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Arago

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MNpurple

I was out for 3.5 hours today. I went to a WPA with a woody draw thats a pretty good hike but the snowshoes made it easier. WOW was there birds. I flushed 33 phesants with majority of them in range. Of those 33, exactly 0 were roosters. Alot of work and not a shot fired.

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tybo

I had an incredible weeknd. Hunted western MN with a friend on SAT. We flushed 40+ birds on one WPA. Most flushed out of range but some were roosters. We ended getting 2 roosters over points and had 10-12 points total. Most were hens and held very tight. Sunday was crazy. I was alone and hot another new area that had a cornfield foodplot, shelterbelt and grass/cattails. A rooster flew from the shelterbelt at 8:55. Had a point on a hen not 20 yards from the truck. Nothing else from the shelterbelt. Hit the corn to try and push birds into the grass/cattails. I figured maybe a dozen or so would get out of the corn. Boy was I wrong 120+ pheasants got up. Most were way out of range and didn't ofer shots but it was amazing.

Most flew into the cattails so I walked the edges and got up another 100 or so. I have never seen anything like it. I just couldn't get close to any of them to take a reaonable shot. Ended up with another 10 or so points but most were hens. Only bagged on rooster for the day but it was one of the most memorable days I've ever had.

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Snag

I try and have somebody loop around and post even if we only have 2 people.

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stayman79

Planning to go out saturday with my dad and brother. Looks like there are birds way out west. Anybody seeing numbers of birds on the public land near Glenwood/Sauk Center? I know last year that area didn't have the numbers it did the year before. Probably going to drive the extra hour or so for better chances but thought I'd ask and see what people are seeing. Lots of public areas so I don't think you'd be "tipping your hand."

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grab the net

There are birds in those areas mentioned. Some places, all private stuff, there are good numbers, no acess though. Knocked on some doors over the weekend, best areas were leased up. Birds you do find on public are pretty wise, most roosters are moving way out in front of you. Long story short, drive the extra hour or so west, better opportunities await.

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tybo

We lopped a guy out on SAT and missed a few opportunities but atleast we had the opportunities. Sunday I was solo so that was not an option. Had a few more peole been with me I think we would have done pretty well.

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stayman79

grab the net-thanks for the reply, that's what I was leaning towards and that's probably what we will do.

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CodyDawg

had a great hunt in the snowstorm last friday. got 5 in about 2 hours for 2 guys (and a third guy for a little while). we hunted quiet and came at the cattails from different directions and had birds blowing up in our face all day. awesome!

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311Hemi

Three of us hunted central MN Friday and Saturday and ended up with six birds in the bag, and missed a couple that we should have had as well. Conditions were tough with the amount of snow that had drifted into many of the fields we were walking. One piece of private land that always holds a ton of birds had a good amount of snow cover and I was surprised we did not kick many birds. I'm not sure if they were holding tight under the snow, running. or where they went....but we could not get them up. My dog actually got one rooster at my feet after kicking some weeds and snow around....it could not get up through the thick snow cover. Seemed like at least good 3-6" sitting on top of most of the cover, with space open under the snow that the birds could sit/move in. Some areas were waist high in snow. We did see a lot of hens this weekend.

All in all a fun weekend out and a new experience for me hunting in this much snow. The dogs worked hard and had a great time, as did the whole crew!

A few pics: full-3806-4041-img_0188_edited.jpg

full-3806-4042-img_0192_edited.jpg

full-3806-4043-newimage.jpg

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Arago

Great pictures! Hard work this time of year.

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Jameson

sorry folks it's a pet peeve of mine...

311hemi, Be safe! Get some orange hats on! It's not the law for small game hunting (should be IMO), but it is the law if you are hunting anything during muzzy season. Page 24 of the regs.

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311Hemi

sorry folks it's a pet peeve of mine...

311hemi, Be safe! Get some orange hats on! It's not the law for small game hunting (should be IMO), but it is the law if you are hunting anything during muzzy season. Page 24 of the regs.

I have an orange hat on....you just can't see me! I hear ya though!

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tori's dad

great day today to be chasing roosters in southern mn. cold and sunny= 6 ROOSTERS two man limit saw over 200 birds get up while walking into a slough I'm sure nobody has been in yet. great day hard work too but was it fun!

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NELS-BELLS

Anyone know how much snow they have in the Sauk Centre/Osakis area? Thinking of heading that direction tomorrow or Saturday and trying my luck. We've got about 5" - 6" around the St. Cloud area.

Nels

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Scott M

I'm planning on grabbing snowshoes for next weekend. Holy cow will it be some thick stuff!

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tori's dad

I think we are going to find many birds frozen right to the ground next time out! Pretty sad to think about it. Ice storms are far more fatal to birds than deep snow- but with the combo of both the ice and snow is a double wammy for the birds.

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MNpurple

No kidding, 2 rough winters in a row and what is shaping up to be an even worse third one. That said, they sure came through last winter better than expected so who knows. Maybe January will be 40 and sunny crazy

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NELS-BELLS

Made it out on Friday, before the storm. Just my lab and me. Decided to try some new ground further west towards Osakis. Every piece of public land that I hunted had been hunted at least once in the past week. So guys were still getting out prior to that. It was kind of nice that someone else had already busted a trail, especially thru the cattails. It also made it easier for the birds to get around, as I saw lots of pheasant tracks on the human tracks. We kicked up lots of hens, but no roosters until the very end of the day.

