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mille lacs muskie bum

grouse and snow

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mille lacs muskie bum

What should I do differently when hunting grouse in this deep snow w/out a dog?

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minniwinni91

get off the couch and walk around. grin.gif

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setterguy

The birds do start to act a little different, staying in the trees more. Not moving as much, look for low areas, swamp edges. The yellow swamp grass on an edge seemed to be the ticket last week before the snow.

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ole

Try the edges of the clear-cut or around swamps with cedar or pine, the birds we shot were full of buds. You have to move SLOWLY and pause plenty of times to spook them. We were up near Bigfork and I was suprised they weren't under the trees confused.gif. 9-10 in snow. Good Luck,ole

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Matt Breuer

Walk slow, watch for tracks in fresh snow, look to the trees and bushes, and work the above mentioned areas. Thicker hazelnut stands are also fantastic this time of year. I've caught birds hanging in these areas every year and never ever seen another hunter...

Good luck!

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uplander

You could do what I do ....and go chase some pheasants instead....I do like Matts take on decreasing his personal bag limit to 2 birds.....remember the birds left now will be the breeders next spring...If you do go the above methods all sound good to me....Swamp edges are my favorite late season spots...expect birds to be in bunches, if there is one there is usually more close by......good luck ..uplander

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Bobby Bass

I like this time of the year for grouse hunting. A lot of times I will leave the dogs home and go it alone. Swamps are a god place to start. I like looking for fresh tracks on new snow and just follow the tracks. You will be surprised how many birds you will find standing in them. Fresh snow of course is the best and this 10 inches we got is not the best for that tactic. You want just enough so they will walk on it. When this 10 inches gets a crust and then new snow on top of that it will be good conditions. For now it is let the dogs do there thing. Best part of Dec is just about no one left in the woods.

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Matt Breuer

uplander, I don't decrease my bag limits to two, but I saw that in another post and agree it's a good tactic. If I did decrease my limit to two then I'm done for the day.... wink.gif I saw 3 birds in a 30 minute stretch tonight, ended up getting 2 and missing one. All of the birds were in the trees, watching as I walked up on them I'm sure, flying from above scaring me half to death....

Thicker snow they always hang in trees and fly to and from a lot of spots it seems. Today was a great reminder of how thick fluffy snow makes 'em not able to walk so well atop the snow.

Agreed, following tracks is a blast! 1-2" is perfect for it. You never know what you're going to find, and it's the only time in my life I've ever walked up on burrowed ruffies. A lot of fun!

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Ferny

I would be sure to key in on edges, like tamarack swamps and brush with some pines mixed in. If you've never had a grouse flush from a pine at head level 5 feet away you haven't been scared before wink.gif I usually follow up by quickly missing twice in a row. tongue.gif The birds I got right before the snow were already transitioning to more aspen and dogwood buds and less greens.

Good Luck,

Ferny.

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brittman

That was my post. What I said is I limit my take to two birds per area per day.

I see there are mixed opinions on winter (December) hunting of ruffed grouse and the impact on populations the following year.

People jump up and down for a limit of two MN roosters - a pair of winter grouse in the bag should do the same cool.gif

Love hunting in powdery snow, tracking the birds - with my dog.

Hey trying shooting at a grouse jumping out of a balsam 25' up in the air and rocketing through the balsam forest smile.gif

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uplander

That's good thinking brittman!!!! sorry for the mistake in my post Matt.......good luck boys....uplander

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