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laker1

Anybody seeing grouse out there

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Harmonica Bear

We were out Saturday morning for a couple hours (north of Mille Lacs). Seen 10, bagged 0. The shooting woes continue....

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Riverratpete

South of Mille Lacs yesterday, boosted 2, got 1, still pretty thick but getting better, birds were down in the nastiest stuff you could find ie Alder swamps.

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Pinusbanksiana
I went out the last two weekends and my experience has been that there are just as many birds this year as last. Most of my birds have been young so I guess I have just been lucky to hit some good spots. Having a dog really helps me get ready when my dog gets birdy but with all the cover still up, I have only been able to get a shot off about 30% of the time. Then take into consideration that I cannot shoot worth a darn and most are still in the woods. I do have one question. I have a pointer and while pheasants hold really tight, does everyone else have the same problem of grouse only holding for a second or longer when you get a strong point? My dog is not busting them but I have yet to have a bird where I have to kick around to get a flush.
Grouse are much different than pheasants. To get a pheasant to hold tight, a dog must crowd them hard and fast to stop them from running. Now if that same dog tries to pin a grouse, he will crowd him too much, resulting in an early flush. Your dog may learn the difference, some do. But this is why the saying goes that you can ruin a grouse hunting dog taking it pheasant hunting. Takes lots of birds to train a dog.

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JMO555555

the other thing I do is when the dog goes on point I circle twenty to thirty yards in front of the dog and work back towards the dog this has really helped for me.

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TylerS

Birds are around! We hunted Thursday evening through Sunday morning in the Iron Range and averaged around 10-12 birds moved a day. Bagged 7 for all that work (4 of which came from one trail). Also missed a legitimate double; dog pointed two birds and they flushed soon after like a pair of clay pigeons across a clearcut. Missed the first bird with the first shot, but hit the trailing grouse with the second shot. Oh well, it was neat! I will say this: water is key. High-and-dry trails were virtually devoid of birds. Also flushed two woodcocks...first doodles I've seen in more than a decade. Wish I could have hit 'em wink

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djlong

I will try that this weekend. Looks as though the weather will be warm again. I have been running into more Wood Cock the last few times I was out. They are fun but boy do they taste bad. Any suggestions on how to cook them up. I have been letting them fly but if there are some good ways of cooking them, I will give it a shot...

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TylerS

I will try that this weekend. Looks as though the weather will be warm again. I have been running into more Wood Cock the last few times I was out. They are fun but boy do they taste bad. Any suggestions on how to cook them up. I have been letting them fly but if there are some good ways of cooking them, I will give it a shot...

Google "hunter angler gardener cook." Guy's name is Hank Shaw. He's got a blog that is a wealth of wild game recipes (if you get the chance, make is Venison Steak Dianne...absolutely incredible!) I know I've seen a couple doodle recipes on there.

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Freddy1

Stir fry pieces quick, use a little red wine then a touch of sour cream at the end. Pour over noodles and you have timber doodle stroganoff. Eat ASAP as the texture changes the longer it sits.

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Matt Breuer

Still haven't shot or seen a juvenile bird shot this year... We're up over 120 encounters with over 15 bagged birds. Where are the young ones?

setter, I meant exactly what someone else said earlier. When you walk without a dog early season, you'll shoot more birds than you will with, because you're going to get those trail birds sitting there waiting to be shot. You'll also get more walkers that can be ground-pounded. Flushing birds are tough to hit early season... wink I'd still rather watch a point 9 days out of 10!

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lispeej

we were out this past weekend. we were about 30 minutes south of duluth at some hunter walking trails. didn't see a darn bird. i think we were at the wrong spot. what do you guys think? over 4000 acres.....not a single bird.

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Matt Breuer

I will try that this weekend. Looks as though the weather will be warm again. I have been running into more Wood Cock the last few times I was out. They are fun but boy do they taste bad. Any suggestions on how to cook them up. I have been letting them fly but if there are some good ways of cooking them, I will give it a shot...

Wrap in bacon, dust with Lawry's, toss on the grill! Otherwise I cut them into strips and make them with our sharptail fajitas...

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certified jumbo

cut a jalepeno in half, fill with cream chesse, lay one breast on woodcock on top, sprinkle some shredded cheese on that, cook at 375 degrees for 20 mins. awesome!!!

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R. Miller

I must be weird bc I enjoy them plain, pan fried with a little olive oil. Maybe a light seasoning or a little salt. I think with any dark meat (woodcock, doves, ducks) they key is to never overcook them. I usually like my woodcock cooked medium.

