The Grouse Report
Bad News First: The grouse are definitely down in the Alleghenies.
The Good News: My shooting is somehow better! No, I didn’t bust a single clay bird this year but the dove season opener was great fun with real wild birds so I’ll not question that any further. The grouse here are definitely feeding on the great wild crabapple crop we have. So take note: Hunt the crabapple thickets! All Crataegus species especially red hawthorns (called redhaws in West Virginia) and all crabapple species are attracting grouse as their most abundant feed source here. One flight of woodcock came through with the first few snowflakes last week. Also Beech nuts, another preferred food here , are very scarce in PA this year and birds are feeding on them now if you can find trees that have the spiny nuts in your area(just look up when you see a smooth grey beech tree and hunt around them if they have the nuts still hanging). If you are lucky enough to have Wild Grapes, the ALL TIME preferred Grouse food in PA, please CALL ME!
Lastly – I’m finding mostly single birds indicating a poor hatch of new grouse but successful broods, although few are pretty large averaging 6 birds for me so far.
Well…..I gotta tend to achy dogs and get ready to go back to camp tomorrow. I hope you and your dogs are into birds!
Autumns Best! ….Buck