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Favorite Month to Grouse Hunt


cribbageboy

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Hey guys,

Just lookin for a little conversation to follow. If you had to pick your favorite month to chase Ruffies what would it be? Me and the old man have hashed this one out for years. He's a September guy, I say mid to late October.

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All of Oct to just the start of the deer season. I don't deer hunt but I'm thinking aout it this year. Of course, I think about it every year but haven't done it.

But Oct is a great month for being in the grouse woods

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Well, September and October both have their positives and negatives.

In September, the birds haven't been under much pressure and tend to sit tighter in the brush. This is nice for guys hunting with dogs, especially pointers. On the downside, the woods in September are still choked with foliage. Even with the best dogs and a crack shot, hitting birds that whiz through that thick canopy is difficult at best. Plus, you have the chance of running into pretty young birds, some that barely are plumed out. I shot one grouse last September on opener that was the size of a large orange, and had a single, 6-inch tail feather. Almost felt bad for the little guy...but he still cooked up nice.

October is the opposite, especially later in the season. Besides getting to see the peak of the fall colors (if you hit it right) the underbrush begins to thin out as fall frosts pick up frequency. This, too, helps kill off all the bugs; ticks, in particular. For this reason alone I tend to plan my trips toward mid- to late-October. I can get by with more skittish birds.

So to answer your question, I'd say my favorite time to chase The King is the second or third week in October. First weekend is still too early, and the last weekend is reserved for fat, migrating Halloween mallards in Nodak.

I have always wanted to head up for ruffs after deer season, although I've never gotten the chance. Typically that time is reserved for ditch parrots, but I just might have to pry myself away and make one more trip to the range this fall...

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Tyler,

Couldn't agree with you more!!! I've chased grouse in December a couple times. Never had any good luck, and the snow is a pain, but last December was similar to an average September, so that probably would have worked out pretty good. I've got a really busy fall this year so I might be making a trip in December to feed the addiction. We'll just have to see.

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When the deer ticks are dead.

Slowed down My Sept.-October hunting. Ticks have changed when and how I hunt. Would like to get a new dog,but the tick thing is holding me back.

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Tick repellants work wonders on both your clothing and on your dog. Spray dog before you hunt. Occasional tick shampoo bath. Rarely - if ever a problem.

Treated clothing stays treated for weeks.

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THird week of October and hoping that the woodcock are still around for the pup to get some points on

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  • 2 months later...

Ohh.... nice one! Very tough!

Sept. the birds hold tighter, are dumber, and the young ones are still there for the picking.

Oct. the clover seems to peak, and the birds are really trail heavy. Easier walking, lots of nice clean shots.

November while the orange brigade is out chasing deer, the birds are crunching their way through crisp woods with little-to-no foliage. Love hunting in Nov., jus thave to deal with too many jerks and don't like letting the dogs stray...

December, there's nobody in the woods. It's dead quiet. Love seeing birds up in the trees. Too cold though... wink

Have to go with Oct.

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a crisp morning of about 40 degrees at 8am or so. Head out from the cabin with the dogs and work through the "hot spots" of years gone by. After about 45 minutes head down to the river and let the dogs get a drink and hunt another thirty minutes and head back to the cabin. Inevitably once the cabin gets close I get lulled into the hunts over and a lay up bird will flush into a spot that should be a layup shot but I'm not ready and it flies away unscathed.

The above has to be about Oct 20.

I hate the days in October that are hot, dogs look uncomfortable and I have to hunt with my hat off. Too many cobwebs in the woods. End up hunting in am, fishing during the day, and bow hunting afternoons. Wait...that's not a bad deal when I type it!

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