have to, it might have been different, but none of them stuck around very long when it came to volunteeering their time.

I'm sure it's a great disappointment to Steve and Frank.

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