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Thread: Grouse hunting on the Kenai Peninsula?

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    Member ysr_racer's Avatar
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    Default Grouse hunting on the Kenai Peninsula?

    Anybody ever go grouse hunting on the Kenai Peninsula? When does the season open? When's a good time of year to go?

    Thanks in advance.
    brad g.
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    More grouse in SoCal. You'll be happier hunting there.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    More grouse in SoCal. You'll be happier hunting there.
    That is very likely true. I don't know that I have ever seen a ruffed grouse on the Peninsula. Though I know they were once stocked here.
    We do have Spruce grouse. I believe the season opens August 10th or 20th but do check the regulations.They should have copies wherever they sell licenses.
    Be careful there are areas of the refuge that are closed to hunting with firearms so check for those.
    Also be sure to check the entire regulations. The troopers like to put out a fake bird right on the road and if you shoot it you will get a ticket.
    As for timing I guess much of that depends on the weather. Thats is what concentrates the birds.
    There are a lot of bird hunters on the Peninsula so be careful and be safe out there.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    More grouse in SoCal. You'll be happier hunting there.
    Put a few miles on with the dog and wife today and we didn't scare up one bird, maybe they don't like the rain either!

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Put a few miles on with the dog and wife today and we didn't scare up one bird, maybe they don't like the rain either!
    My experience is they don't like to fly in the rain. I guess they must hunker down in the nearest large spruce tree.
    I have had rainy days where they would run away rather than fly.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Put a few miles on with the dog and wife today and we didn't scare up one bird, maybe they don't like the rain either!
    I saw a few on T-road about a month ago and haven't seen any since in the woods or on the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    My experience is they don't like to fly in the rain. I guess they must hunker down in the nearest large spruce tree.
    I have had rainy days where they would run away rather than fly.
    Thanks, I've always wondered about that, turned out to be a good excuse to get the final trim work done on my bathroom project!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I saw a few on T-road about a month ago and haven't seen any since in the woods or on the road.
    Seems to me this is about the third year of pretty bad numbers down low. We've seen decent numbers in the mountains this spring but we haven't been back up that way this fall.

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    Season opens state wide on the 10th of Aug. Limits vary by area. Me and the dog hunted Chigach Natl Forest last week and got bupkis. Grouse hunting has been bad and worse for the last 3 years or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Season opens state wide on the 10th of Aug. Limits vary by area. Me and the dog hunted Chigach Natl Forest last week and got bupkis. Grouse hunting has been bad and worse for the last 3 years or so.
    Well at least its not just me! Any idea whats pushing the numbers down? I know we've had crap berry years here the last few years but this year there are tons of them around so maybe that will help them out?

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    I have seen what is pushing the numbers down in south central but it is too un PC to state publicly. In the near future you will need to do a fly in for spruce hen and rabbits on the K Pen.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 2

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    In all honesty, I believe we are on the downward trend of a cycle. I remember that in the late 90's they were scarce as well.
    Tyrex, if you're speaking of the Mongol hordes, which were discussed a few years ago on this forum ... I'm hoping that was just hype.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Well at least its not just me! Any idea whats pushing the numbers down? I know we've had crap berry years here the last few years but this year there are tons of them around so maybe that will help them out?

    Just a guess on my part, but for the last couple years we're coming off a real abundance of rabbits, which meant in turn a real abundance of lynx, goshawks, owls, and the like.


    That abundance of predators is looking elsewhere for food now that rabbit numbers are down.


    Just a guess . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    In all honesty, I believe we are on the downward trend of a cycle. I remember that in the late 90's they were scarce as well.
    Tyrex, if you're speaking of the Mongol hordes, which were discussed a few years ago on this forum ... I'm hoping that was just hype.
    What are we talking about?

