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golfballs03
12-30-2008, 09:18 PM
Has anyone seen ruffed grouse on any back country trips? I tried to hunt them down in cherokee national forest and saw 2 couldn't get a shot on either. I was curious what kind of habitats and cover they prefer in the park. Also, I know they tend to roost in the upper elevations, but has anyone seen them lower in the park?

sammcdonald
12-30-2008, 09:28 PM
i have a great grouse picture////

sammcdonald
12-30-2008, 09:31 PM
http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww175/samsailor11/20081105_37.jpg

kytroutman
12-30-2008, 09:41 PM
You must have had a great telescopic lens Sam. Grouse are so skiddish, I can't believe you got a picture that clear.

Kytroutbum
12-31-2008, 01:15 AM
From another KY guy- MAN, great is an understatement-that is an awesome pic.

fly fisherman DK
12-31-2008, 01:53 AM
Seeing one is nothing like almost getting attacked by one.:eek:Over my fall break in October, my dad and I were hiking to campsite 47 on the Raven Fork, when my dad let out a yell, and dropped to the ground. At first, I thought that he was hurt, but then I saw the grouse only a few feet away in midair flying back in the direction that it came from. After that we walked a little bit further, and met the family who had flushed the grouse up the ridge, and into our faces. What's funny is that I wasn't the one that almost got attacked, but I was the scared one, and my legs were trembling until we got to the campsite.:biggrin:I guess their is always something to keep you alert, like a grouse flying at your face.

fly fisherman DK

sammcdonald
12-31-2008, 03:30 PM
i've got 3 or 4 of this guy....just have different head angles...then he flew when a bystander approached to see what i was shooting...guy made noise and bird was airborne

psnapp
01-01-2009, 11:53 AM
Great lens and excellent talent behind it!

Phil

dvcaviness
01-01-2009, 05:44 PM
golfballs03,

My buddy and I saw a Grouse cross the road as we were leaving Elkmont campground. This was late in November this past fall.
The first and only time I've seen one in the many times I've visited SMNP over the years. We didn't realize what it was until a few moments after we saw it.
Wish you luck in finding many.
Great shot sam!!!

Doyle

sammcdonald
01-01-2009, 07:17 PM
hey phil, thanks

happy new year and lets hit the trails sometime this year

sam

GrouseMan77
01-02-2009, 09:32 AM
To say great picture is an understatement.

My wife and I were fortunate enough to see and watch two grouse up at Clingman's Dome until they finally walked off. We do a lot of hiking and I couldn’t wait until we flushed one so she could witness the explosion that I am so fond of.

The first came over on Deep Creek. We had just stopped to rest after a pretty good climb when one took off about 10 feet to our left. After I watched him get out of sight I turned to see how big her eyes were. She was impressed. We stood there for a few seconds and got to watch another bird and 3 chicks walk up the hill away from us. That was a great first experience for the wife.

The most recent GSMNP grouse came in November over on Hazel Creek. My wife and I fished our way up to the cabin at Bone Valley. About 300 yards before the cabin we flew one that made more of a ruckus than I have ever heard out of one bird. Again, her eyes were wide.

We had taken the shuttle over from Fontana Marina and were about an hour early for our pickup. We sat, in the drizzling rain, on banks of the most beautiful lake I have ever seen listening to the drumming of a ruffed grouse and watching wild pigs root around across the lake. I would not trade that hour for anything.

Denver1911
01-03-2009, 07:30 PM
My son and I were on a sight-seeing hike off of Thomas Divide and came upon a mother and about 6 chicks. Pretty cool!

I've rounded a corner on Mt. Sterling road and came upone one drumming in the middle of the road.

We saw one today (in Kentucky) whilst riding dirt-bikes.

They are beautiful creatures.

Denver

MBB
01-05-2009, 07:23 PM
I usually see a grouse or two every other trip into Cataloochee valley. I see them most often on that long dirt road into the valley. Sometimes I see them on the dirt road into the group campsites. I wish I could go grouse hunting this year.

flyman
01-05-2009, 10:19 PM
Over the years I've done much more damage shooting up the habitat than I have to the Grouse population of WNC. If you are getting wide open shots, you're not hunting in heavy enough cover;)

knucklehead
01-06-2009, 01:33 AM
On the way to cataloochee, over the long gravel road, I 've seen 3 or 4 along the road's crest. usually gone before I can get a shot but this one tarried for some reason. Very agreeable. just about every time I've been on the long cataloochee road I see them at the same place.http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm228/knucklehead1979/abramsottersandmore038.jpg

Rog 1
01-06-2009, 06:22 PM
After the road to elkmont had been washed out one winter the only way to get back to fish there was to hike over Huskey's Gap...2 miles up and another 2 miles down....as we crested the gap we flushed a brace of these wonderful birds....thought I had jumped the mother of all quail until I realized what they were....unexpected and exciting.

cubefisher
01-28-2009, 08:43 PM
I always hear, but never see, them on Bradley Fork in the cover on the right side of the road if you're headed upstream.

BlueRaiderFan
01-28-2009, 09:02 PM
After the road to elkmont had been washed out one winter the only way to get back to fish there was to hike over Huskey's Gap...2 miles up and another 2 miles down....as we crested the gap we flushed a brace of these wonderful birds....thought I had jumped the mother of all quail until I realized what they were....unexpected and exciting.

