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Grouse and Woodcock


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Was wondering if there is anyone else out there chasing these birds? I have pounded a ton of ground with my dog is search of our first Woodcock, and have flat out come out empty handed! I'm thinking it may be due to the lack of rain and how dry it is? Anyway I would like to try and possibly go after some Grouse ( another bird on our hit list) next week before the orange army hits the woods and shuts us down until they are gone. Anyone that has Grouse experience, would you target the Southern Tier area or Tug Hill area? I know both should have some sort of bird action, but with this is all completely new to me its alot to figure out! Any help would be great appreciated.

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I've hunted both areas, have property in Allegany county. Last couple years I found 3-4 woodcock flushes each time out, this year hard to find one flush. I did think it's because it's so dry. I did find more grouse though, but in thick stuff so hard to shoot. Cattaraugus county also has food areas for grouse. The DEC is finally doing more cuts.

Tug hill generally has more birds, we have found a good number around barnes corners. Lots of state land. Woodcock closes after this weekend. Usually find then in the alders. Deer season has been going on for a while up there so might be less people out.
Good luck

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I hunt both in northeast pa. As far as woodcock go, I generally start seeing them around the last week of October here during there migration. Not many here the rest of the year. If your area doesn’t hold them year round and your depending on the migration bringing them in you may be late but I don’t know for sure.

For grouse, we have them but not in good numbers. Here your best chance of getting one is the first couple days of the season. Once they’ve been bumped a couple times they get real spookey and won’t hold and usually you just hear them.

Growing up we had a cabin in upstate New York. Around gouvereur. This was a long time ago but there was a lot of grouse there. If I was going to target grouse in New York and was willing to travel I’d probably start somewhere in the Adirondacks/upstate.

A trip to Michigan is an easy way to get these birds in numbers.


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Well, the Woodcock season unfortunately has come to a close! We pounded hard for them covering alot of ground in search of a wild bird. Unfortunately we never flushed a single bird but that's just the way it goes. We will continue to chase pheasants here and there, then once the gun season begins to wind down we will be in hot pursuit of Grouse, can't wait!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would second grouse in the north country. I went to school at St Lawrence in Canton and found good grouse and woodcock numbers up there. Have not been back since ‘91 so I don’t have current intel. I found farmers up there were agreeable to allowing bird and rabbit hunting. It could be the cooler temps up north have kept the West Nike virus at bay.  

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