The grouse story is the same for a number of states. Here we have far too many aging forests that need to be selective cut to produce understory. With the number of tree huggers in the state that will never happen. If you want to hunt ruffs like we did back in the 60's and 70's you need to visit to UP of Michigan or Wisconsin.
The last grouse I saw in NJ was late 1990s! As a teenager in the early 1980s, we would kick them up in the gap/stokes in the early am walk up to our treestanads in the dark, WOW what a rush when they flushed! !
I hope they rebound.
Also try Maine for them, late fall hunt, nice!
This is sad. I had a few run in last yr and missed. Even with a perfect point and shot. There are grouse in spots. What we’ve lost is grouse hunters. Folks willing to put a day in the thick stuff and fully aware they may come out empty handed. but what is the state going to do about? Just ban it indefinitely? What’s the plan to get more young forest? Why is RGS not on speed dial for the state right now? It’s not going to get better unless something done or a catastrophic natural event happens (sadly). And has the state considered making up for it by opening new seasons? Maybe doves like the rest of the country or Sunday firearm?
dont know what the answer is. do they get diseases or go through cycles. i remember seeing them in the pines and hunting them around farms in Freehold and mILLSTONE 70s-mid 80-s. there were never alot of them. unlike Maine its like first week or 2nd of October they just appear and you could walk the loggin roads and have a blast. im guessing its habitat lost or some years the hatch is poor. never underswtood why we didnt have a dove season.state could have another permit for us to pay and they say its the number 1 game bird everywhere else.https://bangordailynews.com/2013/03/...ch-of-the-u-s/
Last edited by Treestandman; 09-07-2019 at 10:00 PM.