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laker1

Anybody seeing grouse out there

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FishGuru

LOL... I'm very new to this sport and also a very bad shot, so maybe I'll leave the .22 at home. Thanks...

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lovebigbluegills

The wind finally died down a little, so I think I'll take the afternoon off and go see what I can find. I'll post a report in the morning.

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DanH

Hunted N of GR last week for 5 days. On the windy days had to go deep off the trails to find birds. The bone dry conditions were a big factor when deciding where to hunt. My insecurities got the best of me so I carried that A5 light-12 rather than my 20 ga. Walked about 8 miles each day -most of that bushwacking. Not bad considering the averaged age of our 3 man party is North of 65. Flush 14 Grouse and 2 Woodcock. Bagged 2 Grouse and 1 Woodcock.

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CNCMike

Seems like the harder we work for em, the better they taste! That's a lot of miles through the bush Dan, young or old!

Looks like I will get in the woods again Friday. Wind should be null and it will be 46 degree and mostly sunny. Just about perfect conditions, IMO.

I believe I will have to try somewhere between Outing and Longville this time... Used to be some solid areas over that way, yet it's close enough for me to gt my daughter at 7pm without having to get out of the woods early!

FishGuru, good call!

Looking forward to more reports guys! Ill post Satrday Morning about my Friday hunt.

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wdgold

Saw 3 Monday up by Bruno,didn't get any. We didn't do a lot of walking and it was windy, should of pounded the woods more off the trails. Seems like in the past we see more birds when we go later in the week like a Thursday or Fri. before the weekend traffic.

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Matt Breuer

I was up north for support for my dad who had some ticker work done in Friday. Sat. he was home and feeling okay, so when he napped, I hunted. Saw close to 100 sharptail over the weekend, bagged 1. Spent some time duck/goose hunting as well. Got home Sunday and worked the ruffy woods over hard on Monday. Saw 10, bagged 2 for 2 guys. Today I woke up and it was sunny and calm, so I packed up the dogs and hit the woods for 2.5 hours before getting ready for work. Man the calm days make a huge difference. After 5 days of wind, and some rain and snow, the birds were cooperating. Had 5 shooter points in 2.5 hours, bagged a limit and a bonus rabbit. Birds were almost all doubled up, which was odd. Still have my streak of not shooting a juvenile bird alive... of over 25 birds this season, I haven't seen a single baby!

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laker1

Just to let you know,I was south of Longville today and deer ticks are getting worse. Most I seen this year,which up to now they have been lower than I have seen in 10 years. Need some very cold weather,they are tough. Seen 3 grouse in 4 hours.

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tybo

Matt,

Nice! I will be back up this weekend while the woods are still safe for us with dogs. Sounds like you are having a decent season. That's alot of sharpies. Why only one, couldn't get close?

Tye

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Matt Breuer

Matt,

Nice! I will be back up this weekend while the woods are still safe for us with dogs. Sounds like you are having a decent season. That's alot of sharpies. Why only one, couldn't get close?

Tye

Gauge locked up on the first bunch, and by the time I was on them every bird they flew over erupted. Not to mention the first bunch got up low and Nelly was running down the thistle line after them, birds getting up like mad as she blew by. She pretty much screwed up that field, which held most of the birds I saw...

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CNCMike

Flushed well over 30 grouse yesterday. Most were well ahead of me or back in the brush/heavy cover.

True to form the vast majority were right on edges and lines between forest types... Aspen/oak/evergreen lines, swamp/aspen/evergreen edges

managed a limit by days end, but it was some serious work and a lot of heavy cover, bushwacking, to do so. I think I could have managed small trails and old logging roads with nearly the same result, but it isn't my style and the nice weather brought out a lot of people so I avoided them by staying deep in the brush.

The birds are still out there, but it does seem that they are fewer than 2009, which my memory and notes show was about the peak of the cycle.

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Odonata

Hunted most of the day yesterday, saw 9, shot 5. Great time, great day. A few folks out; the birds cooperated.full-24609-13288-photo.jpg

full-24609-13289-kids.jpg

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Cheetah

We did ok today around Cloquet State Forest. Started as two guys, no dog, bumped a grouse or two but couldn't get a good shot in the thick cover. Met up with another buddy and the three of us explored new areas. Missed another bird, jumped a couple others with no shots. Managed one hare for each of us, had a couple other hares sneak past without shots. Going to give it another go tomorrow, hopefully get some grouse to go with the hares.

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fishinjosh98

2 weeks ago i filled up my limit

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tacklejunkie

Do you guys age your birds before cooking like other fowl?

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ParkRangerRube

My first time grouse hunting over the weekend. Went out yesterday NE of Bemidji in Chippewa. Three of us flushed 11, but weren't able to get a shot off. Made a quick run through Smoky Hills State Forest on the way back to Fargo and we didn't kick anything up. Saw a bunch of squirrels and 5 porcupines though, so at least there's some sings of life in the area. Had a good time, and can't wait to get out again!

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Cheetah

I went back out for a bit on Sunday morning in Cloquet State Forest with my cousin. Our third hunter had a quarter-sized blister on one foot, I think the other was blistered too, he could barely walk. So the two of us made a walk down a long ridge, saw some decent deer sign, no grouse. Finally kicked one up way in the back along the edge of a slough, my cousin missed both shots as it flew across in front of him. On the way back towards the road we kicked up another but could not see it through the thick cover.

