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  #1  
Old 11-13-2017, 07:58 AM
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Default Ruffed grouse numbers

Myself and a buddy have been out west and south of Calgary a few times this year and not seeing a lot of birds. Been doing some research and found that they have a population cycle that is independent of food supply or other factors. Just wondering if we're blind and walking past birds or if the numbers are down this year. We make sure to stop and stand for a couple minutes, watch both on the ground and in the trees, try to parallel each other about 30 yards apart. We were out after the snow and saw lots of deer tracks etc. but nothing that looked like bird tracks. Maybe we're just in the wrong area?

What number of birds are you seeing??

Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:01 AM
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Way different Location than you but up here numbers are high. See 12-30 each day deer hunting.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flight01 View Post
Way different Location than you but up here numbers are high. See 12-30 each day deer hunting.
Wow! Maybe we need to open our eyes. Hopefully, find another area is the answer.
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:31 PM
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I've been out three times for Grouse south/west of Calgary. Seen two, one of which I shot (dog spotted him in a tree)

So what's the secret? NOT asking for a location, or even a direction. But are there some things I should be doing, paying attention to? Since the snow I've been going out later morning, early afternoon, trying to stick to mixed coniferous/deciduous areas with some sun exposer/south facing. Mostly 406/K country. Walking slowly, trying to check both ground and trees, Suggestions? Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2017, 12:58 PM
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WE are seeing far fewer ruffies this year. Last year they were on every trail or road, it was crazy.
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2017, 02:39 PM
Jeff336 Jeff336 is offline
 
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Don't know where abouts in 406 you've been looking okotokian but I've seen great numbers for birds in there, all types of birds at all types of day. Once we got away from the busier access point into the more isolated places.
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2017, 03:00 PM
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Too much grass . Now with the snow they are burrowed under . Also I suspect less than last year . Still getting 2-3 every time out but hard to spot them
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2017, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flight01 View Post
Way different Location than you but up here numbers are high. See 12-30 each day deer hunting.
Iím up in your location, and am having bad luck with Grouse, definitely not seeing anywhere near those numbers.
Have to beat the bush all day long for a couple,...tried early morning, mid day, and last light,...luck hasnít changed.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Thx,
Jonathan
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2017, 05:25 PM
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Definitely down, not seeing many.
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2017, 05:28 PM
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They're in the bush. I don't see any on the road but I see lots in the bush while walking game trails still hunting whitetails.
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2017, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckenzieclan View Post
Iím up in your location, and am having bad luck with Grouse, definitely not seeing anywhere near those numbers.
Have to beat the bush all day long for a couple,...tried early morning, mid day, and last light,...luck hasnít changed.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Thx,
Jonathan
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:35 PM
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Have been finding good numbers in some spots, but depends on the spot and on the day. Limited in 406 second time out back in Sept. I think they're moving around a fair bit. A good dog definitely helps.

That said, I took the dog out on Sat for grouse and we only got one, then when I went out for deer on Sunday there were grouse and tracks everywhere.
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2017, 06:50 PM
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On my run I have 3 roads one is unbelievable with ruffled grouse one is a mix of both and the other one is sharp tail grouse I think there called there every where never seen them in any other area I've hunted
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  #14  
Old 11-13-2017, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flight01 View Post
PM coming your way.
Thx Flight01,...Good luck for the rest of the season,...
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  #15  
Old 11-13-2017, 08:41 PM
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They are definitely on the downswing of their cycle around Calgary at least. This is my third season hunting, and I've barely seen any this year. Last year I got a few, the year before I saw plenty. I've heard stories about people whacking them with sticks the year before that. They're still out there (just a tip; a .308 is not for grouse!) but they're a lot harder to find this year.
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  #16  
Old 11-13-2017, 10:51 PM
FinnDawg FinnDawg is offline
 
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The further I got from Calgary the more ruffles I found.

Also no shortage of sharp tail this year in the east. Was seeing 50-80 at a time deer hunting.
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  #17  
Old 11-13-2017, 11:55 PM
northernoutdoors northernoutdoors is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckenzieclan View Post
Iím up in your location, and am having bad luck with Grouse, definitely not seeing anywhere near those numbers.
Have to beat the bush all day long for a couple,...tried early morning, mid day, and last light,...luck hasnít changed.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Thx,
Jonathan

I second flight01 for birds up this way, me and a buddy each got our limit of ruffies and spruce one day and the next I went out alone and came across a group of 15 birds in 20ft of each other . Def lots around
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2017, 12:30 PM
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Saw up to 6 a day in 400 in the early season. Lately havenít seen any birds.

The turkeys are sure vocal!! Looking forward to filling a tag.
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  #19  
Old 11-14-2017, 12:34 PM
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got my limit in 330 this weekend
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  #20  
Old 11-14-2017, 01:40 PM
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Ive only seen 5-6 since hunting season opened, maybe another 2-3 but on land where the landowner wont let you hunt them. Numbers in my area are way down this year.
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  #21  
Old 11-15-2017, 12:29 AM
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I am a long ways north of you guys and I'm not seeing grouse where I have had a lot of luck over the years.

I and a buddy have gone three times now and so far haven't see one bird.
In past years we would limit out if we hunted hard in the same area we are hunting now.

They just aren't there this year.
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  #22  
Old 11-15-2017, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerbob View Post
Too much grass .
This is what I'm finding as well. I've been seeing plenty of them, but they have been able to sneak away in the grass/shrubs before I can get an arrow into them.
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  #23  
Old 11-15-2017, 08:33 AM
Big Grey Wolf Big Grey Wolf is offline
 
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North of Edson Ruff numbers way down, still a few spruce hens.
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  #24  
Old 11-15-2017, 09:12 AM
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Just east of Lloydminster, haven't seen a huntable population in years.
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  #25  
Old 11-20-2017, 09:04 PM
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Hunted for one week in early October north of Fox Creek, seen very few grouse.
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  #26  
Old 11-20-2017, 09:46 PM
New2Elk New2Elk is online now
 
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West of Edmonton along the Pembina the numbers are way down from the last few years as well.
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  #27  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:20 AM
DRE75 DRE75 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KegRiver View Post
I am a long ways north of you guys and I'm not seeing grouse where I have had a lot of luck over the years.

I and a buddy have gone three times now and so far haven't see one bird.
In past years we would limit out if we hunted hard in the same area we are hunting now.

They just aren't there this year.
I would have to agree with you, Keg. The areas I've been bagging out last year are empty now, 3-4 different spots, so it's not just one. Bad year, spring melt may have killed off one of the early run of chicks.
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  #28  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:04 PM
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Went out today but only had 2.5 hours, seen 2 birds, got one! This is the first time I was able to go hunting ruffies this year, so compare to last year this time of the year I would say there are not as many as the year before...
But never the less, really enjoyed the walk thru the woods on a nice sunny day!
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  #29  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckenzieclan View Post
Iím up in your location, and am having bad luck with Grouse, definitely not seeing anywhere near those numbers.
Have to beat the bush all day long for a couple,...tried early morning, mid day, and last light,...luck hasnít changed.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Thx,
Jonathan

I went the first two months of the season seeing a couple birds a day at best. I commented on another thread how the Grouse hunting was much worse than last year. Iíve now probably spotted 60-80 birds in the last 3 trips out in this area. They appear to be everywhere and Iím hunting some of the same spots I did early in the season, so who knows...
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  #30  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:22 PM
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Numbers around the Edmonton are seem to have tanked. Still managed to get a few but nothing like last year.
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