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Grouse Hunting


Rick

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

This space is all yours Grouse hunters. Fire away.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been reading that numbers of Grouse are being seen along roads in NE. MN. Anyone know if that be the case?
In any event I'll be in the Echo Trail area come Sept. 16 to find out for myself.

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  • 11 months later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

bump

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have heard just the opposite in the Grand Marais area. We have a cabin in Hovland and I have seen very few birds this summer. The only way to find out for sure is go and give ita good try! Have fun.

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Early Riser--

That post was from last year... but you bring up a great point!! How does the grouse population look up north this year? Any of you bear hunters seeing or hearing grouse while out baiting? I'm too far down south to see any around my neck of the woods. Would like to get out and into some this year though!

Duck-o-holic

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Oops - I will have to make sure I check the date next time! I just talked to a friend of mine from Grand Marais. He saw a family group of 5 yesterday. He drives the roads a lot in the course of his construction business and he has noticed about a 60% reduction from his bird sightings in comparison to last summer. It doesn't matter - It will be great to be out walking with the dog come fall!

One trend that I have noticed up there over the course of last 15 years that is somewhat discouraging is the dramatic decrease in the logging industry. I worry that as a result overall numbers of birds and deer may decrease in comparison to previous peak years. I really feel for the loggers as their way of life is in a state of flux and uncertainty.

[This message has been edited by Early Riser (edited 08-22-2001).]

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Man, I love grouse hunting. My first time gouse hunting, was with a buddy of mine. He had to shoot this one three times, before it croaked. He then pulled the breasts off with this interesting technique. I wasn't watching that closely, but if I remember correctly, he stood on the wings and grabbed the feet and just pulled. I was wondering if I had missed something. Does anyone else know of this technique? Is that all there is too it?

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This is the only way I do it, and it is simple and quick. You step on both wings adn pull the feet. You then have to clean some guts out of the chest cavities and break or cut off the wings. But it is simple and fast!

------------------
"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."
Genesis 9:3

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Bassdaddy, MNWILD14 is right that's the quickest and cleanest way of cleaning that I know of. It's one of the few things in hunting that is actually as easy as it looks, just remember to step on the wings close to the body. Hey, where is everybody heading this year and how does it look. I usually hunt the Mille Lacs Widlife Area, Rum River State forest and some public land along the Snake river. If anybody has some other public land suggestions for grouse it would be great to hear about.

Have fun but be safe out there.
Jim

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With this method you are throwing away the tastiest meat on a grouse. The lower leg is full of small bones and not worth saving, but the upper leg has a small amount of meat that is moister than the breast meat and well worth saving even though it's a small amount.

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One other time, I had cooked the whole bird. Cleaned and skinned it. The legs and thighs seemed a little tough. Maybe I just cooked it for too long.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Small game opens tomorrow. I plan on going to the north west of the state. I got a map from the DNR. It shows that area was the smallest drop in drumming counts, for grouse, and the highest count per stop. That doesn't say grouse are abundant in the area. But It looks better that other spots in the state. Where is everyone else going?

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BassDaddy, where did you get that map? And how can I get a copy of it?

I usually hunt in 3 locations, North of Brainerd, north of Hibbing and north of Grand Marias. How do these areas look for this year?

Thanks in advance.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I believe you can download it from the DNR site. Just go to hunting, click on grouse and it should be there as one of the options. I will probably bring the gun along on our October walleye trip to Cass. Numbers there only dropped 13% from last fall.

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Borch is right. I got it from the DNR website. WWW.DNR.STATE.MN.US I checked out last years count and this years. The northwest still looks the best. I've been cross refferencing that map with a Wildlife Management Area map, I got at a sporting goods store. Does anyone know how to look up what kind of trees are in a certain area? I am looking for aspen.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Bassdaddy,

I'm not sure exactly were you are hunting up there but don't forget the state and national forest land. Much of this is very good for grouse hunting and with limited timber cutting there are always different stages of growth of the aspen. Last time up I picked up a Chippewa National Forest map in Cass Lake and we saw a lot of birds. A lot of land with good access.