While driving by a WPA, at about 3:30, I noticed a bunch of birds fly from a nearby plowed field and land in the cattails on the WPA. While I was getting ready to hunt it, I noticed more birds come gliding in. Ended up with one rooster and a good work out for the dog and me. crazy

Nels

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IceHawk

3 of us hunted Western mn today and to say it was one of the best hunts of the season would be a understatement!! We limited easily probably seen close to 200 plus birds today without exagerateing. Alot flushed ahead but we managed to pin a few down in willows and cattails to easily squeeze out our birds. The snow is deep, but definately manageable if your willing to put in the effort. Flushed one group that had over 20 roosters in it. We got a bonus coyote and saw a few nice deer includeing a nice 8 point that stood up in front of me. Looking forward to this weekend to give them a whirl again.

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NELS-BELLS

3 of us hunted Western mn today and to say it was one of the best hunts of the season would be a understatement!! We limited easily probably seen close to 200 plus birds today without exagerateing. Alot flushed ahead but we managed to pin a few down in willows and cattails to easily squeeze out our birds. The snow is deep, but definately manageable if your willing to put in the effort. Flushed one group that had over 20 roosters in it. We got a bonus coyote and saw a few nice deer includeing a nice 8 point that stood up in front of me. Looking forward to this weekend to give them a whirl again.

You must have been on private land that doesn't get much pressure. How far west and how deep was the snow?

Nels

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tybo

I saw over 200 birds on public land a few weeks ago. I was in western MN as well. Most got up way out in front of me and didn't offer shots. I got 100+ out of a corn food plot and another 100+ out of the cattails/tall grass areas. A few out of prairie grass. Had 10-12 points but only one bird was a rooster. Most all the wild flushes were well out of range and I missed a couple that were closer but not close. I eended with with just that one pointed rooster but that was fine the sheer number of birds I saw made the hunt one of the coolest expereinces I've ever had.

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IceHawk

We were hunting all public land mostly WPA areas. Alot of these public areas were wet all yr and now there froze allowing access to the birds if you put some miles on your dogs and legs. Snow is alot less the farther west you go.

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Lunker

Got back from SD just before the big storm hit. Hunted around watertown the first day, south of doland/redfield area for 2 days, and then hunted as we moved east the last day. Was pretty cold, but we had a blast just one friend, the dog and I. The first day was the slowest only flushing about 40 birds and almost entirely hens, though we did get a couple roosters. The middle two days were terrific, flushed hundreds each day and got lots of good shooting. The last day got windy and though we flushed a lot, most were way out of range. Birds were really grouped up. Most birds came out of grasslands, shrubs, hedgerows, and standing corn(best grass areas were adjacent to cut corn). The last day they were getting into the cattails more often.

This was my first SD trip, and was shocked at the numbers we saw. I'll definitley be back. I'll post some pics once I find my camera cord... Hunted only public land. Did best on GPAs, walk-in, and CREP land. Did the worst on WPA areas.

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Arago

I'm checking snow depths, but I think I'll have to head out to western or sw Mn after Christmas for a last push. Tough time of year to hunt as my buddy and I are both 52 with 9 year old labs! However, we are not at the poster's stage!! Hope the rest of the winter & spring is a bit kinder to our cackleing friends and hens.

Any new snow depth reports from Ortonville down to say Slayton?

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Jack Peterson

I'm heading out Saturday morning with some buddies. We have some virgin property to hit up!

Should be stacked with birds.

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NELS-BELLS

I'm heading out Saturday morning with some buddies. We have some virgin property to hit up!

Should be stacked with birds.

Sounds great! When and where should I meet you? grin

Nels

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HAppnhook

From all that I have researched,, coyotes are not focused on pheasant hunting and dont kill a lot of them like fox do. Coyotes eat mostly mice and rodents, Imagine my dismay after buying that new AR....... Cats are tough on all birds, and rodents, skunks, coons etc are nest busters.

Coyotes definately need some control as they have appeared in all of my hunting ground but they are not as destructive to the birds. They actually control the fox population.

FYI, and if you have any other good information, let me know.

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lawdog

I'm in extreme SW and the snow depths in the cover is brutal! Birds seem to be hanging close to groves mostly. We'll find out this afternoon as i'm skipping out of work to give it one last try...

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kobear

West Central has much more snow trapping cover, SW is 95% plowed ground. There are WPA's in West Central with 100's of birds right now and good cover. Best to send out a poster somewhere and then push around them. Our posters, sitting in heavy cover, have accounted for the majority of birds in the past three weeks. Flushed birds will even circle back behind the drivers and head for heavy cover.

I haven't flushed a rooster in range in the past 3 trips.

Gotta pity those birds in SW with less than 1% of the land in any sort of reasonable winter habitat.

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workin4bait

Was out today at one of my favorite spots,walked around the whole swamp and never even seen a bird.It was like they were abducted by aliens,was at the same swamp 11 days ago and put up 40 birds.Very very strange!

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