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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After pushing the best grouse covers that I know of, I gotta wonder where the family groups are? All birds came up alone, not even a double to speak of. Anyone finding this in they're favorite holes?
The one positive is I've flushed more than last year in the same locations and have seen more birds on the ground holding tight. They sure are cool to see doing there thing, oblivious to my presence(no dog)
Old Ruff is the coolest!
 

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You're a little late to the party to find grouse in family groups still.
By this time it is hard to tell birds of the year from adults and likely any "groups" of grouse you find are concentrated by food sources not familial connection.
Lots of drummers in my spots this past weekend, the shuffle is on and males are setting up and defending territories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Agreed, however, I've been pounding it since the opener, and have yet to come up with any. I'm not saying I have a rhyme or reason to it, just an observation. It just seems like the past two years have seen more grouped up birds. Its probably my luck.

I heard alot of drumming over last weekends trip to the eastern U.P. too.
but this past weekend nothing stiring...
Grouse hunters have to be field biologist too.
 

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You are not alone.
A few guys I know said they were finding singles only from day one.
I have to wonder if those spots are not popular pre-season training grounds? Someone in there breaking up birds early.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good point. They did seem skittish the first time through. The property I stay on is connected to a big chunk of state land and now that you mention it there was a noticeable amount of fresh tire tracks......:dizzy:

then again I'm a flatlander in thier covers. ha!
 

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Agreed, however, I've been pounding it since the opener, and have yet to come up with any. I'm not saying I have a rhyme or reason to it, just an observation. It just seems like the past two years have seen more grouped up birds. Its probably my luck.

I heard alot of drumming over last weekends trip to the eastern U.P. too.
but this past weekend nothing stiring...
Grouse hunters have to be field biologist too.

I've noted the same thing as you in three counties of the LP. Makes me believe the hatch was quite poor which is no surprise with the cold/wet spring weather we had. Others have reported the same thing seeing a high percentage of mature birds early on......

Looking forward to the fall dispersal mentioned above!
 

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I didn't see a single young of the year bird till two weeks ago. No family groups during the early season at all. They usually shuffle up here about the 25 of September, this year it might have been a week, or even two, later, but I'm sure it's over by now...lots of big, old, very savvy singles, but no young birds until my son shot one two weeks ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ya , I took a young one on Sun. about 2/3 the size of the one taken the day before. tasty little fellow though-:evil:
 

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I seen family group up to about two weeks ago. Now i don't see any birds..........doof.
 

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I didn't see a single young of the year bird till two weeks ago. No family groups during the early season at all. They usually shuffle up here about the 25 of September, this year it might have been a week, or even two, later, but I'm sure it's over by now...lots of big, old, very savvy singles, but no young birds until my son shot one two weeks ago.
I am beginning to think this is a regional thing and makes it more important to move around the state each season.
The first 8 grouse I killed were all birds of the year, quail sized 2 inch tailfeathered birds. I even moved a group of 9 grouse in the frist week of October. I think the shuffle started about Oct. 10 in my coverts, birds can now be found in all cover types, before that you could apttern them pretty easily and put up some really good flush rates.
Now ya gotta walk.
 

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This last weekend we flushed a group of 8, took 2.

2 days later, same spot, flushed 4.

But they were eating leaves, crops were completely full.

Interesting thing is day 1 when we walked up on them, there was a male strutting all around the group.

Is it typical to see a male strutting / fanning 3rd wk of Oct?
 

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Put up 3 different coveys of four or more birds last weekend, with the largest group holding 7. Also heard a drummer at almost every spot I hunted. The majority from last week were this year's birds, but spots I hunt less than 30 miles away have not been producing many young birds at all. Lots of variables with grouse and it takes some driving and exploration to get on good numbers every year.
 

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This is the first year in memory that I haven't flushed a brood (>2 birds) in the early part of the first half.
 
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