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Grouse hunting


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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Finn and I went looking for a grouse today. We found feathers and fresh shell casings, so I picked up the casings. Jumped a woodcock but they are not in season yet so it flew free Finn was not pleased 

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took the kids out last weekend. weather was beautiful saturday, iffy sunday. ended up with 7 birds. basically shot 100% i should stop for the year.  did end up with one nice male spruce grouse.

i've always found birds in pockets regardless of counts. as a matter of fact some of my best years have been the lowest count years. i've learned you can't shoot one from the couch! and a lot of peopl

Spent 9 days at camp with a buddy. Filled out in 4 1/2 days. Saw close to 90. They are pretty wild. Chased one for a quarter mile through swamps and islands before I got him. Spent the rest of the wee

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I am thinking about going out Friday but having a tough time deciding on where to go. Its either Mille lacs wma, Sandstone Wma or Nemadji state forest. My heart is telling Nemadji but that's an extra hour drive from my house over Lacs and an extra 30 from Sandstone.

I think I will just go to Lacs and save Nemadji for when the leaves fall down a little more.

 

 

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

I will be in sherburne hunting ducks. Just east of Mille lzcs lake is some great grouse hunting 

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The refuge? I used to bow hunt there shot my biggest arrowed buck there a few years back. Does it get pretty crowded for ducks? I have never walked the part where you can hunt migratory birds

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Well we went out for a little bit at mille lacs wma. Didn't see one but still had a good time walking through the woods. Lots of cover out there still.

 

 

 

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I think tomorrow afternoon I am going to give nemadji state forest a try. I have always had good luck there I will give a report back if I go.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Good luck Zach 

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Anyone been out lately? I normally wait until the leaves start dropping but am getting the itch to get out pretty bad.

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Not lately but a buddy got 3 in big fork yesterday... No dog just him walking

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went to nemadji on Saturday. Still tons of cover around me and 3 guys went out with my dog tango and one other guy had his lab as well. Morning started off slow in a patch of woods that produced big time last year for us. No luck this year I decided we should try a trail a little farther down so we walked the four-wheeler trail a bit and found a nice place to go in to the woods lots of small new undergrowth. About 50 yards in I hear the flush of a grouse didn't see it but knew it was going the other twos way so I yelled to them your way. No shots rang out they couldn't see it. Pushed on 10 mins later tango flushed another one as I was making my way through a patch of thick growth and no room to swing guy in the middle who doesn't hunt much bang bang missed. Oh well happy we are seeing birds and excited that Tango is flushing them. We decided to switch directions walking parallel with the trail for a bit tango get birdy ok this is my chance get ready flush the bird stays low and goes straight out I don't want to take a shot that low when my dog I in-between me and the bird by the time it gets high and is in the open its pretty far away I let her ring out just incase bang bang bang no luck. The other guy said 2 flushed but I only saw the one. Ok come on we can do this tango is wondering why I am shooting and there is nothing to retrieve. The woods are getting thicker and thicker and I decide I have no chance at shot anyway so go back to a little more open patch I saw earlier. Tango zigs and zags in front of me going hard as he is getting excited from flushing the other birds. He changes direction I follow flush right in the open ok Zach dont mess this up. Bang bang yes finally got one

over all it was a good day Tango flushed the birds great not bad for his second time grouse hunting.

If the leaves were not so think I am confident I would have came home with at least 3.

Tango and me got all the flushes which makes me a proud dog owner.

side not I found some nice flooded timber and as I was checking it out 5 nice woodies flew by me. Dang I knew I should have brought ny gun with a plug.

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RV is packed and I'll be heading to the Canadian border country on a seven day grouse trip in a few days. Looks like frost is predicted in the area I hunt Friday night so that should help thin the understory and improve the hunting next week. Report when I return, no service in the area.

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Went out yesterday with my 14 yo son, first did some clays shooting. Practicing for next weeks 10 day trip to North Dakota for roosters.

Hit one spot for an hour, had 5 flushes on 3 different birds, with only one shot. Son got his first of the year, a really nice red phase!  

Still alot of thick underbrush in the tag elder patches we walked, leaves just starting to come down west of Cloquet.  

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Longville area report was a slow weekend for my Father in law and his friend.... The area they were hunting had a lot of storm damage and was hard to get around . Said they shot two and flushed a couple more.

 

 

The leaves at my house are starting to fall like crazy it should be prime time in the coming weeks. :D

13 hours ago, birdguy said:

RV is packed and I'll be heading to the Canadian border country on a seven day grouse trip in a few days. Looks like frost is predicted in the area I hunt Friday night so that should help thin the understory and improve the hunting next week. Report when I return, no service in the area.

Safe trip have fun sounds like a blast I am trying to get up by Crane lake this year.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Well I went up to the cabin near grand Marais got one that Finn flushed one that thought it would be safe sitting in a tree and made Finn heal and sit then I shot it. We flushed a few more in pines and no shot. Came up to smelly rutting bull moose do we backed out. 

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tacklejunkie

Been seeing good numbers and getting a few. A little more jumpy with the woods thinning but still getting them

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Longville area Weekend of the 8th 6 were shot over the weekend by father in law.

This weekend we went up there with him and his friend.

First day morning no one saw anything, the evening they saw 2 but no shots we didn't see any.

The next day morning hunt no birds to be seen by anyone.

I went through a couple spots that I for sure would be holding birds but no luck. My dog never got birdy at all the whole trip.

 

I think the places we went got pounded pretty hard though one trail we went down had a couple fresh wings on the trail from people field dressing and I picked up 5 empty shells.

 

I also didn't get to get off trail much due to the lady being with as I don't think she enjoys how I usually hunt pounding through off trail.

