North Georgia Grouse

Thread starter #1
I was wondering if any bird hunters on this site know if there are any grouse on the Russell WMA at Mt Airy/Toccoa ? The reason that I ask is that I recently drove through the WMA and was blown away at how beautiful it was! Most WMA's have too many trees and not enough sunlight but Russell has a vey open forest and has been burned. I would think that grouse and possibly quail would be found there!
 
That's exactly what I thought until I went there! I don't know what the elevation is but it is mountainous! If all of the woods looked like the woods at Russell, there would be an abundance of grouse & quail!
Taccoa is < 1000' elevation. Grouse don't just require good habitat, they require a cooler climate. Most of the grouse I see here in western NC are above 2500'.
 

whitney90

Senior Member
I am not up in the mountains as some of the guys on this forum, but seeing a grouse is very rare for me. Even though there is a season, I do not believe there is a hunt-able population in GA anymore. At least not in the northeast. But I could be wrong.
 
Thread starter #8
I am not up in the mountains as some of the guys on this forum, but seeing a grouse is very rare for me. Even though there is a season, I do not believe there is a hunt-able population in GA anymore. At least not in the northeast. But I could be wrong.
Unfortunately you're right & we can thank the tree huggers and other misguided do gooders who have all but stopped all timber cutting and therefore it has had a negative effect on the forest, and wildlife and to top it off the risk of major wildfires is multiplied because of this lousy woods management!
 

Resica

Senior Member
Taccoa is < 1000' elevation. Grouse don't just require good habitat, they require a cooler climate. Most of the grouse I see here in western NC are above 2500'.
Most Grouse I see and hear in Pennsylvania are around 2000' but we don't have huge mountains up here. I think our highest elevation is something like 3000'. Heard a ton drumming this spring during turkey season, which is promising. Grouse on the decline. West Nile Virus certainly has taken a hit on them up here.
 
Most Grouse I see and hear in Pennsylvania are around 2000' but we don't have huge mountains up here. I think our highest elevation is something like 3000'. Heard a ton drumming this spring during turkey season, which is promising. Grouse on the decline. West Nile Virus certainly has taken a hit on them up here.
2000' there is probably equal to 3500'-4000' here, if you factor in the more northern latitude. The 5000'-6000' range here is considered to be about the same climate as sea level in southern Canada or the northern tier of states. I've seen them here over 6000'.

Grouse have declined alarmingly here from back in the 80s and early 90s. They used to be thick, and then it got to where you hardly ever saw one at all. The last three or four years seem to be a little better, but still nothing like it used to be. When I was in my teens and early 20s, I could walk around in the woods behind my house for an hour and jump five or six sometimes, and you would see them standing in the road everywhere pecking grit.
 
If you hunt a bird dog (is there any other way ?) , do him a favor and start working him like he's got a marathon, well in advance. They really get worked hard in the mountains here.
 
I see a good many on Cohutta. One particular area at around 3500 ft I'll see a few every time I'm in there. They seem to be coming back a bit.
 
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Mattval

Senior Member
I would like to know to. I read a book last year about the grouse in georgia. It was written, I believe in the '80s.
 
2000' there is probably equal to 3500'-4000' here, if you factor in the more northern latitude. The 5000'-6000' range here is considered to be about the same climate as sea level in southern Canada or the northern tier of states. I've seen them here over 6000'.

Grouse have declined alarmingly here from back in the 80s and early 90s. They used to be thick, and then it got to where you hardly ever saw one at all. The last three or four years seem to be a little better, but still nothing like it used to be. When I was in my teens and early 20s, I could walk around in the woods behind my house for an hour and jump five or six sometimes, and you would see them standing in the road everywhere pecking grit.
Sounds like Canada. See them everywhere on the dirt roads grittin. Always said I was gonna take the scattergun one year and get me a couple. Buddy up there cuts em into strips, washes em in buttermilk, rolls them in crushed plain Kellogg's Cornflakes and fries em and they are some kind of good.
 

Resica

Senior Member
Probably
2000' there is probably equal to 3500'-4000' here, if you factor in the more northern latitude. The 5000'-6000' range here is considered to be about the same climate as sea level in southern Canada or the northern tier of states. I've seen them here over 6000'.

Grouse have declined alarmingly here from back in the 80s and early 90s. They used to be thick, and then it got to where you hardly ever saw one at all. The last three or four years seem to be a little better, but still nothing like it used to be. When I was in my teens and early 20s, I could walk around in the woods behind my house for an hour and jump five or six sometimes, and you would see them standing in the road everywhere pecking grit.
Probably so. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has been doing a lot of cutting on their land up here, that should help. I think they're cutting to encourage the elk we have here in my neck to move north and leave the farmers fields alone. Regardless, it should provide that ESH that the grouse like. The Game Commission is getting on board, I think, on their land. They're the one that did the studies. They always said they was a decline in grouse on a cycle of 7 years, but they've fallen pretty strong recently. They've cut out our grouse season after Christmas. Love those birds. If I remember correctly, the West Nile tends to more predominate at lower elevations, I hope so.
 

Resica

Senior Member
Fools Hen's. You can get the p
Sounds like Canada. See them everywhere on the dirt roads grittin. Always said I was gonna take the scattergun one year and get me a couple. Buddy up there cuts em into strips, washes em in buttermilk, rolls them in crushed plain Kellogg's Cornflakes and fries em and they are some kind of good.
Fool's hen. You can get them with a rock up in Quebec.
 

coveyrise

Senior Member
I went up to Coopers Creek WMA about 8 years ago and took a old dog (15 years old) that I had always wanted to kill a Georgia grouse over with me. I went to a mountain top that a forest service friend had told me he had seen a few grouse in and hunted for a few hours. It was December and was snowing lightly. After about 30 minutes my dog froze up on point and I thought to myself this is going to be too easy. When I walked up I could see a big hen turkey with her head stuck under her wing trying to fight off the cold wind. I got so close to her that I bumped her with my foot and she exploded in my face. This went on for the next hour and we pointed probably 3 more turkey. Finally my dog pointed way up on the side of a mountain that was a straight up climb. I had to break my side by side down and put it in my game bag to climb with both hands up the side of that mountain. When I got almost to him I put my gun back together and went to load it and a grouse exploded out in front of him and flew way down to the other side of the hill. Never to be seen again. That was the last time I ever went grouse hunting in Georgia. It’s a tough job. I want to try it again. I have killed dozens of birds in other states but never ga.
 
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