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.


Autumns Best,


7 comments to “Buck’s Preseason Report”

  1. Gun Dog

    Pre-dispersal numbers looked good here in WV for grouse. Many hens with four to seven poults were spotted. It all comes down to more habitat and we are way behind on early successional habitat on public lands. Thank the grouse gods for MeadeWesVaCo and Plum Creek land stewardships though.

  2. Eaglerock Setters

    We have been extensively scouting and from the Kersey area west things look good. Have seen a lot of birds many this years harches. I’m betting on a good season with plenty of action in our part of the state up through the Kersey area.

    Best of luck!


  3. Chris holes

    I think in PA we will have avg amount of grouse flushes but above amount of woodcock flushes. Happy hunting

  4. Paul Ricci

    Dear Buck, Looking forward to the up coming season. I have really enjoyed your products. The season here in New Jersey is never long enough. Just cant wait to get out and watch the dog work. Paul

  5. Jeff Holl - Feather Quest

    The past two weeks have been cool enough here in NY to get one of the pups in the timber. We’ve come across several flushes in that short period. Thus leaving me to believe that numbers are steady to a possible increase. Or my pup is very ready for the season.
    I don’t hunt grouse until the leaves are turned and mostly down. The smell of the crisp seasonal autumn air and gun powder creates a feeling like no other. And only if you been before, I am sure you will agree.

  6. Yankura

    Great looking dog you have. Plank’s buddy shot a partridge this AM in The Forks this AM.

  7. Wiley Coleman

    Hey Buck,

    Believe it or not, I actually feel pretty good about the upcoming season here in North Carolina. Good being a relative term, because I know we’ll never again see the good ole days that my Grandfather always told me about (young guy here, only 27). However, I’ve been out scouting my family farm (600 acres of soybeans up in the north/central part of the state) and have heard more quail than usual. The farm is fairly un-manicured so we see more wild quail than most farms in the area. Also heard several while out goose hunting in Eastern NC. I’ve also heard of several folks seeing a few coveys rise up while they were dove hunting. This will be my GSP’s second season and I’m really excited to get him out there. Hope you have good luck up there in PA.


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