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I saw exactly 1 grouse on state land about 4 years ago. The forests have matured and the habitat has disappeared. Contact the NJ chapter of the Roughed Grouse Society, they may turn you on to some areas with restored habitat.

Other than that-try Flatbrook WMA-it seems to have some decent habitat diversity
 

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There's not enough early successional forest habitat being created in large enough areas to support a sustainable grouse population in NJ. If you do happen to flush a grouse in NJ, for goodness sake don't shoot it.
 

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I'm with nj gsp on this.Even though there is a season for them,don't hunt them.Let them come back to more plentiful numbers than what they are now.The NJ chapter of the RGS has been doing a lot of work up in NW NJ trying to bring them back to a decent population.
 

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Get your self a time machine.:D
 

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I really dont think the bird population will come back. I really hope it does, I would never shoot one now because of the numbers. Between the habitat and predators It would take a long time to come back even if they beat the odds. I saw one two weeks ago in slitrock, It was awesome to see that because its not common anymore which blows. I miss hunting that fast ass,scare the crap out of you bird. damn it sucks
 

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Study upon study has proven that hunter mortality has little effect on ruffed grouse numbers and we still have huntable numbers in a few select spots. As we push the state to cut more trees to create forest openings and early successional habitat, their numbers will rebound just fine. But the clock is ticking and we need to move more quickly than we have in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok - thanks for all the good info. I usually travel to Michigan's UP to hunt them, but thought I'd try here. Based on what I'm reading I think I'll leave them alone until we get some better news on the population status.
 

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can you suggest a few public land spots where I might find a bird or two??
There's an old saying; "Grouse are where you find them." And it's pretty much true. Find their food sources and cover, and you'll find some birds. But, not in the numbers that used to exist.
 

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Like the guys have said the fields have grown into woods:( We still had a bunch in the 80's in the knowlton area but unless you took the chainsaw to 100 acres they lost their habitat[cry] I miss them but Nj is a turkey/deer/coyote/bear state now. Geese & ducks are migrating thru to ease your pain:(
 

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just head upstate NY, hours drive you'll find them
I've got a ton of them on my property upstate in Chenango County.
 

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The state needs to quietly clearcut 50-100 acre patches of the DWG so it looks like it did after all the land was taken for the Tocks island dam project. Then keep clear cutting another big chuck of mature trees every 5-10 years. We'd have good numbers of birds if they did that. I still have guys telling me about how awesome the grouse hunting was up there when the farms they took for the dam project started to grow back in. The tree hugging bunny lovers won't stand for it though. They refuse to believe that certain species of trees and wildlife need young forests to survive, and that trees are a renewable resource.
 
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