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brittman

Prairie Chickens

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Pretty morning to be on the old Lake Agazzi beach line. That is MN prairie chicken country.

The birds were moving all over this morning. We saw 4 different flocks flying between fields and grassland or sitting high in the trees. A nice flock settled out about 1/3+ mile into a WMA. Parked the truck and began to set out a plan to work towards them.

As I was uncasing my gun and getting the dog ready, I notice four birds flying over my left shoulder (70 yards S) across the prairie and over a small aspen woodlot and into some short grass prairie. Gliding low to the ground, they may just have gone down close by??

Worked to the area I suspect them to be. Brittany wanted to head into cattails (2 days of pheasants) but we worked into the short grass - straight into the wind.

She locked up. First bird flushed about 25 yards out. Boom one down. Three other prairie chickens flushed about 20 yards to my left. Boom 2nd one down. Both are adult male prairie chickens.

It took several years to get a license and 15 minutes to take two adult male birds. I needed a little luck this hunting season

Only negative was ELS would not allow me to register my birds. Tried three places ... I will follow with DNR on Monday.

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Nice work!!!!

Congrats on your successful hunt. At the ELS station we went to last year, the lady behind the counter asked me to take the birds back out to the truck, she didn't want to see them.........when I told her that is the whole point of taking them in to register, she just said she didn't care and would take our word for it. I noted it on my Prairie Chicken survey I recived after our hunt. I'm sure the DNR loved to hear that.

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I have registered deer, turkey, and tried to register PCs - no one have ever requested to see the any animal. They just ask what did you shoot and complete the form.

I have brought my turkeys into the bait shop anyway to weigh them.

The issue with PC, was none of the stores/shops could even enter into ELS that I shot two... I went to GM in the cities and they tried too. They did give me a DNR phone number to call today.

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Hey Brittman, my brother drew a prairie chicken permit and hunted them hard. He saw lots but they all flushed 100-150 yards in front of him. He also was told by others that flushing to far out is very common but it sounds like you had a very different experience. Is it possible that some flush to far away but there are others holding tight that he walked by (he doesn't have a dog). I was thinking of applying for next year. I have an eexcellent pointing lab that is the best pheasant dog I've ever seen, but my brother thinks that a dog would only make things worse. Any thoughts?

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Take the dog without a dought! If your an avid pheasant hunter, just hunt the chickens the opposite you would the ditch parrot and you'll be fine. I couldn't imagine getting a chicken without a dog, unless your pass shooting.

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Little luck goes along ways. My younger Britt pointed three flocks of sharptails this weekend. I had a shot at two birds - killed on. The rest flushed out of range.

One point was unbelievable. She locked up into a stiff wind. I walked right up to her. Grass was thin so I knew grouse. The sharptails flushed in front of the two of us by 40 yards.

Prairie Chickens would hold much better in September. All prairie grouse get wild in Oct, but the DNR considers the PC season a trophy bird season and the later October start ensures better plummage on all birds shot.

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I haven't been at this site for a while so I'm catching up on stuff. I'm a native of SD and have taken more than my share of SD Chickens and Sharptails. One thing you need to do on Chickens is hunt them more like ducks. If you are hunting with dogs or people don't talk too much or blow your whistle/call your dog very much. It can almost be like puddle jumping ducks. Hope this helps.

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Agree. That is why my older britt was in the field that morning. There are times ruffed grouse or pheasant hunting when I do not say a word to her in 30 - 60 minutes of hunting. We know each other and just keep hunt'n.

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brittman,

Gotta love when the huntin' partner is that in tuned with you. I had the same thing with a female that I had. Talk about a peaceful and satisfying hunt! About the only time I would say anything was to change directions or take a break.

Fun stuff!!!

Now I'm starting over with a two year old male. He's just starting to get there.

TRITC

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