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Thread: The Demise of Ruffed Grouse Hunting (article)

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhite View Post
    Wouldn't this be more Southern Ontario? I don't think much West nile has shown up in the Far eastern or Northern Ontario as well there is still logging going on. Am I missing something?
    There are definitely West Nile hits in Eastern Ontario. Northern Ontario - not so much. Map at this link shows the hits for 2018 - definite cluster around Ottawa and Gatineau:

    http://oahpp.maps.arcgis.com/apps/we...fd024830394f94

    Certainly not as many as the GTA but it is only a mattter of time if they are getting hits now. The other factor to consider is that just because there are no hits does not mean no disease - it may just mean no samples were collected in a given area.
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  3. #12
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    I've reported this decline on several threads now for the past 4-6 years for the north Victoria and southern ends of Peterborough and Haliburton counties. It's like someone flipped a switch and we went from the usual low to medium numbers of the late 80's, 90's - 2013, to basically almost nothing. There's been nothing gradual about it. Pretty much complete extirpation. The only explanation IMO would either be West Nile or something cool like neonics/endocrine disruption that's killed all our aerial insectivore birds, bees, and allowed white nose to extirpate almost all of our bats. There are so few remaining birds these past 4 years that I don't even attempt to hunt them. Almost zero drumming these past 4 years. No visible broods, and almost zero budding birds once the snow hits the ground. It's a real treat to even see a bird now. I can walk for hours with my Lab and it would be a "good" day if you put up 1-3 birds. Same area 6-10 years ago would have been 12-15 flushes. I used to like walking the trails in December late afternoons once we have some snow cover, and get a few budding birds with the dog. Not even worth taking a gun now. There are no birds.

  4. #13
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    When it comes to public lands on southern Ontario, many of which are turning into aging tree museums (climax forests), its extremely difficult to convince people (the public) that logging is a good and necessary thing for the forest and the species within it. Government ecologists/biologists know better, but are totally unwilling to "go there". They don't want chainsaws upsetting the Tilley Hat crowd.
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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jow View Post
    UoG did some studying on WNV, has any info come out from that study?
    I think that study just ended on Dec 31 so it'll be a while before we likely see any data or conclusions published.

  6. #15
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    The number of ruffled grouse in our WMU # 56 are sure down. I think it is because of so many fisher, coyotes , foxes and coons. A grouse has no way to defend its nest from predators whereas even a turkey can put up some of a fight and there is certainly lots of turkeys.

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxx View Post
    The number of ruffled grouse in our WMU # 56 are sure down. I think it is because of so many fisher, coyotes , foxes and coons. A grouse has no way to defend its nest from predators whereas even a turkey can put up some of a fight and there is certainly lots of turkeys.
    Smaller ground nesting birds as the Grouse are at a big disadvantage when it comes to the many predators they have to contend with.

  8. #17
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    Coyotes have certainly upped the predation pressures on all small game including grouse, but when it comes to game birds, a predation problem is really a habitat problem. A shortage of optimum habitat that provides escape cover makes grouse vulnerable, especially to flying predators.
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  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxx View Post
    The number of ruffled grouse in our WMU # 56 are sure down. I think it is because of so many fisher, coyotes , foxes and coons. A grouse has no way to defend its nest from predators whereas even a turkey can put up some of a fight and there is certainly lots of turkeys.
    I trapped my area for close to 30 years now and I don't think increased predation is the driving factor for this exponential decline. Fisher numbers have actually declined substantially from their initial range expansion population surge in my trapping area . 1995-2005 was the peak from what I could tell. Coyotes are up a tiny bit but then there's some real downturns whenever the numbers rise and sarcoptic mange hits. I think coon numbers are now lower than they were 10 years ago. On a negative note, coon and fisher will receive substantially less trapping pressure since they are essentially worth nothing at fur sale. Hardly worth the effort of setting a trap. Canada Goose down jackets are probably the best thing that ever happened to our deer and turkey. 100% clearance and even half decent prices for our eastern pelts. Coyote is literally the only "dollar animal" now for southern and central Ontario trappers.

  10. #19
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    One of these articles comes out every couple years and grouse populations continue to go up and down. I'm not into the fear mongering. Support conservation and spend time in the woods. It's not that bleak.
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  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxx View Post
    The number of ruffled grouse in our WMU # 56 are sure down. I think it is because of so many fisher, coyotes , foxes and coons. A grouse has no way to defend its nest from predators whereas even a turkey can put up some of a fight and there is certainly lots of turkeys.
    How long have they been down?

    Grouse are heavily cyclic, down a year or two means nothing to the overall population, they are a boom and bust creature.

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