Anyone out there doing any Woodcock hunting?
I hunted ruffed grouse in the Ohio snow many times, too many actually...as snow conditions re dog paws was about all there was to limit days at them, which is so unlike days afield to the North or in the mountains.
However, there is little to stir the blood like grouse tracks leading both the imagination and our own footsteps.
I also still recall woodcock tracks in a January snow tight along a creek and wondered what the proud, soft-flying bogsucker made of finding snow and cold invertebrates along his yearly path south or, in this case, North.
Your migrations dates are as most of us have known.
GBE would mark finding woodcock in Canaan around the first week of November but would also be notified by locals.."the birds are in, George" or some such, when his expectations amounted to little but hopeful guesses.
Were I to guess, I would guess that a triple handful of reasons affect the migration timing, the dribble or the flow of the birds down several flight paths.
With conditions for northern locals, like this year, speeding their departure date but not necessarily influencing arrival times...one just does not know.
Meaningful snow is forecast Up Nort in a day or so and that will release some birds while halting others.
I suspect ground conditions from timber cuts to age class realities to development, weather and a peck more have and will continue to alter our once counted upon and assumed traditional ..."let's go".
The birds simply must adjust to change and so must we.....as well as accepting what we find...adjust and accept are not always saddle pards.
The little trundler is one of the more difficult birds to study.....fingers crossed for it tho the Government is, oddly enough, seemingly doing well as regards the bird, seasons, etc.
WE, on the other hand, appear to place too slight a value on either the bird's needs or the importance of what the bird needs....beyond the bird itself.