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Thread: Grouse Gone?

  1. #1
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    Default Grouse Gone?

    I'm wondering if anyone else feels like they have seen a decline of grouse in their favorite spots?

    I've not seen a single grouse or ptarmigan in and around Fairbanks or Salcha. Ran across a few other hunters who said that they have come up dry this year also. I thought perhaps they were just hiding a bit further in the woods. So I walked about 3 miles back on a grass trail with lots of spruce trees. Not a single bird. /sigh. 4 days and nothing, seems odd.

  2. #2
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    I've seen one brood and one lone bird-both in the same day and both within a mile of each other-all year. And that was before season opened. Last year, we didn't see even a feather of a bird. Year before that, we saw a few different groups before season, but they were killed off prior to the opener. I hiked all round Tanlgle Lakes area with my son and dog this year, and didn't see a single bird. I've shot two birds in the last 4 seasons-and before someone says it, no, I'm not "road hunting."

    I'll probably get a nasty gram from someone over this, but when Fish & Game ignores Asian family groups hunting en masse (20-30 people) two weeks before season opener, decimating everything, then why should we wonder where the birds went.

    When F&G has limits, such as 15 birds per person per day, is it any wonder where the birds are gone. Even if hunting legally, one family group of hunters can legally remove over 300 birds from one area in one day.

    It's madness, but because grouse aren't moose, F&G doesn't care. (I guarantee if someone reported to F&G that a group of men shot 10 moose in late July, they would investigate.) Alaska is going down a road that leads to Alaskans going to the midwest on vacation to hunt.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    ...When F&G has limits, such as 15 birds per person per day, is it any wonder where the birds are gone. Even if hunting legally, one family group of hunters can legally remove over 300 birds from one area in one day.

    It's madness, but because grouse aren't moose, F&G doesn't care. (I guarantee if someone reported to F&G that a group of men shot 10 moose in late July, they would investigate.) Alaska is going down a road that leads to Alaskans going to the midwest on vacation to hunt.
    Alaska is a "third world" state viewed and treated as a source for extraction and exploitation, both by those from Outside, as well as by many who reside here.

    In terms of evolution, Alaska lags about 50+ years behind the L-48 and all the mismanagement lessons to be learned have long since been played out there for our education. We have the opportunity to learn from the past and not make the same management errors in Alaska that have previously been made in the L-48, yet we continue down the same paths of destruction already traveled, toward the same results already witnessed. It's inexcusable.

    That said, I've seen a few grouse around my area this year. Perhaps a few less than years past. There are no "Asian family groups hunting en mass" in my area, so we can rule that out as an issue. This spring's bizarre weather in the interior was extremely hard on migratory song bird populations tho, and I suspect the upland birds may have suffered as well.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    The grouse cycle was on the way up. I think we will see the negative results of the terrible spring for a long time, and this saddens this fanatic bird hunter with 5 bored pointing dogs. I remain optomistic, but just barely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Alaska is a "third world" state viewed and treated as a source for extraction and exploitation, both by those from Outside, as well as by many who reside here.

    In terms of evolution, Alaska lags about 50+ years behind the L-48 and all the mismanagement lessons to be learned have long since been played out there for our education. We have the opportunity to learn from the past and not make the same management errors in Alaska that have previously been made in the L-48, yet we continue down the same paths of destruction already traveled, toward the same results already witnessed. It's inexcusable.

    That said, I've seen a few grouse around my area this year. Perhaps a few less than years past. There are no "Asian family groups hunting en mass" in my area, so we can rule that out as an issue. This spring's bizarre weather in the interior was extremely hard on migratory song bird populations tho, and I suspect the upland birds may have suffered as well.

    What a hoot! Glad no "en mass" activity in your sector, you are blessed. Please keep us posted.

    I think the winter was fine for game bird carry over, I don't think there were that many game birds to begin with and I think predators are still declining from a hare high a couple years ago.

    Spring was late and broods will break up later than normal this fall. Juvenile birds are still small from all reports, due probably to a late hatch and maybe first brood failure in some areas.

    I generally wouldn't take a full limit over a few birds anyway and the way I shot last year I don't have to worry about limits. I am willing to give seminars on how to miss pointed birds within range. Strictly as a conservation - education device mind you....
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Cycles. We may not find them convenient, but they exist. The bird numbers will be back up in a few years and then collapse again just as they have been since time immemorial. If we are careful with hunting them it will continue this way.

