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Thread: Goodbye Southern Ontario Ruffed Grouse?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by werner.reiche View Post
    Some of the comments on here show an incredible lack of knowledge. If a grouse is a hotspot all and only because it is a recent cut over, then your observation is correct. Any other case - hawthorne thickets, cranberry swamps, alder thickets, edges of fields - could you explain how these become "too old"?
    I've hunted grouse over pointing dogs for over half a century. If that's "incredible lack of knowledge" perhaps you can enlighen me and teach me a thing or two. Like expecting to find grouse in the same location you found them 45 years ago. Talk about condensending !
    Last edited by sidelock; October 31st, 2023 at 09:59 PM.

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  3. #32
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    Over the past 30 years, what has steadily increased as southern ON grouse numbers have steadily declined? Answer: average temperatures.
    Last edited by iHuntz; November 2nd, 2023 at 03:56 PM.

  4. #33
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    Sidelock, the area I hunt is in the Bancroft-Minden FMA (Forest Management Area) I’ve hunted this area for about the past 45years. It is actively managed under a FMP that gets renewed every 10 years. Some areas I hunt have had a couple of fuelwood cuts in this time, other areas are on a longer rotation for pole wood or lumber/veneer. You can easily focus on the best grouse habitat areas by using the plan to locate the harvest areas that have recently occurred. This always worked for me in the past. It doesn’t now. The birds are simply gone now. Not just a bit of a decline - I’m talking almost total extirpation. There’s obviously more at play here than just habitat decline. I’m thinking West Nile.
    Last edited by Fenelon; November 1st, 2023 at 09:26 AM.

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenelon View Post
    Sidelock, the area I hunt is in the Bancroft-Minden FMA (Forest Management Area) I’ve hunted this area for about the past 45years. It is actively managed under a FMP that gets renewed every 10 years. Some areas I hunt have had a couple of fuelwood cuts in this time, other areas are on a longer rotation for pole wood or lumber/veneer. You can easily focus on the best grouse habitat areas by using the plan to locate the harvest areas that have recently occurred. This always worked for me in the past. It doesn’t now. The birds are simply gone now. Not just a bit of a decline - I’m talking almost total extirpation. There’s obviously more at play here than just habitat decline. I’m thinking West Nile.
    Being in the same zone this is exactly what I am finding but I also find the snow show hare down drastically. So coyotes were on the increase and we always had lots of birds of prey.

    So like you I am not sure what is happening, we have not been getting wet springs in recent years so less mortality there.

    They cut off a few hundred acres of Crown land near me two years ago, so I think next spring God willing I will do a bit of walking and see what is around.

  6. #35
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    Hunted a piece of bush yesterday in Haliburton County. Beautiful day with almost no wind. Was in outstanding habitat for grouse (area was heavily cutover in 2014, lots of beaked hazel thickets, raspberry cane patches, nice interspersion of white cedar and white spruce left ). Had my trusty fat black Lab Bubba with me. 3.75 hours of tramping through perfect habitat and absolutely zero grouse, even with the dog. Put up three hare and nine different Woodcock, some of them flushing three times. This reinforces what I said earlier - the grouse are simply gone!

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenelon View Post
    Hunted a piece of bush yesterday in Haliburton County. Beautiful day with almost no wind. Was in outstanding habitat for grouse (area was heavily cutover in 2014, lots of beaked hazel thickets, raspberry cane patches, nice interspersion of white cedar and white spruce left ). Had my trusty fat black Lab Bubba with me. 3.75 hours of tramping through perfect habitat and absolutely zero grouse, even with the dog. Put up three hare and nine different Woodcock, some of them flushing three times. This reinforces what I said earlier - the grouse are simply gone!
    Was at hullet today had 4 contacts with grouse granted never laid eyes on them only the buzz of wings the garmin read points at 80-100 yards. Birds aren't sitting pretty anymore. They all have PhD in elusivity,
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

  8. #37
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    There was a lengthy study a few years back on West Nile virus and its impacts on grouse/turkey in Ontario...I wonder if the results ever came out

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by FISH-ON View Post
    There was a lengthy study a few years back on West Nile virus and its impacts on grouse/turkey in Ontario...I wonder if the results ever came out
    Good question. Had sent in some samples for the study. Should dig out the old paper work and try to contact the researcher directly to see if something got published
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenelon View Post
    Hunted a piece of bush yesterday in Haliburton County. Beautiful day with almost no wind. Was in outstanding habitat for grouse (area was heavily cutover in 2014, lots of beaked hazel thickets, raspberry cane patches, nice interspersion of white cedar and white spruce left ). Had my trusty fat black Lab Bubba with me. 3.75 hours of tramping through perfect habitat and absolutely zero grouse, even with the dog. Put up three hare and nine different Woodcock, some of them flushing three times. This reinforces what I said earlier - the grouse are simply gone!
    During the deer hunt I was in the bush a fair bit and saw a good number of birds including four coming out into the open field to grab some dropped corn. Not tripping over them but they are still out there in my bush at least.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilroy View Post
    During the deer hunt I was in the bush a fair bit and saw a good number of birds including four coming out into the open field to grab some dropped corn. Not tripping over them but they are still out there in my bush at least.
    They're out there for sure. I think most people think of grouse hunting as walking a trail and shooting them along it. That's a northern Ontario hunt. There's plenty in the bush if you want to go to the correct cover.
    "You don't own a cocker, you wear one"

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