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Scott M

Scouting your 2008 hunt/Bird Activity Reports

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Scott M

Once March hits people usually start patterning their birds. I wasn't scouting my property, but last Friday I saw 3 toms crossing a barren field near Highway 7 by Lester Prairie, pecking at black tops looking for food. Anybody else glassing birds yet?

Please post your reports here on bird activity and as we get into the hunting season, what the flocks are doing as far as mating behaviors.

This should also be a place where ideally beginners can learn a few things about how to approach scouting a site.

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sticknstring

Still flocked up real good where I'll be hunting... Here's a nice bunch of hens capitalizing on freshly spread manure from a few days ago...

Picture_160.jpg

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DonBo

WOW! That is a pile of birds. Where exactly did you say that was? grin.gifblush.gif

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HateHumminbird

I've been keeping tabs on them daily in my area, primarily the bachelor groups of toms as the hens are roaming quite freely in my neck of the woods.

Several bachelor groups in my area are making daily use of everything from corn leftovers in stubble, to bird feeders, and sumac in my neck of the woods. Daily pattern thus far seems to be entirely weather dependent, with the birds favoring sheltered hillsides and mostly wooded zones in the colder/windier days. I was out shed hunting for a bit and spooked a pile of birds eating sumac on a south-facing hillside though, when there was a raw north wind and temps were about 0. When the weather turns a bit nicer, feeding activity is both increased and lengthened on the open field grains and bird feeders. This is mostly mid-day foraging, but has lasted almost until flyup on the nicest days.

Heard a bit of gobbling this weekend when it was really nice one morning.

Looking at a double-bearded bird, as well as a long-spurred older one in some of the groups I glass. Amazed at the number of short-spurred tanks feeding around. Most-likely a product of good local hatch two years ago, and the resultant mega-crop of jakes seen last year.

Should be a fun year!

Joel

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Wallydog

Joel,

Where did you say that multiple bearded bird is?

WD

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Cooter

Birds in my area are hard up, found one dead on Sat while yote hunting - it obviously died of winter related causes as not a feather was touched. Kicked a hen out of the roost at about 10am, not a good sign either. Most birds are working any corn fields they can find, can't hardly see the poor buggers unless they poke their heads up out of the snow.

I say it every year but there is no reason an animal built like a turkey should survive a winter like this....yet they do, unreal. An early spring would be great for everything and everybody except the yotes and scavengers. Oh yeah, I guess the snowmobilers and skiers too.

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sticknstring

WI's been getting pounded with snow all year long... close to 90" in Madtown. Maybe it'll push some of the birds across the river where it's much easier living grin.gif. You guys have too many anyways!

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Tipup101

Drove around two of the places I hunt counted 22 long beards on one place and 15 on the other. Two bad they will be spreading out in month or so. I got to start bringing the camera..

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hugonian1

The turkey's just started showing up again on our property.

This morning there was 7 Hens with 1 Tom up by the house scavaging for food. The tom was strutting around the hens in full gear, puffed up and performing beautifully. I cracked a window and played with him with a call. He immediately started gobbling. It seemed early for this type of activity. I'm in the north metro. The funny thing about this is he had no beard at all. You could see where it was supposed to be attached but it was gone. Maybe being beard challanged he felt he needed to get a jump on the action?

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Scott M

Saw 3 just south of Brainerd on Highway 371. Those are some northern birds.

Also saw 15 today on Highway 10 around Little Falls.

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sticknstring

There's a pretty healthy flock between Little Falls & Brainerd. I've seen birds in this stretch many times. I just heard on a Brainerd radio station last night that a group of birds were released between Pequot Lakes and Pine River recently. I didn't have the best reception so my info could be slighty off base but either way those are some northern birds.

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HateHumminbird

 Originally Posted By: Wallydog
Joel,

Where did you say that multiple bearded bird is?

WD

Know where St. Cloud is? Nowhere near there. grin.gif

Joel

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HateHumminbird

I've been trying to get good pictures of him, and they're always blurry, and you can't even tell he's got more than one beard. If I succeed, will post pics.

Joel

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brittman

Photographing birds in the snow is now easy. I hunt areas that may or may not winter birds. Acorn crop is poor so not too many will be there. By mid April they move in ...

I scout weekend before opener and the weekend before my season begins....

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cw642

 Originally Posted By: jnelson
 Originally Posted By: Wallydog
Joel,

Where did you say that multiple bearded bird is?

WD

Know where St. Cloud is? Nowhere near there. grin.gif

Joel

Nelson thats not funny. We all know there are no birds up here. Except the ones Sticknstring has fenced in out by his place. I did have a dozen or so feeding in the field by my place but I doubt they will still be around for the archery season.

