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Parker

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Parker last won the day on October 12 2016

Parker had the most liked content!

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About Parker

  • Rank
    NJGF Cornerstone
  • Birthday 08/20/1955

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Somewhere in New Jersey
  • Interests
    Hunting, fishing, all types of target shooting (I.E. high power, skeet and trap, sporting clays, NRA Bullseye) reloading, shooting fine doubles (and wishing for more,) upland bird hunting.
  • Home Range
    Thunder Mountain

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  1. Parker

    Shotgun forend

    They came in a couple styles; ringed/ribbed (also called "corncob") which were the shorter style and beavertail which had the cutout for the ejection port. Beavertail's were plain & uncheckered, often with a finger groove or later years with the impressed 'checkering.' The Ithaca 37 dollar grade's had wood and metal engraving that made them stunning works of art.
  2. I stopped deer hunting in NJ before the multiple tags system went into place. License fees are absurd by other state standards. And I can hunt elsewhere as a non-resident cheaper than I can as a resident in my own state. Game management here has evolved into "game replishment" when it comes to pheasant or quail. (Ditto for our hatchery producing trout and other species.) If the state didn't stock them, pickings would be slim to none. Native birds are gone, habitat is gone, farming habits have changed, deer and turkey sate hunter's appetites and keep them placated.
  3. Well, we could go back in time and make an argument against this statement. I agree that land is at a premium now and farmer's learned they could make some good coin leasing property to hunters. The Southern zones are infamous for their clubs. Land is at a premium these days. But back in the sixtie's & seventies I remember there was only a 6-day shotgun season, with 1 day for permit doe the following Wednesday, and the state was BUCKSHOT-only for deer/bear. Bow season had limited days and limits. Times have changed since 1976. Today we have copious seasons for deer, with all the permits you want to buy for deer, a fall and winter bow season, early and late rifled muzzleloader seasons, as well as centerfire rifle hunting limited to certain caliber & bullet weight for varmint on state land. (Plus centerfire varmint hunting on private land.) I'll give this state credit that they've evolved with the times and kept pace with other states.
  4. It's an accurate rifle out-of-the-box for the money. I would recommend replacing the MIM cocking piece. It's a known problem on the RPR. Anarchy Outdoors has a nice billet replacement.
  5. Still have my ‘88 Specialized Rockhopper Comp. I had it out more than a few times this summer. Sturdy bike after all these years.
  6. #7 1/2 or 8’s for TRAP. 8’s are fine from the 16 yd line, go with 7 1/2’s and 1 1/8 oz loads when back at the 27 yd. marker #8, 8 1/2 or 9’s for SKEET. Payload makes the difference . Sporting Clay courses offer a myriad of presentations and different distances.
  7. You'll find your answer on page 34 in the Hunting & Trapping Digest: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/2019/dighnt19.pdf
  8. Sad to see this happen in New Jersey. But with no habitat, and no interest, it was sure to occur eventually. https://www.njfishandwildlife.com/news/2019/grouse_closed.htm?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery Grouse Season Closure Announced July 18, 2019 At their regular meeting on July 17, the Fish and Game Council unanimously voted to close the ruffed grouse hunting season statewide. Recognizing that grouse populations in the state were declining, the season length and daily bag limit were reduced, and the state was divided into two zones, in 2005, with the southern zone having a shorter season than the northern zone. The closure takes effect immediately. Ruffed grouse populations in the state have declined due to lack of suitable habitat (young-aged forests) which they require. Such forests now comprise less than 1% of the state's forests. Anecdotal reports of hunters seeing grouse have dwindled as forests continue to age due to lack of forest management. Although hunting is not the cause of the decline, and in fact, the number of grouse hunters has a parallel declining trend, the Division and the Fish and Game Council feels that current grouse population levels cannot support a hunt at this time.
  9. Good read. The ST article cites one of my favorite cartridges as an example, the 6MM Rem. But I procured my Rem. 700 1981 version with the 1:9 twist (really 1:9.25.) It can stabilize hunting bullets up to 105 grains, and target/varmint bullets down to 70 grs., the lightest I've tried. I learned early on back in the 80's that the old style Hornady 70 gr. HP when handloaded would disintegrate on me when pushed past 3,600fps. And like every individual rifle and its respective barrel, it has its favorites and not so favorites when it comes to bullet weights and bullet style. Another good read on bullet twist: http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/tag/twist-rate/ Be sure to download the Excel spread sheet from Don Miller (referenced in the above article) for calculating twist rate for a given bullet.
