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ATV success vs. walking success


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With all the talk of road hunting, I have a legitimate question: what do you think is the success rate of guys who hunt grouse from an ATV or car, versus guys who walk trails?

As someone who has done both to an extent, I can honestly say I've had better success walking trails than riding them. In fact, last fall my dad and I drove up to an old favorite just as two guys on ATVs were leaving. We were about to leave since they'd already been on it, but decided to shoot the bull and see how they did. I rolled down the window and asked how the hunting was, and they both looked at each other and then patted their empty vests. Didn't see a single bird and they drove the entire trail.

Since it was getting late and since we love hunting this trail, we decided to give it a try anyway. The ATVers gave a friendly wave and left, so dad and I started up.

Just as soon as we rounded the first bend in the trail on 50 feet from the entrance, one flushes off to the right and my dad made a sweet shot on it. We walked quite a ways and wound up flushing 12 birds.

So either those guys were lying, or we got extremely lucky. In either case, it made me wonder just how many birds ATV riders drive right past without even seeing.

From my view, ATV hunting must not be as successful as walking. But that's just one instance. Also, there seems to be more and more road hunters and ATV hunters every year, which makes me think it must be a pretty good way to hunt (though I can't figure out why).

What are your thoughts? For the record, I'm not for one way of hunting over another. I walk trails because that's what I like, but I don't look down on anyone who drives roads or trails.

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It's just my opinion, but I think a lot of people have given up walking cause it's just too much work - for them. I was astonished to see how many people were road hunting during the 2009 Firearms Deer Season. It was very nearly a pick-up truck parade.

I really enjoy walking woods and trails for upland game, fields for pheasants, sharpies, and huns, and both for deer. For me, it's the time I spend in the quiet woods listening to the natural world, smelling the sweet decay of forest greenery, and watching intently for game, that makes the hunt so special. It's therapuetic.

It's just my opinion, but I think ATV's should be used only on one's own private property, or with the strict permission of a land-owner to retrieve game, or do work. I don't think they should be allowed for hunting purposes. I've had too many very remote hunts spoiled by groups of ATV's who've shown little, or no regard for other hunters.

I'm not surprised by your story above. I think birds and deer become accustomed to the sound of vehicles, and learn to hunker down till the coast is clear. Ever watch a grouse from the window of your vehicle? If they've got any sense at all they scurry for cover, or just sit down where they're at until you're gone.

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Tyler..i just posted this on the other thread...but i agree with you...I will walk any trail or area right after an ATV and flush birds. I have the assistance of a fairly decent setter to point them out for me so that helps a little. Or a lot! Those guys can cover a ton of ground and will kill birds ....but they don't ruin the hunting for us walkers if you ask me...They are in an out of area so fast they barely scratch the surface of it. Leaving it basicly unhunted! That's just my opinion and i know a lot of guys really dislike the ATV's . But they don't bother me! I don't know if i kill more birds than those guys...but I know i get more shootin in! Have a great season!

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I've had same luck either way...maybe a few more by ATV. Cover more ground. Only works when the grouse aren't skiddish. Walking is more relaxing though.

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I think the grouse are somewhat "hypnotized " by the sound of a motor. It's been my experience that when I'm walking, the grouse will flush but if I'm driving and see a grouse, the dang thing will sit their like a fool, waiting to get shot. As far as the road hunting issue goes, I don't like it. Doesn't seem like fair chase to me but I guess it's legal so I just go where the road hunters can't.

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