Finally, I found two broods of young grouse on my daily morning dog runs. I’m feeling a little better about the outlook for grouse here in Pennsylvania this fall. Both broods were a size of five to six birds which I feel is about average for here. Still, I hate to say this but I think PA grouse numbers are down compared to last year which was not a good year for us.
On both finds the momma grouse flushed first with all the racket she could make and attempted to turn me and my approaching setter by taking a hard left. Smart hunters let momma go for next year and push on the way you were going. If she had a brood they will usually be 10-30 yards ahead sitting tight hoping to remain undetected. Have your dog “hunt close” and circle that area ahead so that he’ll get a nice point!
Now is where I openly lie to my dogs and command “dead bird” and take my hat off and wave it at the ground frantically saying “dead!” “dead!” in my best southern drawl. I then pray and watch while hoping my dog will point a giant covey and “all will be good” here in Penns Woods! Here’s hoping your covers are full of birds wherever you live and that all of your dogs are rock steady! Please send me your preseason predictions for wild birds in your state to my blog here and I’ll send one of you an LCS logo hat signed by me AND my dog.