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Unread 04-06-2020, 09:31 PM   #11
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Gerald McPherson
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Two old men sitting in church when a young lady in a short dress came in and sat down on the first bench and crossed her legs. One said Say is that Fanny Green? The other said No I think it's just the way the light is shining on It.
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Unread 04-06-2020, 09:53 PM   #12
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Gerald, I live in Maggie Valley, NC probably less than 75 miles north of you. I started hunting grouse in 1986 with a fellow who lived near Atlanta. He reported that there was a huntable population in prior years in Towns, Union and other surrounding counties, but the numbers had diminished. We hunted in areas just north of there and found lots of birds, we had good dogs and all was well. In about 1997 we could tell there was not nearly as many birds. Of course the cut over forests had matured with no new cutting to replace our habitat. That was what we blamed the decline on, and I’m sure it was a big part. Who knows how much effect varmits, turkeys, or the West Nile Virus had to do with the decline.
The grouse in our part of the world are bigger, by several ounces, than the birds we shot in the UP. We also have the brown phase which may be as red as a Rhode Island Red chicken, but not usually.
Hope this isn’t more info than you wanted.
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Unread 04-06-2020, 10:06 PM   #13
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Thanks Mike. I know what a Rhode Island Red is and I would say that was about the color of the one I saw. I live a little west of Ball Ground and the terrain is rough around here. There has been a lot of timber cut around here since we moved here. The first one I saw was about 5 years ago while turkey hunting he was on a log near me drumming. I had been hearing that sound for years bur never thought much about it. Now I hear it about every morning. I sure wish I was able to hunt them. I would like to eat one. I seem to see them along back roads mostly. Gerald.
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Unread 04-07-2020, 07:19 AM   #14
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Appalachian grouse do come in some color phases. You will not see the gray phase of the Great Lakes region, but there are what we have always called "cinnamon phase" birds. They have a rich, red chocolate hue to their ruff and tail feathers. These have always been my favorite, I consider them the most beautiful(always been partial to red heads.
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Unread 04-07-2020, 07:28 AM   #15
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Here is a cinnamon phase bird that I had mounted versus a regular brown phase bird of the Appalachians
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Unread 04-07-2020, 07:43 AM   #16
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In my 60 years of hunting the NEK I have killed a grand total of 1 cinnamon and a handful of browns but mostly gray phase and never a red phase.





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Unread 04-07-2020, 08:32 AM   #17
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Does the same bird change color in phases?
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Unread 04-07-2020, 08:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald McPherson View Post
Does the same bird change color in phases?
No. They remain the same color for life that their genetics dictate.





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Unread 04-07-2020, 08:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald McPherson View Post
Does the same bird change color in phases?
No. They remain the same color for life that their genetics dictate.

The anomaly is that some birds like the ptarmigan do change with the deason depending on the level of daylight.




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Unread 04-07-2020, 10:42 AM   #20
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There is an article in POINTING DOG JOURNAL, entitled “A Tale of Tails”, by Ron McGinty, Sept./August 2017, about the variety of Ruffed Grouse coloration phases. Although a multiplicity has been identified, depending on the region, most birds fall into one of four basic categories.

Close examination of the tails is the key, and the author encourages us to “….look more closely at these birds, once in hand, and doing so, gain even more of an appreciation for the King of Gamebirds”.

I like this point of his and am instructed by it, as all too quickly when I have been fortunate enough to actually down one of these birds, my inclination (once I confirm that the bird is no longer suffering) is to bag it and get on with the hunt.

This adjuration echoes Lawrence R. Koller, in his Deer hunting classic SHOTS AT WHITETAILS, when on page 63 he urges readers to make a hobby of studying Deer in intimate detail to gain a full appreciation of the sport.

Attached is an inset from the POINTING DOG JOURNAL article.

Does the "cinnamon" variant being discussed here sound like # 2 on the list, the “Intermediate or (intermediate-gray)” phase, or is it it's own rarefication existing on the outer reaches of another one of the four categories?
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