Been hunting the SHNF since I was a teen. I'm now in my 50's. Seen a covey exactly once. I was walking through a clear cut in the eastern section near Cleveland scouting for deer sign. They flushed out of the grass at my feet and dang near gave me a heart attack. That was about 10 years ago. Haven't seen any since.
Age and knowledge don't always come together. Sometimes you just get the age.