  10. There is still a very limited population of grouse in certain, select northern/western pockets of this state. There was a time they were prolific, even in their cyclical phases. Huntable numbers could be found in Passaic County but they peaked in the 90's, and now have all but disappeared in these areas. When the State discontinued their "Upland Game Bird Hunter Log" in 2008, that was the first clue there was a decline in upland hunting in NJ as well as a lack of interest.
  11. You're lucky to have experienced that. Grouse have all but disappeared here in NJ except for a few secluded areas. BTW - Nice looking pup!
  12. Good article on grouse hunting, a game bird that is slowly disappearing from New Jersey forests. http://themeateater.com/hunt/grouse/the-demise-of-ruffed-grouse-hunting The Demise of Ruffed Grouse Hunting Brody Henderson Mar 6, 2019 The image of a hunter swinging an old side-by-side shotgun towards a ruffed grouse flushing over a bird dog is synonymous with American hunting history. Ruffed grouse were once a very popular, plentiful upland game bird throughout much of the country. Not too long ago, in a lot of places, you were more likely to hear a male grouse drumming than a wild turkey gobbling during the spring breeding season. These days, it’s a different story for both grouse and grouse hunters. Like many hunters of the time, my father was a dyed-in-the-wool ruffed grouse hunter during the 1960s and ’70s. He hunted Pennsylvania’s most popular game bird over an English Setter named Duster. By the time I was old enough to hunt, Duster had passed away and my father had largely given up on grouse hunting. I shot my first ruffed grouse in a small suburban woodlot in northwestern Pennsylvania while I was out kicking brush piles for cottontails. Although it wasn’t uncommon to flush a grouse or two on mixed bag small game hunts, I had yet to get my hands on one. I ground-sluiced the bird as it bobbed and weaved through a tangle of wild grape vines. At 14 years old, the thought of waiting to shoot until the bird to took flight never crossed my mind. These days, it’s a rarity to even see a ruffed grouse in the area where I grew up. For a variety of reasons, there’s a lot less of these birds around today than there used to be. In fact, ruffed grouse numbers have plummeted across much of their native range east of the Mississippi—and so have the number of grouse hunters. Ruffed Grouse Range and Habitat Ruffed grouse are widely distributed throughout most of the continental United States. They live as far south as Georgia and as far north and west as Alaska. However, their populations and range have declined greatly in the Northeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states, especially in the areas west of the Appalachian Mountains and south of the Great Lakes. Throughout their range, ruffed grouse prefer mixed stands of young aspens, birch, conifers and thick brush. Overgrown fringes along swampy wetlands and beaver ponds are particularly attractive. As long as appropriate habitat exists, ruffed grouse can be found anywhere from abandoned farms to wilderness forests. According to the Ruffed Grouse Society, “They thrive best where forests are kept young and vigorous by occasional logging, wind storms, or fire and gradually diminish in numbers as forests mature and their critical food and cover resources deteriorate in the shade of a climax forest.” This type of habitat is rapidly disappearing throughout the eastern half of the country. Small family farms that once harbored good grouse habitat are either being converted to large commercial farms that use every last square inch of available space for agricultural production, or into subdivisions, which require clearing woodlots and draining wetlands. Commercial logging on state and federal lands, which results in forest thinning and new growth, has fallen out of favor in many areas where grouse once thrived. Additionally, modern fire management practices protect overly mature forests from periodic natural burning, which would normally create productive young forest habitat. In Indiana, the situation is so dire that they were declared a state endangered species. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources estimates ruffed grouse populations are just 1 percent of what they were 40 years ago. The Indiana DNR website states: “By 1983 [ruffed grouse] range included 41 counties, the widest distribution since 1856. After peaking in the 1980s … ruffed grouse appear to be extirpated from 15 counties and this trend is likely to exceed 25 counties within a few years. The plight of ruffed grouse reflects the declining early successional habitat base that is negatively impacting a wide array of wildlife species.” As a result, all ruffed grouse hunting has been suspended in Indiana. Habitat problems plague many of our fish and game species. Ruffed grouse are no different, but when poor habitat and disease collide, the situation becomes even more alarming. West Nile Virus A second, more recent complication has been implicated in dwindling ruffed grouse populations. West Nile Virus has been found to sicken or kill over 300 species of birds in the United States. Discovered here in 1999, the disease is transmitted when birds are bitten by infected mosquitoes. West Nile Virus has been detected in every state in the Lower 48. Ruffed grouse have been particularly susceptible to the effects of the disease. In Pennsylvania, where the ruffed grouse is the state bird, population numbers have been on a slow decline for decades, but a more precipitous drop has corresponded with the spread of West Nile Virus. Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist Lisa Williams doesn’t believe that’s a coincidence. “By 2000, it had spread to southern New England states, and in 2002, every county in Pennsylvania had it,” Williams told the AP. “West Nile Virus is primarily a bird disease, so I suspected it might be impacting our grouse.” Laboratory test results supported her theory when ruffed grouse chicks exposed to West Nile Virus suffered a 90 percent mortality rate. Furthermore, the impact of disease on Pennsylvania’s only wild grouse species is likely linked to habitat. “We originally thought ideal brood habitat, prior to 2015, was low-lying moist bottomlands with abundant ground cover,” Williams continued. “Now, we’re not so sure.” The species of mosquito most likely to transmit West Nile Virus to ruffed grouse prefers low elevations. Based on these findings, the state is now focused on improving habitat at higher elevations where grouse chicks are less likely to be exposed to mosquitoes with the disease. The hope is that better habitat and nesting cover will help Pennsylvania’s grouse population bounce back. Still, a state that was once a popular destination for grouse hunters from all over the country has been forced to take drastic measures. Wildlife managers determined it was necessary to eliminate Pennsylvania’s 2018-2019 late grouse season, which normally opens after Christmas. The decision was made in order to give more grouse a chance to survive through the winter and into the spring breeding season. Other states have also recently shortened or closed ruffed grouse hunting seasons. Wisconsin’s grouse season normally runs from Sept. 15 until Jan. 31. Last year, the season was changed to close on Nov. 30. According to a Wisconsin DNR hunter survey, “The harvest of ruffed grouse declined over 30 percent from 262,943 in 2016 to 185,336 in 2017 despite a 7 percent increase in hunter days afield. This is the lowest estimated harvest in the 34-year history of the DNR small game hunter survey.” All of this is enough to make some grouse hunters call it quits and, in some places, that is exactly what seems to be happening. A Pennsylvania hunter with a hard-won ruffed grouse. Hunter Participation Small game hunting participation has fallen dramatically in the past couple decades. That trend, combined with severely diminished grouse numbers, means hunting ruffed grouse just isn’t as popular as it once was. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries estimated only 3.5 percent of licensed hunters would pursue grouse in 2018. In Minnesota, a state with a much stronger grouse hunting culture than Virginia, “License sales were down 5 to 8 percent in advance of the 2018 ruffed grouse opener,” according to Tony Kennedy of the Star Tribune. As with the general trend of declining numbers of small game hunters throughout the country, ruffed grouse hunters are a dying breed. They’re aging out of the sport and they’re not being replaced with new hunters with any interest in or connection to ruffed grouse. Once a nationwide passion, our love for ruffed grouse hunting is being forgotten. Meanwhile, wild turkey and whitetail deer hunting continue to grow more popular than ever. The popularity of these species translates into millions of advocates that support active management and healthy populations of their favorite game animals. It’s impossible to imagine those hunters standing idly by if deer or turkey numbers were bottoming out. Such a situation would be viewed as a catastrophe among the entire hunting community. Ruffed grouse, on the other hand, aren’t winning any popularity contests among hunters, and their plight seems to be going largely unnoticed. Bright Spots Fortunately, the news isn’t all bad. There are still places you can find productive hunting spots where large swaths of grouse country remain undeveloped. If there is active logging going on that ensures a constantly rotating supply of young forest tracts, all the better. In these places, hunters are still subject to the vagaries of the ruffed grouse’s natural 10-year boom-bust population cycle and the growing impacts of West Nile Virus, but good habitat ensures there will always be at least a few birds around. Hunters can still find good hunting in the undeveloped forests of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In Maine and New Hampshire, where local hunters refer to ruffed grouse as partridge, hunting opportunities are excellent. In Maine alone, as many as half a million grouse are harvested annually. Don’t forget about western ruffed grouse, either. A couple years ago on a backcountry spring bear hunt in northwestern Montana, the MeatEater crew encountered an astounding number of ruffed grouse. Throughout the week, the constant sound of male grouse drumming reminded us of lawnmowers being started up in the distance. Idaho also has some great ruffed grouse habitat and hunting. In these states, if you find aspen groves and berry patches surrounded by evergreen cover, you’ll likely find ruffed grouse. Whether or not you hunt ruffed grouse, you may be interested in helping out this iconic bird. Consider joining the Ruffed Grouse Society and volunteering at your fish and game agency for habitat improvement projects, flush counts and spring drumming surveys. The plight of the ruffed grouse should concern all hunters. Nice video from RGS:
  13. A friend and I have signed up for this August event. Looking forward to it.
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