CW

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Tippman

Then it must be a different bird then I saw bowhunting last fall with two beards near St.Cloud. grin.gif

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bmc

Not really a scouting report, but I've talked to 2 of the landownders that let me hunt last spring and I'm "in" again this year on 3 different pieces of property to hunt. I've been looking over some ariel photos and plan on getting a plat book of my zone and making a few more contacts before season get's here. I just wish I lived closer so I could get some scouting in. I'm hoping to make a late April scouting trip, as my season is May 7-11 in WI, and hopefully I can beg my brother to do a little scouting as he's only 20 miles from where I'll be hunting. MAN, I'M GETTING FIRED UP!!!!!!!

Brian

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sticknstring

Tipp-

Now that's interesting! I just so happened to come across a double-bearded, 1 1/4" hooked gobbler laying on the side of 94 just short of St. Cloud last spring. Whoever hit it must've taken the fan as that was missing but the "good" stuff was still on him. Pretty heavy bird too... I'd guess 24-25 lbs. He is now being honored amonst my collection grin.gif

bmc - The plat book is the best thing you can have. Take a drive with it in the area you plan on hunting and knock on a few doors. You'll get turned down some but many of the farmers will gladly let you hunt the "roosters" on their property and tell you about the whereabouts and times they're around. That reminds me - I should make a phone call to a nice little old german lady today! "Roosters!" grin.gif

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Borch

 Originally Posted By: jnelson
 Originally Posted By: Wallydog
Joel,

Where did you say that multiple bearded bird is?

WD

Know where St. Cloud is? Nowhere near there. grin.gif

Joel

Nelson don't you be pointing folks in my direction! I'm having a hard enough time getting permits! ;\)

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HateHumminbird

It really is nowhere near St. Cloud. It's a joke from my brother who's a goose guide. He gets harassed out in the Dakotas and elsewhere chasing snows, and when people ask where the geese are, that's usually his response \:\) What a [jerk-bait].

Joel

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HateHumminbird

That's crazy.....J E R K gets turned into [jerk-bait] automatically.

What the [PoorWordUsage].

Joel

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bassphish2005

Seen 15 in a loose group yesterday near home,13 were shootable Toms/Jakes,with one long beard strutting around for all too see.Almost made me late for work,I just couldn't leave!!!

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Scott Stein

saw about 30 of them near new ulm and there was a tom struttin his stuff already couldnt believe my eyes

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DonBo

Got permission on our new hot spots last weekend. Four great farms in Zone 19 Wisconsin. Can't wait.

Was fishing on the St. Croix this weekend and heard gobbles all up and down the valley. As if fishing wasn't enough for a big smile.

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HateHumminbird

Some of the birds are coming out of their segregated winter flocks in Southeastern MN. Others are still roosting and feeding throughout the day separately. Been seeing a fair amount of early strutting activity in the usual spots, but we're still a week or two off of the main push provided the weather cooperates.

Here's some pics from the morning windshield scouting mission:

Segregated hen flock

hens_rs.JPG

A few strutters

toms_rs.JPG

The deer were out!

deer_rs.JPG

Joel

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huntmup

Same thing is going on in Southwest MN. This past Saturday we watched a mixed flock of 6 longbeards and 27 hens feeding in the neighbors corn stubble.

Joel, thanks for sharing the pics. I was so fixed on all the birds with my binos, I didn't even think about the camera crazy.gif.

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bmc

My brother is in Hudson, WI and talked to his friend in Zone 19 where I hunted last year. His buddy saw a huge winter flock the other day, probably 40-50 birds he said. My brother drives from Hudson to Treasure Island for work and he's not seeing the big groups of turkeys he had been seeing all winter, looks like they're starting to disperse some. How long till May?????

Brian

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1runhotshot

2 Toms all puffed up like Volkswagens this am on the driveway as I pulled out.

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Write-Outdoor

I was down by Jordan/New Prague on Friday and saw a field full of turkeys. They were flocked up in mixed groups but there was some definite sparring going on. I was late to meet somebody for some ice fishing so I couldn't stop and watch but from what I saw there were some nice Toms out there and the Jakes were the ones sparring at a distance. None of the Toms were posturing.

In a field by my house in the northwest metro, there's been a consistent group of turkeys working the field with some longbeards in the mix. Sat and watched them a few times but no posturing yet.

I can't wait! Only 17 more days! I usually hunt season D or later so I'm excited about my A season draw!

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brittman

Still winter where I hunt. OK I have another 35 days or so to go.

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