Quail still startle, even when I'm hunting them. I love bird and rabbit hunting though.

flyred06
01-29-2009, 09:57 AM
Knucklehead that is a good picture that you have posted. Thanks. I quail and pheasant hunt but never had the chance to grouse hunt. I would love to do it one time.

Bran
01-29-2009, 11:00 AM
Flyred,
It's an experience. In my own hunting, I've found out you can go sevaral and burn thousands of calories without seeing one. I hunt with a German Shorthair but some people say that even with dogs it's better to have several folks walking spread out in a line because they flush more birds.

BlueRaiderFan
02-01-2009, 12:33 AM
THey had a great story on grouse hunting on Tennessee's Wildside tonight. Wish I had the gas money to go to some of these places!

waterwolf
02-04-2009, 03:54 PM
This is the way I prefer to photo ruffed grouse. Killed 2 weeks ago, by me and my viscious running fur covered mountain shredder.
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh256/grouseboys/Grouse1013.jpg

flyred06
02-04-2009, 04:33 PM
absolutely beautiful bird, dog and picture. Like I said earlier, I have never got to grouse hunt but that photo makes me want to real bad. I see a L.L.Bean or field and stream photo there, Excellent job, and congrats on the bird.

FishNHunt
02-15-2009, 08:27 PM
Beautiful picture. I love hearing that thump,thump,thump ramp up until it's just a steady beat. I didn't know until I was older that they really never actually hit their chest with their wings. It's the negative air pressure created by the wings that makes the thumping sound. Anyways, there is not a bird alive that can come close to the taste of grouse. When I was a teenager my uncle was a die hard grouse hunter and one year we killed exactly 69 grouse between us. We hunted every weekend, holiday and sometimes school/work days from the start to finish of the season. I wish I was in as good of shape now as I was then.

cubefisher
02-16-2009, 10:59 AM
What an awesome picture!

I just read elsewhere on the forum about exercising to get ready for fishing. It's been so long since I grouse hunted, but it just dawned on me that anyone that grouse hunts doesn't need exercise to get ready for fishing season. The grade in the background on that photo is a reminder of the kind of work it takes to put one of those awesome birds down.

Thanks for sharing. I'd echo an earlier post that says that ought to go to Bean or somewhere. At least framed on the wall. Beautiful setter too, by the way.

waterwolf
02-16-2009, 07:48 PM
What an awesome picture!

I just read elsewhere on the forum about exercising to get ready for fishing. It's been so long since I grouse hunted, but it just dawned on me that anyone that grouse hunts doesn't need exercise to get ready for fishing season. The grade in the background on that photo is a reminder of the kind of work it takes to put one of those awesome birds down.

Thanks for sharing. I'd echo an earlier post that says that ought to go to Bean or somewhere. At least framed on the wall. Beautiful setter too, by the way.
Thanks for the compliments on my hound, he appreciates it. :biggrin:

You are right, it does take an incredible amount of exertion, and by the time I start fishing in May I am in triathlete shape. I also turkey hunt in the same part of the world, and usually lose 10 lbs b/w grouse and turkey season.

Great fun, and a good way to accomplish many things in DEc, Jan, and Feb.

cubefisher
02-17-2009, 12:00 AM
Can I ask what your weapon of choice is there? Do you use that for turkey too? I'm looking for a good gun that I can use for EVERYTHING from dove to grouse to ducks to geese to turkey. I have an 870 but it's got a turkey barrel on it. Not a huge deal, but it's short enough to cause other people in a duck blind to complain about ruptured eardrums, and it feels funky when swinging on a dove. I could replace the barrel, but by the time I've paid for that...why NOT buy ANOTHER gun???!?!?!? (I figure they're like rods; the perfect number to have is always one more than the number I have).

Hatchie Dawg
03-17-2009, 10:12 PM
Cubefisher,

It is a month late but I will take a shot at recommending an all around shotgun. I'm more at home in that area than the trout fishing realm.

It really depends on how much you want to spend as with all things but a good all around auto can be had for the 500-700 dollar range, sometimes less in the Beretta AL 390. The Beretta AL 390 is a fine all around gun if you don't need to shoot 3.5" shells. Beretta discontinued the model except for a black synthetic version they were making for Wal Mart. I'm not sure if Wal Mart is still selling them, but a used one could be found easily. The 390 is the gun the high volume dove outfitters in South America provide to their clients. You will not find a better one.

Remington has had some problems but all in all I think you have one of the world's best pump guns in your 870. The Benelli Nova has made a good name for itself also but I've always thought they are clunky. Both can be picked up economically, and both can be bought in the 3.5" version.

Stepping up in price you can look at the Browning Gold semi autos or the Benelli Super Black Eagles. New they are generally over $1000 but both rock solid performers and are carried by waterfowlers in the harshest of conditions all over the world. My buddy hunts with the Browning and he has always treated it like a rented mule. The gun has been as dependable as they come. They both shoot 2.75 to 3.5" shells.

There are a bunch of good guns out there but these are some of my favorites.

Good Luck
HD