We did get another hare. Kinda funny, I was taking a leak near the car and it ran out from the ditch I was standing over... Only went about 10yd and my cousin ran over with his gun and was able to get a shot. We saw one other while walking as well that stayed just far enough into the thick cover that we couldn't get a shot.

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reinhard1

it's been awhile since i've had rabbit. was it a snowshoe? i hunt north of duluth and haven't seen many snowshoe's as i used to. good luck.

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Cheetah

Reinhard, they were all snowshoes. I will PM you the area we found most of them in case you want to go chase a few.

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TRZ II

I actually got 4 grouse this weekend, by far the most i seen all year. Sat. was perfect conditions. I saw 2 snowshoes were I was, got one and didn't have a gun when I almost stepped on the other. Also seen my first pheasant in carlton county,

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Mike Sertich

Went out most of the day Friday. Saw 9,never got a shot. Lots of people out. Fun day regardless. Maybe next time.......

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Johnny_Magellan

We had 8 or 10 flushes Friday afternoon/evening. All were spooky, though, and didn't hold long enough for my dog to get close enough for a point.

Saturday, there was 4 of us with 2 dogs and hardly had any flushes from the trails. Then yesterday, it started off slow with the clouds/drizzle, but we got 1 grouse in a clearing about 30 or 40 yards off the trail and another right off the forest road. -Plus, a few woodcock in the late morning.

I like the sun for bringing them to the trails and roads, but does too much sun or too nice of conditions just keep them running?

Sure seemed like it this last weekend. Plus, there were a ton of people road hunting that probably didn't help the visibility of birds from the truck going spot to spot.

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Harmonica Bear

Was out for maybe 1.5 hours Saturday before I hade to get back to work on the ice house. Flushed 12, zero points, zero shots. Man were they skittish. Never seen anything like it. Me or the dog were not even remotely close to these birds. Off the beaten path too in one my "go to" spots. I suppose with it being MEA weekend they may have beeen worked for 3 days straight. Hard to say.

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leech~~

Har,

Your story sounds almost the same as ours Friday after noon, after some Bow hunting. 12 birds kicked up but we were letting a youngster in our group walk first and even though he did not get one he still had a great time flashing them. They were all taking off way head of him. Oh, he also missed two bucks on his stand that morning as well. Two more then I seen frown but he had a great day in the woods! smile

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brittman

Was out for maybe 1.5 hours Saturday before I hade to get back to work on the ice house. Flushed 12, zero points, zero shots. Man were they skittish. Never seen anything like it. Me or the dog were not even remotely close to these birds. Off the beaten path too in one my "go to" spots. I suppose with it being MEA weekend they may have beeen worked for 3 days straight. Hard to say.

Could use a little rain in them grouse woods too. I think it would help the dog's performance.

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brittman

Still have my streak of not shooting a juvenile bird alive... of over 25 birds this season, I haven't seen a single baby!

Man that is really sad. The peak and bust in the cycle tends to move NW to SE across MN. Guess we will see when the drum counts are completed next spring.

Across the different areas that I hunt, I am averaging well over 50% young birds. The birds are fully feathered, but certainly smaller and ligher in weight.

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Matt Breuer

I typically measure tail feathers to age the birds. None in the juvenile range for the season still to this day. I did see a juvenile the other day, running down the forest road in front of me, but I didn't take 'er. Odd year for me, as roughly 30-40% of my bag is juveniles, especially early...

AS for the "cycle", I pay very little attention to it. I actually had my record harvest on a supposed basement season...

As for flighty or skittish birds, I notice them being that way on heavy hunting weekends as well as windy days. Days like today in the north country I find perfect. Overcast and calm, and the sun is trying to peek out. As soon as it does, I will be walking trails...

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Chef

Two of us hit some trails between Hwy 200 and Hwy 2 this weekend. Both days Fri-Sat. we flushed 7 each day and took 4 home. We hit two solid and they looked dead as they fell, but were not.

Mature to young was 50-50. Young were all alone, no groups, none of them were stupid like you see in years with more young that fly of the trail and into the first tree to look at you, or jump up off the ground and give you a chance to head-pound them. The last yong one I shot was 20 yards into the open area off the woods loafing and that was a surprise "gift" shot! He's on the plate tonight along side the Wild Rice grin

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hampster

Hunted MEA in the Chip with the kids and some family. Hunted about 4-5 hours a day, two young dogs, managed 2 grouse in 4 days; flushed about 20 (some very skittish), shots at about 6 (some very prayerful shots). Similar to others about 50/50 on young to old birds ratio (harvest and on the wing, guessing). Maybe walked 15 miles or so, and not on trails only, we got off trail and hunted all sorts of cover types. Only pattern I could figure out was where there was water we saw birds, no water no birds. Just wish there were more birds. Later half of the weekend we kicked up a few woodcock, and took one of them to dinner.

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R. Miller

Days like today in the north country I find perfect. Overcast and calm, and the sun is trying to peek out. As soon as it does, I will be walking trails...

Lucky man....

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fishlakeman

I've had the chance to get out a couple times this year. First was in Paul Bunyan when the leaves were still on the trees. Walked about 4 hours with no flushes to show for it. It was windy and I was by myself with no dog, so that probably had something to do with it.

On the 2nd outing a week ago, we got into them pretty good. Hunted the Chippawa east of Bemidji. Got back deep into the forest and found a few nice area's of young aspen stands. My brother and I walked about 2 hours, flushed 9; and shot 5. Also managed a woodcock. All mature birds. Without dogs, we took it really slow with a lot of pauses, and the birds held extremely tight.

full-910-13375-313482_770363763019_33801

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