This is the first year in almost 25 that I'm not going north (WI/MI) for Grouse. Last year was pathetic and this year won't be any better. I have spoken with local hunters that I have befriended as well as wardens in both states that I have gotten to know.
Very few birds were heard drumming in the spring and when a warden rides the gravel roads 8 to 10 hours a day and only sees 2 to 3 per week you know the numbers are way down.
I spoke with the MI warden just this past Tuesday and he says he has checked numerous Grouse hunters and only a few even had a bird, and said there weren't even many flushes. Most all of them had dogs but the few that had birds were hunters without dogs, go figure that...
They are saying this is the low year in the 7 year cycle and that it will only get better. So this year I'm heading to GA/SC/AL and do a few quail hunts and pretend their Grouse..... It's the best I can do under the circumstances. I have a vivid imagination......
Well I’m starting to get into the ebb and flow of the season.... it takes me a while lol........ I saw some bear hunters yesterday and some grouse 😉..... anyway leaves 🍁 are still behind but changing and I even ran into someone on this forum last week...... really nice dude !
Made it out for the first time today - very high elevations in Haywood County. We covered just under 4 miles with one flush, one point with nothing, and two shots fired with no bird to show for it. Did see a bald eagle sitting on a log protruding from the lake though. Great morning out in the woods.
Looks like there are a few hunting haywood. the grouse management area is still two young to hold any birds yet, possibly next year.
That said in a previous life i worked in forestry and still have some good friends in it. My friends are the county rangers for haywood, madison and buncome. they are currently trying to pull together some properties that have been clear cut in the last 4-10 years. for finding some grouse.
They have also been crusing the federal timber thats near lake logan. they have been systematically griding the whole mountain, sadly they havent bumped any birds up yet.