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    What are we talking about?
    There is/was a certain group of people from a certain foreign country who have been witnessed to travel in large groups and shoot all edible game in areas they hunt.
    Basically cleaning areas out of small game on the Peninsula. I don't know if they are breaking the law but with their groups they appear to be harvesting a lot of small game. I don't suppose anybody has dared question 10 or 12 armed guys walking through the woods shooting whatever moves.
    Grouse do go through cycles just like showshoe hares though so that could be the reason.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    There is/was a certain group of people from a certain foreign country who have been witnessed to travel in large groups and shoot all edible game in areas they hunt.
    Basically cleaning areas out of small game on the Peninsula. I don't know if they are breaking the law but with their groups they appear to be harvesting a lot of small game. I don't suppose anybody has dared question 10 or 12 armed guys walking through the woods shooting whatever moves.
    Grouse do go through cycles just like showshoe hares though so that could be the reason.
    What Chris said on both counts, and what Marcus said too. The birds may be getting hit hard by predatory animals.
    I've never witnessed the gangs of hunters, so I can't say they actually exist, but some folks say they do exist (or have existed). It is known that certain groups have had to be reined in from obliterating the kelp in Seward, planted rainbow trout in Anchorage, etc. I've heard (but can't confirm) that that is what happened to the steamer clams on the spit, and it seems that someone recently inferred on this forum that the same kind of thing is going on with Whittier herring. But my guess is that if you have 10-12 people moving through the woods, most small game would flee due to the commotion.
    Anyway, when small game cycles go low, over-harvesting humans will lose interest and (if the stocks haven't been irreversibly decimated) will rebound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    What Chris said on both counts, and what Marcus said too. The birds may be getting hit hard by predatory animals.
    I've never witnessed the gangs of hunters, so I can't say they actually exist, but some folks say they do exist (or have existed). It is known that certain groups have had to be reined in from obliterating the kelp in Seward, planted rainbow trout in Anchorage, etc. I've heard (but can't confirm) that that is what happened to the steamer clams on the spit, and it seems that someone recently inferred on this forum that the same kind of thing is going on with Whittier herring. But my guess is that if you have 10-12 people moving through the woods, most small game would flee due to the commotion.
    Anyway, when small game cycles go low, over-harvesting humans will lose interest and (if the stocks haven't been irreversibly decimated) will rebound.
    I've been hunting small game down Mystery Creek road every year for the last 20 years. Twice over the last 3 years I have found groups of 10-20 hunters combing the woods next to the road. They worked out from the road then back in shooting every grouse, hare and squirrel they saw. I guestimate that they would work no more than 1/2 mile from the road then come back in. They would work the same area for a weekend then the next weekend I would see the same vehicles working a different area. I don't know how efficient they are, but they shoot a lot. I don't think over all they are making a devastating impact on populations, but they certainly are cleaning out what's close and easy. Two years ago one group was hitting the gas line hard over by the east fork of the Moose River.

    2 years ago I was moose hunting back by the east fork and literally couldn't sleep do to the shooting deep into dusk and then again pre dawn. After two nights of this I crossed the creek to see what the heck was going on. There was about 15 dudes there in a little gravel pit camped out and loading up for the evening hunt. Shot guns, .22's, AK's, SKS's and bolt actions were present. I made chit chat, asked if they were moose hunting. They said they weren't, they were just hunting small game. They were at the end of the trail so to speak and were surprised to see somebody come from deeper in the woods. It's all good, I have no beef with them. I assume they are within the law and regs since I witnessed no violations and am a MYOB guy, but it makes finding stupid chickens more difficult near the road, that's for sure.

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    Interesting conversation fellas, I appreciate all the input. I was thinking we may be seeing some cyclic activity, particularly from the Lynx but I hadn't thought about some of the winged predators.

    I suspect the hunting "groups" can have a long lasting impact however I have not seen them in the area I walk the dog so I don't suspect thats in play there.

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    Put on several miles yesterday with the wife and 3 dogs and we didn't kick up one bird. This was a new spot for me that looked fantastic, water, berries, gravel near by, thick and thin spruce with some aspen and birch mixed in. Sure looked like bird territory to me! I did find several piles of coyote poo, maybe that's part of the problem, i'll definitely head back there with my predator caller!

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    Well I finally got on the first bird of the fall today. Even more exciting was that my soon to be brother in law was with me and he saw it flush, I had to point it out to him but he got it. Second time he's been out with me and his first hunting kill of any kind, California kid whose family didn't hunt.

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