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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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Heard my first drumming bird this evening, after getting in from a hard day's fishing. Life is tough up here.

Last edited by Lloyd3; 05/20/24 06:59 PM.
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Indeed!
Karl

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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

It has been raining up here a fair amount, enough to really saturate things and today it is supposed to begin another 24-hour period of fairly intense rain. Now... how this will affect the grouse populations is the big question. Depending on when the first clutch of eggs was laid (in May?), if those chicks are already past the "fragile" point (susceptible to hypothermia) then....we should be golden. If, however, we're not past that point now then we won't be experiencing the incredible population "high" that we had up here last Fall. There are lots of theories about how ruffed grouse populations rise and fall (and accordingly, lots of ink has been spilled on the subject) so of course I have my own as well (after 23-years of mostly unscientific observation up here). If that first clutch comes off well, we usually have a good mixed (young & older) population of birds here in September. If that 1st clutch of birds doesn't do well (because of wet and cold nesting conditions) then the birds I see in the Fall will mostly be adult birds. You can certainly make that theory much more complicated (I have a book that talks about how the interplay of raptor populations and snowshoe hares affect the cycle too) and there is even the argument about successive nesting attempts but...I remain unconvinced by it all. Are there lots of variables, certainly(!) and the populations are likely to also be variable across a region. But...I'm a big fan of Ockham's Razor Theory (or the principle of parsimony) where the best explanations usually involve the smallest set of variables.

Last edited by Lloyd3; 05/21/24 09:57 AM.
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That’s more or less accurate Lloyd. If the first clutch fails to hatch, the second clutch is smaller.

If the first clutch hatches, but the chicks fail, then there is no second clutch, and young of the year birds in the fall will be sparse.

it was an easy winter here, no cold weather, limited ice, so, without having made a scouting trip, I would expect gross numbers to be good throughout northern lower Michigan this season.

Actually, throughout the region.

We literally had our first heavy rain in a month or more yesterday. It will be bugzilla up north until mid July.

This will be the kind of summer, where if you roll down the window of your car, and then slam the door,

You can literally hear the swarms of mosquitoes mustering, which sounds like a chainsaw starting off in the distance.

At which time you close the window, or risk being exsanguinated.


Out there doing it best I can.
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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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No bugs to speak of here yet, but I'll bet you're right. There will be plenty shortly. Last year was very bad here, the worst Spring I've ever experienced here for bugs. One wonders if that had anything to do with last Fall's bounty of birds?

Last edited by Lloyd3; 05/21/24 10:30 AM.
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Spoke with a "local expert" yesterday and he tells me that the critical dates for better weather here (for nesting sucess) is early June. He also told me that the local drumming counts are confirming, at least anecdotally, that this Fall will be a productive one.

Feeling inspired, I then went for a little stroll to get some "before & after" photography (Fall & Spring). One trail (a new one to me, but one that I had noticed last year) was quite productive. I flushed a grouse early on the trail and then almost ran over a woodcock when I got back and was driving out. Stopped the truck and tried to get some photography but he was elusive. After getting back into the cab of the truck I felt a movement on my wrist and discovered a deer tick.

Last edited by Lloyd3; 05/22/24 09:46 AM.
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Lloyd,
This year the mosquitoes have been off the hook, locally, and the ticks seemed to start in March. Oddly, most of the ticks this year have been bat ticks, that don’t bite humans, but, there were a few dog ticks, as well. I have found hitting myself with the 100% Deet on the exposed skin and the clothing with the permethrin spray has done a good job of keeping me from getting bit.
We’ve had a ton of rain down here. Everything is green, but, we know the mosquitoes are going to get worse.

Good luck up there.

Best,
Ted

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Weekend after Labor Day, up where I haunt. Didn't see nor hear a single grouse sign when I was up to open the shack for the summer season, this past weekend. Which isn't odd; only normally start tripping over them in June, I think. July and August, normally holding one-sided conversations with 'em.

Blackflies, midges, and gnats, though.... All I could eat. 'Cept they had it the other way 'round. I've acquired a hundred new freckles. Need to buy a 32-gauge and a 20-foot container of dust-shot shells. Black Sky Insecticide.

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Labor Day?


_________
BrentD, (Professor - just for Stan)

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It's a Socialist tradition. Nobody works the first Monday in September, here. It's as boorish as wearing white trousers in autumn in Rhode Island.

Grouse season, at least where I can comfortably swing a shotgun, this year, is September 7, 2024 to January 15, 2025. The water pipes freeze around mid-October, so I've only got a couple of weekends to attempt to pester them before I have to close the camp and haul myself back to civilization. No going there afterwards unless I'm feeling unnaturally masochistic.

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