Georgia Grouse Study. DNA Samples Needed.

Resica

Senior Member
I would add that we really appreciate the samples we have gotten thus far. We knew it was risky proposition collecting samples from GA given the density of birds and number of grouse hunters but it was worth a shot.
You folks talk to the Pa. Game commission at all? I'm sure they have some good input on our situation.
 

Rebel's Dad

Senior Member
I think Missouri is trying grouse translocation and restocking:


Only thing DNRs in the south could do is shorten seasons at the back end but I don't think enough people hunt grouse for that to matter?

Pennsylvania shortened its season.
If they shorten the season it'll kill grouse hunting totally and drive away the people still hunting them. And if no one is hunting them no one will care enough about them to do anything.

Ohio shortened its season many years ago and it's done nothing to stop the decline.
 

lampern

Sticks his nose where it doesn't belong
Grouse season lengths by state:

Ohio

Ruffed Grouse (public land) Oct. 8, 2022 Nov. 27, 2022
Ruffed Grouse (private land) Oct. 8, 2022 Jan. 1, 2023

Pennsylvania

Oct. 15-Nov. 12; Sunday, Nov. 13; Nov. 14-19; Sunday, Nov. 20; Nov. 21-25 and Dec. 12-23

Virginia

October 29 through February 11: west of I-95.

Continuous closed season: east of I-95.

North Carolina


Oct. 17, 2022 – Feb. 28, 2023


Tennessee

Oct 8- Feb 28

South Carolina

Nov. 24-Mar. 1
 

quaildoc

Member
And again, hunters need to start commenting on FS projects and sales--they don't hear from us in the numbers they hear from preservationists.

Taking off my scientist hat and putting on my hunter hat...yes please voice your desire for more grouse and grouse hunting opportunities. Do so in a tactful and courteous way--it will get you much further than a tirade.
 

quaildoc

Member
I appreciate your efforts quaildoc. I would think to get a clear drumming count in the Northern WMA you should have papers or such to fill out during turkey season at the checking station. Just my 2 cents. I heard more drumming last spring than I heard in many many years. While on a annual turkey hunt week long trip that I have taken for many years. .
We have found that the peak drumming is around April 15 so that aligns with your observation. Emily has discuss using turkey hunters to count grouse on WMAs. Something we will revisit soon. We are using acoustic recording devices and they seem to be working well. They don't complain as much about working overtime. ;-)
 

quaildoc

Member
You folks talk to the Pa. Game commission at all? I'm sure they have some good input on our situation.
We have an informal grouse group that talks every once in a while. Plus I know most agency folks working on game birds. I know the new grouse bio in PA fairly well.
 

quaildoc

Member
If they shorten the season it'll kill grouse hunting totally and drive away the people still hunting them. And if no one is hunting them no one will care enough about them to do anything.

Ohio shortened its season many years ago and it's done nothing to stop the decline.

I tend to agree with this. We have no data to support the idea that harvest is contributing to grouse decline. Let's face it..the **** things are so hard to kill and with some of you all's shooting the risk of overharvest is unlikely. Throw in that some of you run GSPs...I think shooting too many is unlikely. LOL.
 

Rebel's Dad

Senior Member
Do so in a tactful and courteous way--it will get you much further than a tirade.
If anything I said came off as a tirade it wasn't intentional. Reading it over again it seems pretty respectful to me. Maybe a little frustrated, but respectful.
I tend to agree with this. We have no data to support the idea that harvest is contributing to grouse decline. Let's face it..the **** things are so hard to kill and with some of you all's shooting the risk of overharvest is unlikely. Throw in that some of you run GSPs...I think shooting too many is unlikely. LOL.
My recollection is that the AGCRP closed pretty large areas to hunting all season long and there was no real difference in mortality over areas that were open.

I don't mean to borrow trouble about shortening the season, but it was already mentioned in the thread and it's been done in other states with little positive effect as far as I can see.

A worry is that by taking away the best part of the season it'll tip people out of a game that's hard enough to stay in anyway. Less people in the sport mean less hunter participation in the discussion, less people joining RGS which is finally giving some attention to the southeast, less small game licenses, etc.

Are you familiar with a recent study from University of Maine by Blomberg et al?

At any rate, it's good to see that DNR is paying attention to our favorite bird.

And I run Britts...but I still can't hit 'em except by accident...
 
Last edited:

coachdoug87

Senior Member
I tend to agree with this. We have no data to support the idea that harvest is contributing to grouse decline. Let's face it..the **** things are so hard to kill and with some of you all's shooting the risk of overharvest is unlikely. Throw in that some of you run GSPs...I think shooting too many is unlikely. LOL.
Alright now. Knock my shooting all you want( that is pretty true) but don't be knocking my GSPs. Ha
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Staff member
I tend to agree with this. We have no data to support the idea that harvest is contributing to grouse decline. Let's face it..the **** things are so hard to kill and with some of you all's shooting the risk of overharvest is unlikely. Throw in that some of you run GSPs...I think shooting too many is unlikely. LOL.
Have y'all looked into disease? Even in good habitat here in western NC, they are about gone where they used to be very numerous. Quail are completely gone, and they started disappearing about the same time.
 

lampern

Sticks his nose where it doesn't belong
A worry is that by taking away the best part of the season it'll tip people out of a game that's hard enough to stay in anyway

How is that? If the science shows reducing the season will benefit the grouse population why not try it?

