Minnesota Grouse~ 5th hunt

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MN Bonasa
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Minnesota Grouse~ 5th hunt

Post by MN Bonasa » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:20 am

Curious to see how the first two weekends went for anyone out there chasin ruffies in Minnesota.

I hunted east of Leech Lake ended up with my limit of 5 ruffies on Saturday ( had a double on the first flush of the year ) with 8 flushes for the day and 3 more flushes on Sunday but no birds.

First time ever hunting behind a dog, and first time hunting my 6 month GSP, she did outstanding beyond my expectations
she didn't point any birds, but ranged very well! All in all very pleased with the first outing of the year.

Colors are just starting to turn, Next weekend should be awesome, curious note: didn't see alot of other hunters in the woods but Duck hunting opened Saturday.
Last edited by MN Bonasa on Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:48 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Vonzeppelinkennels
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by Vonzeppelinkennels » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:19 am

Congrats on your birds!! I'm not trying to be a spoil sport but if you are shooting birds that your dog doesn't point he is not likely to point many in the future.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by baileydog2007 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:33 pm

Still a lot of cover here, obviously. Opening weekend up here, we (my 6 month old setter and I) put up 5 birds. I didnt get any shots. The second weekend, we put up 8, and I got 2. I could have shot (well, shot AT 5 at least) 5, but things didnt go right with the pup. My pup hunts hard, and has good range (at least I like her range), but in the grouse woods, she is going so fast, she runs right into them ususally, and bumps them, they flush, so I dont shoot. As thats what the trainer told me to do the first season. She flushed some a ways off that I could hear, but never saw.

She did have 1, what I would call a perfect point. We were on the way back to the car, walking on the trail. I walk the woods way in, and usually take the trail out. She was way ahead, but I could see her pointing. She had done it a lot, not sure if it was squirrels, birds, rabbit scent, who knows. So I wasnt really thinking it was a ruffie. STUPID me. I got about ten feet away and it flushed. It was sweet. Would have been nice if I was ready, but it was cool. A better point than either of the 2 I did get.

Its going to be a fun season, cant wait for the cover to lighten up. And hopefully my pup gets a little more interested in retrieving.......................

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MN Bonasa
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by MN Bonasa » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:19 pm

I'll have to hold off on pulling the trigger if she bumps them. the fist two I got she had nothing to do with them, ran by them and was a good distance away when they flushed to my left - I drove a long way not to pull the trigger on that opportunity.

There was one bump that did include a flush about 50 feet in front of me that she flushed. I did take a shot and put it down though. The other birds she flushed I didn't shoot and the other two I did get she wasn't in the scene for those birds.

Lots of Cover like you said. But I think there are birds to be found and should get pretty good starting this weekend and really good in about two weeks.

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Firemedic
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Not Minnesota, but.....

Post by Firemedic » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:16 pm

Michigan. Dry, dry dry. All my good coverts were dry, and hardly any birds to be found. Looked for some low ground and found some.

Shot these 5 by 4pm on the opener over the lab. Moved 7, killed 5.
Image

Shot a few over one of my pointers:
Image

Nice point:
Image

This pic is my wife and her GSP she broke herself, both their first wild bird hunt. Nice woodcock point here. Her lack of "enthusiasm" was probably due to walking 6 miles that morning, and not being able to shoot the WC because season wasn't open yet.
Image


I have a ton more "glory shots" on my camera I have to download, these are from my phone.

Good luck this season!

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laxhcky4
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by laxhcky4 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:22 am

All reports I have heard are spotty. I was out last weekend and my buddy and I moved 15 birds, shot 2. I think the bird numbers are better further north.

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wills1235
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by wills1235 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:59 pm

I'm from MN but live in Eastern WA. Tons of Blues and less ruffies out here. These blue grouse are huge, I have a hard time pulling the trigger, cause I'm never sure if they're grouse or turkeys. I've got a new GSP too. I notice he doesn't work grouse very well at all, runs past a bunch of birds or bumps them a lot. And the birds don't seem to hold under point like the quail, hun, and phezz do. If he does go on point it's hard to see him in the cover. I guess it's what you're used to though, when I was 16 or 18 hunting grouse on the iron range I thought the GSP would be perfect. When I moved to the wheat fields in WA I thought the GSP would be perfect. And for me, the GSP IS perfect, no matter if I kill any birds or not.
The best place to hunt is where the birds are. Next best is where they ain't. Anywhere else works too.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by GWPtyler » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:26 pm

ON opener, a buddy and I hunted east of Virginia, MN, all day Saturday. Moved two birds (one bird flushed twice) and shot one. Dismal would be an appropriate word. Hopefully this weekend is better. I plan on focusing more on water-y areas, given the dry conditions.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by DonF » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:13 pm

