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  1. #11
    Eagle
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    508
    We could fly drones at Angels .05 to find openings that wouldn't be apparent from walking the ground, and those could move us closer to uncovering the decision process. Armed drones would likely be next. No LC's, though, too much to lift.

    I understand woodcock cover is done by the 30 year point and most of the covers I hunted as a kid are now tall timber. One of them off of Slippery Rock creek abuts a clearing where the business currently operating has cut into the wood a few times over the years, and where a former access road has grown to dense 7' stems. I used to see birds at the top of the rise above this place, but that thicket yielded the only find this year.

    Good news, they're logging the rise.
    Bore, n. ; everybody else's synonym for "shotgun enthusiast."

  2. #12
    Not sure when woodcock cover is ever done....found autumn woodcock in trees the size of oil cans to small buckets rather than in nearby buggy whips.
    Sometimes flat but often soft hillsides are popular, to my eye....I lost a pair of glasses once on a hillside Ohio wc cover. (Knotsmith eyeglass keeper solved that issue)
    Fairly open understory often seems a good bet....if sidling and a piney component, even better....or not.

    The point, for me, is to never really know...never discover.
    I suppose that once I wondered....now, I just wonder.
    Cimino Hardware...a clear choice.

  3. #13
    Eagle
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Andover, MA
    Posts
    362
    Hmmm... The wandering wonderer.... or maybe the wondering wanderer...?

    I wonder if woodcock will survive when all of the classic woodcock covers we have known have grown up to maturity... Then to whither doth the woodcock wander?

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by dam16sxs View Post
    Hmmm... The wandering wonderer.... or maybe the wondering wanderer...?

    I wonder if woodcock will survive when all of the classic woodcock covers we have known have grown up to maturity... Then to whither doth the woodcock wander?


    I tend to believe the woodcock's lot is a bit better than believed just a few years ago but it is swell that some 'cock cover will always be created in the course of wood outfits doing business....they(the woodcock) do have that going for them.
    It is a true shame tho that those oufits do not do equivalent business the length of the flyways...for woodcock and all else.

    I seem to recall some concern post-Katrina on pollution served up in coastal wintering areas.
    I do not know how true that concern was or still is and have not heard mention lately.
    Perhaps, the message board fella in Canada who is keeping track of woodcock deformities might know.
    Or, the Wizards.
    Cimino Hardware...a clear choice.

  5. #15
    Eagle
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    86
    I've been training dogs on woodcock in the lower midwest since the first of February. They came back early and don't want to leave. Last fall they were late arriving and stayed well into December. They're better at predicting winter weather than the NOAA.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by kgb View Post

    I understand woodcock cover is done by the 30 year point and most of the covers I hunted as a kid are now tall timber.
    Northern Michigan University did a pretty intensive study on woodcock in the UP for a number of years. If you hunted their study area, you were almost guaranteed to either encounter one of the student researchers working in the program, or you'd find an envelope under your windshield wiper asking for some information along with a wing from each bird you shot.

    The result of that study: Aspen older than 10 years starts losing its attraction to woodcock. And particularly in the Upper Midwest, clearcutting aspen on a rotating basis is the best way to make sure there's plenty of good woodcock habitat.

    The late woodcock biologist Greg Sepik, working out of Moosehorn NWR in Maine, discovered that although woodcock tend to use the best habitat available, that does not mean it's the best POSSIBLE habitat. He created better habitat through cutting, clearing, etc. But the fortunate part is that the timber industry does a pretty good job of creating good woodcock habitat (albeit not necessarily the best) more or less by accident.

  7. #17
    Eagle
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    86
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Brown View Post
    ... although woodcock tend to use the best habitat available, that does not mean it's the best POSSIBLE habitat.
    That's a good point. Here in the lower midwest, classic woodcock cover is scarce. We commonly find them in quail cover such as hedge rows, multi-floral rose thickets, and native grasses and broadleaf adjacent to waterways. Back in the day before September harvest, farmers would tell me about woodcock they flushed while shelling corn. On two occasions this spring, we've found a solitary woodcock in switchgrass in the middle of the day. One of those finds was a late riser after a quail covey flush. If the quail were safe in the switch grass, so was the woodcock.

    They give us the impression of frailty, but they're not. They're adaptable and they're survivors.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Hire View Post
    ....They give us the impression of frailty, but they're not. They're adaptable and they're survivors.
    Woodcock are often misunderstood...a-wing and a-plate.
    Cimino Hardware...a clear choice.

  9. #19
    Eagle
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    NE MN
    Posts
    323
    was pheasant hunting some years ago down near Austin, MN. Working an old railroad grade. It was a warm early November day. Imagine my surprise when we flushed a doodle. I was so surprised I didn't even think to try a shot
    "God and Soldier we adore, In time of danger, not before.
    The danger passed and all things righted, God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted."
    Rudyard Kipling

    You rush a miracle man, you get lousy miracles.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Hire View Post
    That's a good point. Here in the lower midwest, classic woodcock cover is scarce. We commonly find them in quail cover such as hedge rows, multi-floral rose thickets, and native grasses and broadleaf adjacent to waterways. Back in the day before September harvest, farmers would tell me about woodcock they flushed while shelling corn. On two occasions this spring, we've found a solitary woodcock in switchgrass in the middle of the day. One of those finds was a late riser after a quail covey flush. If the quail were safe in the switch grass, so was the woodcock.

    They give us the impression of frailty, but they're not. They're adaptable and they're survivors.
    I killed one out of CRP grass last November. Fairly late migrant . . . but then we had a very mild fall.

    South of the heavily timbered parts of the Upper Midwest, there are some advantages to the woodcock coverts you find. They're nearly always slower growing species than aspen, which means they don't "age out" as quickly as aspen does. I still shoot woodcock in some of the same places in Iowa where I first shot them, 45 years ago.

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