Best of luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is anyone out there doing much grouse hunting? I have not been able to get out yet but I would love to hear about some of the member's hunting experiences so far this fall. I am heading up to Grand Marias this weekend and will post the stats if anyone is interested in a report from that area.

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Early Riser, I've been out twice and have seen a total of five birds, with only one bagged. Last weekend there were still a lot of leaves on the trees but it looks like they are changing fast. I have been hunting at the Mille Lacs WMA in spots where I've seen good numbers in the past few years but not as great this year. Post your results when you get back I would like see how you did.

Have Fun,
Jim

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My brother and I walked a total of 9 hours over two days and each covered different areas. We saw combined total of 17 birds and managed to shoot 9. I saw two woodcock and two woodducks. There was a dusting of snow on the ground Saturday morning. Beautiful clear blue skies and very refreshing temps. both days.

Based on what we saw I would say that there are relatively few young birds so there is not much of a dispersal into more widespread areas. All the birds we saw were in the best cover available and there are many pockets of great cover that are bird-less this year. It was great to be out there to reacquaint with the terrain.

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nubbinbuck,

The Rum River state forest is pretty good grouse territory, so is the Mille Lacs WMA which is just north of the Rum River SF. That will give you plenty of territory to hunt. I would recommend hunting trails along some of the 2-4 year old clear cuts made in the WMA or hunting along a stream such as the groundhouse. Some of the things you might want to look for are trails that have alot of clover on them, dogwood bushes (The bushes with the white berries with the red stems found along edges), aspen/popple stands that are about wrist thick and water sources. I hope this helps. Just a reminder Sunday is probably the toughest day to see birds, by that time most have been pushed off the trails by Friday and Saturday hunters. My best hunting has always been on Wednesdays and Thursdays but like most people don't get to go midweek very often. Good Luck, the colors should be beutiful up there no matter what your outcome. Let me know how ya do.

Jim

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Looking for some info on Grouse hunting around the Mille Lacs area. A buddy and I would like to head up on Sun for a 1 day hunt. Looking at areas around there, is there any population in the Rum River State forest? We are up for any advise, as this would be the first time I have hunted grouse in MN. If you have some info, please email me at [email protected]

Thanks alot !

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There is no grouse!!!!! My dad and I bear hunt in Superior National Forest and we were out of Isabella between sep. 15 and sep 25th, and our guide had us sitting 22 miles back on logging roads gravel roads, every different possible road that Grouse love and for the 9 days that we were bear hunting we saw 7 Grouse. We must have put on 200 miles exploring the back country by truck, ATV and foot, so I definately think the grouse POP. Is way down. So goodluck in this area- you'll need it! tony

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Went on our annual grouse hunt to northcentral Mn. and although numbers are down significantly from last year still managed to find plenty of birds and limited out for 4 guys in 4 days of hunting, which means about 2 or 3 birds per hunter a day. Had to put on a lot of miles to find birds, a rough guess would be 1 1/2 miles of walking per flush. Grouse hunting is always great, even if you don't see any it's a good walk in the woods.

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Ybone,
That's great to hear. Do you mind if I ask you to give us a little more specific information as to where you were hunting?

Seabass77

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I hunted the Superior National Forest the second weekend in September and saw only 1 bird. It was the first time I have ever been skunked grouse hunting up there. My dad and brother saw 23 last Sunday up there and shot 7. We have a hunting shack up there. I will be hunting there Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday! We usually shoot lots of grouse this weekend every year! It should be good since the leaves have come down! People have not seen so many birds because the numbers are down I know but there also has been lots of food in the woods to eat. So the grouse have not needed to come to the roads. Now with the under growth pretty much gone, people will see more as the grouse come out to roads and trails to stock up on the clover!

[This message has been edited by Wobbler (edited 10-16-2001).]

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Lip Ripper,
I took you to Duluth once and I still think part of you is still there. The nearest one is the Gladiator in Gilbert. Trust me you would PUNT!!!!

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Seabass77, We did a lot of our hunting on Chippewa National Forest land but we covered a lot of area and sometimes drove 40 miles from camp to try new areas. If we found good habitat we found grouse.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What is good habitat? Is grouse hunting good through the end of fall?? When is the best time to go?

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