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tybo

First Time Sharpies

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A friend and I are going to the far NW corner of MN to hunt sharptails. It may not be the best time of year for it but we have the long weekend so we decided to go for it. Any advice for a couple of guys on their first sharptail hunt? We'll have two pretty solid pointing dogs with us and lots of ammunition.

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i have never hunted them in MN but have shot loads of them on my uncles farm west of mobridge SD. very fun to shot. they can hide in very little cover,great camo on them birds but they are kinda dumb. most of the time when you wound a pheasent there feet are spinning before they hit the ground but the sharpies just sit there most of the time waiting for thier necks to be rung. we would get them along the fences,draws,thickets on the side hills. most cases they are not alone.if one or a few flush keep pushing there might be more holding. watch were they go because you can usally track em down and kick em up again. i wish they tasted like the ruffs but they are a darker meat that isnt that great but edible.

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When we go out to North Dakota for pheasants, we she plenty of them. They do tend to hold in lighter cover and can be wary. Best to get them in thicker cover so you have a chance to walk up on them.

We don't shot them anymore just because we would rather eat pheasant than grouse.

Good Luck!

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I really like the dark meat. Anyone wants to bring some home, I'll be happy to take them off your hands. grin.gif

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We hunt near williston, N.D. Tons of sharpies there. Been a big increase out there the last few years.They tend to like the open areas more , along fences and fields with grain on ground. Can be many in a covey. Easier to get near them when there is more cover. Got to be quick with I.D. because you usually see them near pheasants and they look like hens. Their good eating in crock pot. Most locals dont shoot them, said they taste like shoe leather.

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Thanks guys... We didn't get any sharptails but we did chase them around for a few hours. They were pretty flighty. The closest we got was 40 yards. We did manage to get into some ruffed grouse though. We got 3 ruffs and we also lucked out and found a solo hun that my buddy shot. We could have had quite a few more grouse if we shot better but that's always the case with them. I wish we could have got s sharpie. That would have been a nice mixed bag all taken from within a mile or so of each other. Neither of us had ever shot a hun before so all in all is was a pretty good weekend.

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tybo, whereabouts did you hunt in NW MN. I'm from up there, and have had a great season on Huns and sharpies.

E-mail me if you're looking for advice on hunting 'em up there! mjbreuer at charter (Contact Us Please) net.

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Matt,

Sure, thanks for the help. It was fun and we'd definitely be interested in another trip but since sharpie season closes soon we'll have to plan for next year.

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Sharptails are easier in September. Unfortunately for the dogs, the warmer the weather the better they hold. Many southern dog trainers still go to SD or Canada to train dogs in August.

By mid October both grouse and chickens begin bunching up. They will actually fly out to their feeding fields rather than walk. You can scout them in the morning and evening and actually pass shoot them. Shot more sharptails in October in the duck decoys than walking for them.

Long shots are common in late fall, since the birds tend to hang in ligher cover, they do not hold as long.

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Brittman, I find it to be the opposite as far as cover goes, thinner cover early and thicker stuff late. They basically live under the snow after it starts flying. I've kicked them out of 4" grass cover around opener.

It's true that they're easiest to hunt in Sept., but the shooting is usually fast and furious in late Oct. and Nov. when the birds are clumped up and a lot of coveys are holding in the same area. You can go 2 miles without seeing a bird, then suddenly you will stumble upon the motherload and have 10 minutes of pure bliss.

Brittman, you live in Sharptail country? Your story about sharpies from the duck blind sounds exactly like someone I know from LOTW....

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