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Jmnhunter

was in hubbard county this past weekend, flushed 2 woodcock, and heard one flush of a grouse; its been pretty slow up there this year from us and others we've talked to...

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KidMoe

We moved three grouse Saturday on 1 walking trail. The trail is supposed to be closed to ATV's but once we got passed by about a dozen of them in three different groups we didn't flush a bird after. It was a little frustrating that we only saw three birds as we went quite a ways north. Although, the colors were in full swing where we were compared to down here. Still a lot of leaves and underbrush to come down.

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laker1

The ATV group is hurting their own image and where it says non-motorized and still go they say by action they don't care about anybody else but themselves. In this case throw the book at them.

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laker1

Was up by Cass lake today and walked for 5 hours and seen only 2 birds. Talked to others and they all say slower than last year. Maybe we need some cold weather. Today was first day this fall deer ticks were abundant for me.

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Matt Breuer

Been very lucky on the ticks myself. Saturday was the first day we found a few in an outing. I had my wife, 4 year old, and 16 month old along and we road hunted for 40 minutes. Saw 7, bagged 3. Was a great day to be out. First really calm and mild day I've had the chance to hunt, and it was short and on the roads. Bummer. Hopefully this weekend the wind lays down and some birds fall...

Musk Mil, I too like woodcock and doves cooked medium to medium rare with some seasonings. Ducks... maybe woodies and mally's, anything else needs bacon!

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CNCMike

Heading out today, despite the 15-20 mph winds... Only figures it is my second opportunity to hunt grouse and the wind will be howling. First chance was 10-15 mph winds and then it rained. Still flushed 9 grouse, shot 3 and flushed and downed one doodle that day.

Hopefully the sun and lack of leaves will benefit me a bit in my quest today.

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reinhard1

heading up north this morning to the deer stands and i'll be watching for grouse, so i will report when i get back. hopefully get a little hunting in. good luck.

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laker1

Be interesting what you find? Awful quite out there on the Grouse scene?

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CNCMike

I managed to get 5 yesterday. Flushed about 15 total but I hunted from 8am till nearly dark. Wind was definitely a factor as was the surprising amount of people in the woods. No matter how back country the area was I found others out there trying their hand at some ruffies.

What I found interesting was that the majority of shooting I heard in the grouse woods was in the morning, however the vast majority of birds I saw were late afternoon.

All in all, a successful day of hunting for me, but I put in some serious time and a lot of miles of walking. Some days I wish I had a dog, yesterday was one of those days... Seemed like the wind was keeping the birds holding tight. Perhaps a decent dog would have pointed up a few I didn't see.

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tacklejunkie

My youngest son went out this morning and got 4. They flushed about 25.

All at Canosia WMA

Said with the leaves down they are easier to find. I'm heading out this afternoon and will report back

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reinhard1

just returned from the deer stand area north of Duluth. very windy of course. not good for deer and nothing else i'm guessing. driving north near our stands i seen one partridge fly accross the road. we flushed one woodcock in the woods by our stands.

two days and the woods were vacant of life. no squirels, mice, birds, deer, not even a crow. i have seen this before, but only on very windy days. a week earlier my brother seen some deer and partridge so, i can blame it on the wind. good luck.

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Stringerless!

25 at Canosia. Lol.

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tacklejunkie

25 at Canosia. Lol.

I thought he was exaggerating a bit but they got four. I went out and flushed three, shot none

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laportian

I went west of Cass Lake in the Chippewa on Saturday afternoon. Me and my daughter walked in to a not so good looking area and in the one grousy patch we walked we flushed two. Shot one. Next time I will scout out a little better. Seems like we walked thru way too mature forests too be very productive.

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titelines

Went out Sat and Sunday. Saw a couple fox, some decent bucks, lots of does, eagles and a wolf. Oh yeah, flushed 8 grouse and ended up with two.

Morning was most productive, and I had the woods to myself for a few hours. Once winds kicked up they went to cover. Had to burrow into the woods and hit some recently scouted "secret" spots as the crowds appeared after 10:00.

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FishGuru

I have a newbie question, do you guys use .22 rifles or shotguns for grouse? or which is better?

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CNCMike

Shotguns... I use a 20ga or 12ga with 7 1/2 birdshot myself. 95% of all birds I shoot are flying, and a shotgun offers the best chance of a knockdown. Shooting a flying grouse with a 22 is FAR beyond my ability.

I like the 20ga because it is lighter and easier to carry in the woods, but my 12 was my grandfathers gun so it just makes me happy to use it often

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