Still a good day in the woods though

 

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Got back Friday from the border country north of Ely. Three of us downed 14 birds, not as many as we hoped going in as we usually get our possession limits in the area we hunt during better years in the cycle. Locals said the spring rains really affected the bird numbers in the area. All birds were adults with no young-of-the-year being taken. I'm hearing good things about certain parts of the state and will try them after I spend a weekend or or two chasing some local  pheasants.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Finn wanted to go hunting last Saturday so we went on combo or trio hunt. We looked for pheasants and grouse and found deer ticks 100's of them. We did jumped a pond with 5 wood ducks and never got a shot. I got a woodcock grouse spot but I am not sure with all the ticks.

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Jonny 2 shot

I was hunting north of Duluth a few weekends back and had a ton of Deer ticks too... Scary thing is it was in areas I had hunted for the last 20 years or so without seeing any.  I talked to a family friend in Embarrass and he said its the worst he has ever seen up there.

 

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After 2 days hunting Longville only found 2 deer ticks on me, and one on the dog that wasn't attached and seemed half dead (flea and tick must be doing its job)  Glad we have not run into a bunch of them yet..

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Well  I got 4 grouse during deer season one on opening day cause it was driving me nuts. Once I downed a buck I went with my cousin and we got 7 more boy for the Monday night game we had great snacks. 

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Anyone in the Cambridge area going to the Pheasants Forever Meet and Greet at Sidelines on February 20th or to the Ruffed Grouse Societies Birds & Brew gathering at the Pizza Pub on February 2nd?

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  • 8 months later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Well guys I went north of ely over to crane lake back to ely and then down to grand marais. Put 900 miles on the truck and 10-14 miles walking each day. Zero grouse for me but I was not able to have Finn! As a group we got 4 birds for 5 days of hunting.  Save your gas money until next year. Total birds seen 16. 5 of them were at my cabin and they are all living until deer season.

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bobberineyes

Don't feel bad monstermoose, that's hunting. We didn't do any better (left the dog at home too). Didn't see any signs of wolves but lots of miles on foot and gravel with not much seen. The deer ticks sure were thick though. And they say grouse #s are up??

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leech~~
2 hours ago, monstermoose78 said:

Well guys I went north of ely over to crane lake back to ely and then down to grand marais. Put 900 miles on the truck and 10-14 miles walking each day. Zero grouse for me but I was not able to have Finn! As a group we got 4 birds for 5 days of hunting.  Save your gas money until next year. Total birds seen 16. 5 of them were at my cabin and they are all living until deer season.

My wife and I did about 30 miles on logging roads up by Tofte this weekend not hunting just out for a color ride through the woods. Saw one Grouse the whole ride. Thinking the DNR's off on their drumming count a bit!  :whistle:

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It will get better with the leaves down. When it's green they have plenty to eat without hitting trails. We hunted north central all week. 2 of us got 20 and saw almost that many more. Was way better by end of the week.

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I have been seeing a few grouse on each walk with the dog in the evenings, but have not shot any.  

Most have been jumped in or near raspberry patches or by streams.  

I have not seen many along the roads.

 

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i went out for a couple hours yesterday looking for grouse.  The buddy i was with never has been hunting for grouse or woodcock.  We only saw 1 grouse with no chance for a shot but got both woodcock that flushed. 

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Looks like you got one woodcock and a snipe but I could be wrong but great job shooting.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Got some grouse and saw some nice coveys. The biggest was 6 birds but found couple groups of 5. That is always fun.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      Cools down Sunday afternoon and the wind dies down at the same time so Head-OLakes Bay should freeze over Sunday night, 11/30.  A couple of cool days after that so next weekend may be possible for fishing (on foot).  I may wait until the following Monday 12/6 to go up.
    • smurfy
      Yea noticed that to. Since heading north to Itasca county since 1965, we notice the same with the weather and snow. Seems  brainerd is a line, then north of deer river.
    • jim curlee
      I've had enough drama/frustration over buying a used Skandic. lol Called all over Minnesota yesterday looking for a new one. One of the dealers I called last week, had 8-9 of them, today none. I happened to find one new Skandic SWT, and bought it. Delivery sometime in December. If anybody else is on the fence about a Skandic, you better buy it, there aren't anymore. LOL     
    • Wanderer
      The transition seems to be around Brainerd the past few years that I’ve noticed.  Anything south seems to take a while to lock up good then goes bad earlier. Probably has been that way a long time but I’ve only been in the area about 5 winters now and normally didn’t come this direction to ice fish before then.
    • SkunkedAgain
      I would bet that the ice in front of your place is at least 6 inches thick. I think that this will be a good ice year in our bay, but will have to wait it out to see what the future holds for the rest of the lake!   I expect that you'll drill a hole or two to get some fishing in this weekend....
    • smurfy
      Drove by pleasant lake today coming home from st cloud.  99% of that lake is wide open yet 
    • CigarGuy
      Got up today. You're correct skunked. It frozen solid as far as I can see in front of me. Snowmobile tracks are running along our shoreline 🤔
    • SkunkedAgain
      Thanks for the input. I wish that were closer to the west end, as that's a bit of a hike for me but will always be an option.
    • SkunkedAgain
      From the White Eagle webcam, it looks like only the wings are iced up but the majority of Head O Lakes is open water still.   Therefore I likely won't be heading up there until the holidays.
    • JerkinLips
      Darrell - thanks for the information.  I also heard some scary news about premature ice fishing on Vermilion.  A couple of guys fishing in Stuntz Bay on 2.5" of ice.  Another couple fishing in narrows close to open water.   Weather doesn't look great for making ice, and the snow cover will slow it down.  Will consider all information and use maximum safety IF I decide to try going out Wednesday.  It is a long winter so there is no rush to get out.
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