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    Been a bleak outlook in the unit 14 area too

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    Only problem is we're on the up cycle right now. The grouse population should be higher than last year according to the cycle. It was definitely the long winter and late spring that had an effect on the bird population not the natural seven year cycle. The cycle hits it low point during late years of the decade historically. Finally found some decent pockets of birds. They are out there, just need to look around a bit. I believe that the broods will break up later this year as well so well be seeing more birds in October I hope.

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    Wish me luck . . heading out of here on Sunday for a week in the Valley at our daughter's place. My son-in-law and I plan to hunt grouse and do some fly fishing for dollies, maybe grayling.


    Good luck to all . .

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post


    Wish me luck . . heading out of here on Sunday for a week in the Valley
    ...
    Good luck Marcus! Be prepared for a little rain...
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Smile Wet leaves and burnt powder . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    Good luck Marcus! Supposed to be quite rainy...

    Thanks, Tearbear, it is that time of year.


    Rain makes the birds sit tight, but it does make for quiet walking and nice smells.


    The trout don't care one way or the other . . .


    . . trout and eggs for breakfast . . we hope . .

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Marcus, not to be a downer, but the rivers are currently near flood stage and still rising here in the upper susitna. Does not bode well for fishing. I have seen a few grouse in my area, but not as many as usual. But I'm pretty sure I know where the grouse in my neighborhood have gone...


    Good luck and hope you have a great time with your family.

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    Smile For old times sake . .

    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    Marcus, not to be a downer, but the rivers are currently near flood stage and still rising here in the upper susitna. Does not bode well for fishing. I have seen a few grouse in my area, but not as many as usual. But I'm pretty sure I know where the grouse in my neighborhood have gone...


    Good luck and hope you have a great time with your family.

    Thanks for the heads-up, dkwarthog.


    Had in mind to avoid the rivers . . am really looking for 8"-12" dollies . . small streams, ponds, and such . .


    Hope to find some grouse, especially partridge, but this is more a stroll down memory lane than it is a do-or-die hunting trip.


    I'll be carrying my dad's pre-64, 16 gauge, Model 12 for the grouse and unlimbering my old 6-weight, 7-1/2' Orvis bamboo for the trout.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Thanks for the heads-up, dkwarthog.


    Had in mind to avoid the rivers . . am really looking for 8"-12" dollies . . small streams, ponds, and such . .


    Hope to find some grouse, especially partridge, but this is more a stroll down memory lane than it is a do-or-die hunting trip.


    I'll be carrying my dad's pre-64, 16 gauge, Model 12 for the grouse and unlimbering my old 6-weight, 7-1/2' Orvis bamboo for the trout.
    Wear tweed. Carry your wicker creel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Wear tweed. Carry your wicker creel.
    That would make a great profile picture!
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Wear tweed. Carry your wicker creel.

    Will try to remember to take some photos . .


    Attachment 73573Attachment 73574


    . . you forgot the Irish Setter boots . .


    . . and, of course, the omnipresent Peterson . .


  17. #17
    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    Tweed & wicker mean you must use a bamboo rod as well!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Woodsman View Post
    What a hoot! Glad no "en mass" activity in your sector, you are blessed. Please keep us posted.

    I think the winter was fine for game bird carry over, I don't think there were that many game birds to begin with and I think predators are still declining from a hare high a couple years ago.

    Spring was late and broods will break up later than normal this fall. Juvenile birds are still small from all reports, due probably to a late hatch and maybe first brood failure in some areas.

    I generally wouldn't take a full limit over a few birds anyway and the way I shot last year I don't have to worry about limits. I am willing to give seminars on how to miss pointed birds within range. Strictly as a conservation - education device mind you....
    I agree. As the season progresses my opinion may change.
    "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

  19. #19
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    If your having trout in the morning you must have it with grits. Eggs and fish seems a bit redundant on the protein

  20. #20
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    Tweed & wicker mean you must use a bamboo rod as well!
    He mentioned his bamboo rod.
    Marcus, to complete the assemblage, you need to get some paper hulled shotgun shells.

    There was a guy on this forum a year or so ago who talked about doing old school hunts using wood, wool canvas and leather, etc. I liked the idea and may just do it just for fun sometime. Nothing newer than 1960-ish. Leaving the cell phone at home too.

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