(If biologists think its something that should be done)

With declining grouse numbers anything should be tried imho

In fact reducing the season could bring attention to the issue.

It has in Missouri and Pennsylvania apparently.
 

lampern

Sticks his nose where it doesn't belong
Have y'all looked into disease? Even in good habitat here in western NC, they are about gone where they used to be very numerous. Quail are completely gone, and they started disappearing about the same time.

West Nile virus does kill grouse
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Staff member
How is that? If the science shows reducing the season will benefit the grouse population why not try it?

(If biologists think its something that should be done)

With declining grouse numbers anything should be tried imho

In fact reducing the season could bring attention to the issue.

It has in Missouri and Pennsylvania apparently.
I doubt it. Nobody hunts them any more enough to matter.
 

Resica

Senior Member
We have an informal grouse group that talks every once in a while. Plus I know most agency folks working on game birds. I know the new grouse bio in PA fairly well.
We have grouse issues as well. Lots of folks talk about lack of cutting up here. There has been a ton of cutting on our state forests near my camp, Not sure what the Game Commission has been doing as far as cutting, they used to be on cutting 1 per cent of timber a year in their holdings. Lot's of folks talk about West Nile issues below a certain elevation. In the last 2 years I've heard quite a few drummers and have seen grouse in my travels this past fall. I understand the situation in Pa. is different than the situation in the Southeast. She is our state bird and we love her!! Bonasa Umbellus forever!!
 

Resica

Senior Member
I think Missouri is trying grouse translocation and restocking:


Only thing DNRs in the south could do is shorten seasons at the back end but I don't think enough people hunt grouse for that to matter?

Pennsylvania shortened its season.
I think that's the same for Pa. Not enough grouse hunters to make an impact. Pa. did cut the season after the new year.
 

Resica

Senior Member
Are the lands where grouse historically inhabited in the southeast mostly federal land? Up here we have 2.2 million acres of State Forest(which they cut), 300,000 acres of State Parks and over 1.5 million acres of Game Lands. Our National Forest land is minimal(Allegheny National Forest) , 500,000 acres, although I've heard it's the most valuable National Forest due to all the Cherry on it. Our State Forests get cut, to a lesser extent so do our Game Lands, I believe.
 

Rebel's Dad

Senior Member
How is that? If the science shows reducing the season will benefit the grouse population why not try it?

(If biologists think its something that should be done)

With declining grouse numbers anything should be tried imho

In fact reducing the season could bring attention to the issue.

It has in Missouri and Pennsylvania apparently.
As mentioned, Ohio curtailed the season severely and the birds still declined. The Appalachian Cooperative Grouse Research Project closed expansive areas to hunting entirely and no difference was seen between those areas and areas that had the regular season.

As far as I know no study or actual practice like shortening the seasons in Ohio or PA has shown that hunting mortality affects populations of grouse negatively.

And most importantly I'd say again that doing it would take a lot of hunters out of the game entirely. And who cares about grouse populations more than hunters, and who will--or should--do more to save them? How many Joe Schmoe the Ragmans in Walmart even know what a grouse is?

I had four productive points today...the good news is there are some out there, and if they have good nesting, brood and feeding cover they'll make more.
 

NCMTNHunter

Senior Member
I rarely even see them anymore

I don’t think anything will work on National forests
Over last season and the first half of this season I’ve averaged flushing about one grouse per hunt in NC. Usually the way it works out I’ll go 2 or 3 hunts with nothing then I’ll have a hunt where I get in them and flush 2 - 4 in a hunt. That’s with a 1 1/2 old pup and not an experienced dog too. They are not gone by any means but they could be doing better for sure.
 

quaildoc

Member
If anything I said came off as a tirade it wasn't intentional. Reading it over again it seems pretty respectful to me. Maybe a little frustrated, but respectful.

My recollection is that the AGCRP closed pretty large areas to hunting all season long and there was no real difference in mortality over areas that were open.

I don't mean to borrow trouble about shortening the season, but it was already mentioned in the thread and it's been done in other states with little positive effect as far as I can see.

A worry is that by taking away the best part of the season it'll tip people out of a game that's hard enough to stay in anyway. Less people in the sport mean less hunter participation in the discussion, less people joining RGS which is finally giving some attention to the southeast, less small game licenses, etc.

Are you familiar with a recent study from University of Maine by Blomberg et al?

At any rate, it's good to see that DNR is paying attention to our favorite bird.

And I run Britts...but I still can't hit 'em except by accident...

You were not disrespectful or tyrannical. I was speaking in general. You all good.

Yeah I am familiar with the work that Erik Blomberg and his lab are doing. They do good work.

Yeah I think any changes to seasons would need to be weighed very carefully against the loss of hunting opportunity. DNR is sensitive to this as well.
 
Top