Poll: How is bird hunting in Virginia?
Bad - rarely even see birds
Not good, expect maybe a bird per weekend hunt
They're there. Just work it. see a bird each hour in the field
Great! There's pockets of habitat out there
I go out of state for upland birds, or pay a hunting preserve
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Upland birds - grouse, quail, etc.
#1
Aside from hunting preserves is hunting birds in the bush worth it in Virginia?

I'm reading a lot of negative stuff with loss of habitat, survival rates, etc.

Anyone do it on public land?
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#2
There are definitely grouse out there. But they are tough to find. Especially if you haven't spent alot of time scouting. And well, even with significant scouting the grouse hunting always requires many miles of walking. Grouse populations are also very cyclical. I haven't hunted them in a few years (I used to hunt them religiously) so I don't know what phase they are currently in in Virginia. Your best bet for finding them is to look in and around those areas in the National Forest that were last managed 15-20 years ago. Ideally, you want thick nasty conditions, with trees somewhere from 12-15 years of age. In Virginia, the enviro nuts have destroyed lots of habitat in the National Forests by their complete opposition to any and all forms of Forest Management. But that's a different story for a different post.

Much much much better grouse numbers, historically, in Pennsylvania and West Virginia where the tree huggers carry less weight with land managers.
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#3
So, is the strategy to walk around the WMA trails with shotgun and #6 to #7 shot?  

Am I looking for areas with timber?  Or scrub?

Not sure how fast trees grow, so I figure a 10 to 15 year old tree is going to be around three stories toll with 9 to 10 inch trunks?  Or am I looking for areas with 3 inch trunks?

Is a shorter (18.5 inches) barrel advantageous?  I don't need to block the magazine do I?  (3 shot limit as in waterfowl?)
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#4
(11-06-2019, 09:47 AM)BillHoo Wrote: So, is the strategy to walk around the WMA trails with shotgun and #6 to #7 shot?  

Am I looking for areas with timber?  Or scrub?

Not sure how fast trees grow, so I figure a 10 to 15 year old tree is going to be around three stories toll with 9 to 10 inch trunks?  Or am I looking for areas with 3 inch trunks?

Is a shorter (18.5 inches) barrel advantageous?  I don't need to block the magazine do I?  (3 shot limit as in waterfowl?)

Your looking for the nastiest thorniest overgrown re generational forest   Id be looking more for 3-4-5 inch than 9 inch trunks.  

Your best bet is to go to the National Forest, in the mountains, and walk.   the only sure secret to success is walking miles up and down mountains.
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#5
Sounds good. I think I know an area where I might flush a few. I had heard some drumming last year when squirrel hunting, I had assumed it was some kind of woodpecker. I have since played a few grouse videos on youtube, and know what they sound like.
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