Ruffed grouse?

quail hound

Moderator
Has anyone spent anytime up in the NW hunting ruffies? I'm thinking about making a trip up to the Six Rivers to see if the exist. I have a friend in Humboldt that says he sees a few here and there on his hikes so I'll probably hit some creek bottoms in that area.
 

calamari

New member
Some friends got drawn for an Elk tag in the NW corner of the state and I went along on their hunt to mind the mules while they hunted. We went through wonderful looking grouse cover and camped where there should have been birds if there were any around. It was remote country SW of Etna and West of Callahan with little human impact except for two deer hunter's abandoned camp sites. The two guys I was with were DFG biologists and we never saw or heard a bird.
 

quail hound

Moderator
Well that bad news is that no one is quite convinced that ruffs actually exist in Ca even though there is a season and dfg has a "range" map claiming they do indeed reside in the NW corner of the state. The good news is that my friend say there are some, valley quail opens early in the area and drought is not a limiting factor up there. I enjoy new scenery as much as anything, I'm going to give it a shot.:cheers:
 

calamari

New member
Where I was at is very pretty country. It was North of the Trinity Alps wilderness and pretty rugged. Lots of dirt logging roads there with road hunting not a bad way to find birds in country you're not familiar with. It's tough walking but you're young. The closer you get to the coast the more impossible it is to hike.
Try calling the Shasta Valley wildlife area and talk to their biologists. Most hunt and are free with info. Their knowledge and responsibility goes into the country where the grouse are supposed to be.
There's lots of private property in that country and one way to tell is if it's relatively flat and along any waterway it probably is private. 100,000 scale BLM ownership maps are a great resource that shows pretty primitive roads.
The other thing to remember is that it's getting close to harvest time for the pot growers. People who live up in that country are very careful about going hiking off the roads near water.
 

TonyS

New member
Guys, you are on your own here.

DFG or correctly DFW says there are not sootys in an area where I have found them. I even spoke with DFW's contracted biologist. He looked at the area, I assume from his truck, and concluded no birds. He already got paid for his 'conclusion' so he isn't changing his mind now.

Like I said, you are on your own as to what birds exist where.
 

calamari

New member
Guys, you are on your own here.

DFG or correctly DFW says there are not sootys in an area where I have found them. I even spoke with DFW's contracted biologist. He looked at the area, I assume from his truck, and concluded no birds. He already got paid for his 'conclusion' so he isn't changing his mind now.

Like I said, you are on your own as to what birds exist where.
I've gotten to know a number of unit biologists for DFG/DFW and I've never seen that kind of attitude. If an employee isn't doing their jobs you should contact their supervisor and/or regional manager and discuss your issues. You might want to ask to go on a ride along with the biologist to see what they do when in the field. I've been on a number of helicopter deer captures for example however I did know the biologist in charge. If I didn't and had asked to take part or observe I think I would have still been welcomed. It's a public agency that realizes it needs public support. They don't just sit in the office drinking coffee.
 

TonyS

New member
Ok, I'm sure you are absolutely correct. I was only referred by Dr. Eric Loft, who I am sure is a real nobody to someone so exalted.
 

calamari

New member
I'm not trying to fight, just be helpful. Did you ask Loft if there were grouse where you found them or did he refer you to a biologist? If you asked him it would be like asking the Secretary of the Air Force where the chow hall is at Beale AFB. Maybe he knows but probably doesn't. Ask any airman stationed there and he could tell you.
The unit biologist is the best source of information available to the public for questions like this because they live in their unit, travel it all the time and frequently get questions about hunting and fishing opportunities there. In the past they were always full time employees of the state. Maybe that's changed. What position or project did this contract biologist have?
The other question I've got is if you knew Sooty Grouse were where you found them, why did you ask if there were any there?
 

TonyS

New member
deleted for inappropriate language and sarcasm.

This members of this Forum conduct themselves with courtesy and respect.

TYVM
 
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calamari

New member
Here's the link to the DFW NW region. They show a field office in Eureka which is where I'd start.

https://r1.dfg.ca.gov/portal/

The unit biologists that work out of Shasta Valley should go west far enough to have Ruff Grouse habitat in their unit assuming they really exist in Calif. The main number for Shasta Valley is (530)459-3926.
Thinking about it, contacting CSU Humboldt may have someone on staff with knowledge of any bird sightings. There used to be a healthy population of hook and bullet people there.
 

quail hound

Moderator
Thanks Cal. Work has put a hault to any extended trips for the time being but I'll definitely be making some calls to get the scoop. 2,000 tons of hot mix asphalt are coming in tomorrow morning, wish me luck and pray for weather so this paving can be done with for the year.:D
 

calamari

New member
100+ deg. air temps and 200+ deg. asphalt! You do know how to have a good time. It'll pay for a trip someplace nice in the coming months. CSUH clubs have some possibilities for info.
 

andyperry07

New member
I hate to see arguments on here or people accusing each other of this and that lets be honest aren't we all in this together? Shoot their are few enough of us left that truely care about birds habitat and dogs. I have been accused of trolling and all of the above just for asking questions....Honeslty I just love bird hunting and my dog and I am as many of us are willing to share information on areas...I have boot in the boot leather and been given good advice on this site. I have seen Cal post many helpful posts...why argue? There are enough non hunters trying to kill our sport and passion we all truelly need to stick together.
 

quail hound

Moderator
Resurrecting this old thread because last September I finally was curious enough to drive about 500 miles north and see for myself if there are ruffs in California. Indeed there are! It was a short trip, only two days, and I didn't have time to find any old burns or cuts but we flushed 4 grouse and brought a fabeled California ruff home with us.

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