2018-2019 NC Ruffed Grouse Season

Thread starter #1
I thought I would kinda jump the gun and get an early start on this. I’ve been running the dog near my house and riding my Mtn bike in the mountains during this late summer heat wave and I’ve seen some acorns but I haven’t heard any drumming or seen any birds yet. Just wandering if anyone else has and also to the people who tried to get in contact with me... I’m sorry 😐.....,, I just now saw the notifications. I’ll be better about that.
 

JONOV

Six Pointer
#2
I'm hoping to get up and camp for a day in the mountains and see what I can find. I wonder about trying to hunt the areas that burned a few years ago.
 

sky hawk

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#3
In just over a month I’ll be in northern MN chasing them. I’d like to come back and get at least one in NC this winter though.

I think it would be good to team up with someone on here and give it a shot.
 

sky hawk

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#4
Btw, I would still like to know if anyone here had any success last year. Either everyone struck out, or they are afraid to even mention that they got one.
 

CRC

Old Mossy Horns
#5
They opened all of South Mtns to grouse hunting this year but never seen one there. There are a few quail there for anyone with a dog.
 

Banjo

Old Mossy Horns
#7
They used to scare the crap out of me when I was deer hunting and flushed one up. I miss hearing them drum.
 
Thread starter #8
As far as last season I moved a few but they were way down ( I thought )......... I’m vey interested to see what this season holds!!
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
#9
Btw, I would still like to know if anyone here had any success last year. Either everyone struck out, or they are afraid to even mention that they got one.
I am not a fanatic grouse hunter by any means, I don't even have a dog, so my success is limited by that. I shot two grouse last year. One was during late deer season, I popped it with my 22 pistol. The other, I flushed while actively hunting them on my lease and knocked it down. If I remember correctly I had 7 flushes on my private land, only got off two shots and killed one bird. That was in two trips. I made one trip to Thurmond Chatham and didn't flush a single bird. I also made one trip to a place in McDowell county on the Pisgah national forest where I used to see them back in college. I didn't flush anything, hear any drumming or see any sign. My uncle has some land in Alleghany County. I'm prodding him to let me hunt it after deer season for grouse and woodcock. He sees them all the time.
 
Thread starter #11
I think it’s really good success rate also...... I have a dog and I’m a fanatic about them 😉..... my dog is a big slow working ryman setter... he’s my best friend lol..... probably my only friend 😳
 

CRC

Old Mossy Horns
#12
Good news for game lands hunters.

September 5 at 2:00 PM ·
The NC Wildlife Resources Commission is dedicated to species and habitat management. Thanks to the Ruffed Grouse Society, Commission staff now have access to specialized machinery capable of maintaining and creating early successional habitat in North Carolina's mountain game lands. The recently donated machinery will allow management staff to conduct important habitat improvement projects in key areas too steep for typical equipment.
The Wildlife Commission has a special grouse management area in Haywood County. They used to have one at Harmon Den but you know how logging generally is on the national forest these days.

All the better public land hunting will come from state managed property.
 

JONOV

Six Pointer
#13
Good news for game lands hunters.


The Wildlife Commission has a special grouse management area in Haywood County. They used to have one at Harmon Den but you know how logging generally is on the national forest these days.

All the better public land hunting will come from state managed property.
I wish they'd make better use of the resources for that. It's a win-win-win really.

I vacation in the UP of Michigan on the Wisconsin border. The bordering county in WI sells $1.5 Million in timber a year. It makes great Grouse habitat and it makes money for the county and it makes jobs and revenue for the loggers.
 

sky hawk

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#14
Yeah, so much of management is based on how much money there is to implement it, but logging is a money-MAKER. I would think it would be easy to get politicians to agree to sound management that more than pays for itself. In fact, I would think if they really started logging what they should each year, it would go a long ways toward paying for the budget of all game management in the state.

One of the keys is doing it in small blocks instead of hundreds of acres at a time.
 

JONOV

Six Pointer
#15
Yeah, so much of management is based on how much money there is to implement it, but logging is a money-MAKER. I would think it would be easy to get politicians to agree to sound management that more than pays for itself. In fact, I would think if they really started logging what they should each year, it would go a long ways toward paying for the budget of all game management in the state.

One of the keys is doing it in small blocks instead of hundreds of acres at a time.
Heck, half of it is good management for fires...Cut strips every so many yards.
 
Thread starter #16
Management or not come October 13th it’s gonna open...... I ran the dog for an hour this morning. It was overcast,wet ,and a tad foggy....... very peaceful 😌
 
Thread starter #19
True but I also think there is more going on here other than lack of timber management....... other states are looking at avian diseases and the fact that insects are staying active longer and why is that?.... I think there are several causes in the reduced population of ruffed grouse here in the southern Appalachians.... and who knows we may have passed the tipping point. I’m not saying there won’t be years when they’re more abundant but I think it’s an outlier. I’m concerned about the future of the ruffed grouse.......
 

JONOV

Six Pointer
#21
True but I also think there is more going on here other than lack of timber management....... other states are looking at avian diseases and the fact that insects are staying active longer and why is that?.... I think there are several causes in the reduced population of ruffed grouse here in the southern Appalachians.... and who knows we may have passed the tipping point. I’m not saying there won’t be years when they’re more abundant but I think it’s an outlier. I’m concerned about the future of the ruffed grouse.......
Because its warmer.

As a whole? Why? They seem to be, generally speaking, doing well. Wisconsin had a knee jerk reaction to their season, but Wisconsin knee jerks a lot of things like that when it comes to wildlife.

The Grouse cycle, that's been known for decades. The hunting is better in VA than NC, in WV than VA, in PA than WV, in NY than PA...

You go to areas like Vermont that could have great grouse hunting, but they don't, since the biggest landowners are National forestland (like NC) and vacation homeowners, neither of which are much for logging.
 
Thread starter #22
I would agree that the hunting is better the farther north you go but I’m speaking mainly of Tennessee,NC , and N. Ga. The hunting used to be great in these states but has really trailed off. The study that Pennsylvania is conducting is the magical 1500 foot line because insects are not going dormant.... I would say it’s because things are warmer. I’m not saying that habitat isn’t a major player but what I am saying is that it’s not the only player. I would almost bet that the hardcore grouse hunters of the southern Appalachian are finding more birds above 3000 ft...... even if there is excellent habitat down low. I’m no expert but I have hunted them for a long time and I’m just saying what I have noticed. If others are experiencing this or anything different I would love to know...... no locations just observations.
 
Thread starter #24
Just wandering for anyone who has been in the mountains if you have heard or maybe talked to bear hunters who have been hearing drumming of any grouse?
 
#28
I used to jump 8-10 grouse a year in the early 90's in Ashe and Avery county. I've not seen a single bird in the last 5 years in either. I killed a couple last year in the far western mountains, in 10 trips. I've just about relegated my dog to out of state hunts, or woodcock hunting. The quail hunting has been pitiful as well and the CURE projects have been a complete failure. Hard to justify owning a bird dog anymore.
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
#29
Saw 2 grouse on private lease in Wilkes last weekend. They were down lower than I normally see them. Spotted them along the creek at about 2500'. I normally see them in the laurel/pine thicket at 3500-3800' on my land.
 
Thread starter #30
Hey timekiller13, that’s some good news!.... hopefully there will be some birds this year........ I’m cautiously optimistic 😁