Those last two photo's are wall hangers! Really nice.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

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MN Bonasa
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by MN Bonasa » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:22 pm

Is it Friday Yet?
Man I hate the work week during hunting season. I will be heading through the Iron Range next week on my way to the Orr area. Have a cabin rented for a few days, so I will covering that area Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
It is very dry in the woods, the birds I moved last weekend seem to be holding on the transition areas to lower ground.
Swampy areas is where I will be concentrating my efforts this weekend and next.
I jave a few buddies that hunt ruffies pretty hard and they have done pretty well UP NORTH, the further you get UP NORTH the better it seems. I have always had good luck North Central as well. Its nice to walk new trails and see new country as well, thats what makes this sport so appealing IMO.

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DogNewbie
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by DogNewbie » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:40 pm

MN_GROUSE_GUY wrote:Is it Friday Yet?
Man I hate the work week during hunting season. I will be heading through the Iron Range next week on my way to the Orr area. Have a cabin rented for a few days, so I will covering that area Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
It is very dry in the woods, the birds I moved last weekend seem to be holding on the transition areas to lower ground.
Swampy areas is where I will be concentrating my efforts this weekend and next.
I jave a few buddies that hunt ruffies pretty hard and they have done pretty well UP NORTH, the further you get UP NORTH the better it seems. I have always had good luck North Central as well. Its nice to walk new trails and see new country as well, thats what makes this sport so appealing IMO.
Yeah I'll be up in Orr weekend of the 8th. First time out for the season with my 4mon GWP. Not sure if I'll bring a gun out yet. Maybe. I'll see how well he does on pigeons this weekend

Tim

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by Ryman Gun Dog » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:28 pm

Gentlemen,
Sounds like an interesting Grouse season opener, some advise for you guys who have young dogs, leave off shooting bumped birds, and make the dog do the work properly, if you want a good Grouse dog someday. I know its tough but to me good dog work is more important than Killing Grouse.
Its not how many Grouse you take, it's how you take the Grouse.
Hope everybody had a great time.
RGD/Dave

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MN Bonasa
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by MN Bonasa » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:40 pm

Ryman Gun Dog wrote:Gentlemen,
some advise for you guys who have young dogs, leave off shooting bumped birds, and make the dog do the work properly,
I hear ya Ryman,

My stomach, who told me "it wanted to be reminded what grouse tastes like" made me shoot! :lol:

Going as far north to get as many contacts as I can hope for. its all about her now!

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by DogNewbie » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:09 am

MN_GROUSE_GUY wrote:
Ryman Gun Dog wrote:Gentlemen,
some advise for you guys who have young dogs, leave off shooting bumped birds, and make the dog do the work properly,
Going as far north to get as many contacts as I can hope for. its all about her now!
Ditto. I have no problem just walking the trails. What would you guys advise? just let the pup go free, have fun and learn on his own or have him drag and check cord and do a small amount of training if he points a bird?

Tim

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by cpinkert » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:05 am

I've been out a bunch north of Duluth and it's hit or miss right now. Tons of cover left and it seems one day the birds are there and the next they're gone. And not because I shot them, the pup is still figuring out grouse and I'm not shooting birds she busts out.

Had an interesting experience last night...the dog and I were "escorted" (stalked may be a better word) out of the woods by a couple wolves. One on either side of the trail. I started getting that feeling that we were being watched/followed, the dog was acting weird, and I started hearing stuff on both sides of the trail that wasn't leaves falling or tweety birds or squirrels. So, I started doing the walk and abrupt stop routine and caught glimpses of what I'm pretty sure were wolves on both sides of the trail. I think it was just two, but who knows. All I know is the gun was up and I was on full alert for the last few hundred yards of that trail.

I'm finding wolf scat EVERYWHERE in the woods north of Duluth. Every single road/trail that's open enough to see the ground that I've walked has had wolf sign.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by MN Bonasa » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:24 am

cpinkert wrote:Had an interesting experience last night...the dog and I were "escorted" (stalked may be a better word) out of the woods by a couple wolves
I am anticipating my encounter sooner rather than later.... :evil:

Why doesn't our leaders listen to the average sportsman on how many of these are really out there.
They say there are about 3,000 inour state. I say there are about 3 times that many.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by cpinkert » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:14 am

No kidding, I feel like there's about 3,000 within 30 miles of Duluth!

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~

Post by baileydog2007 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:09 am

Ryman Gun Dog wrote:Gentlemen,
Sounds like an interesting Grouse season opener, some advise for you guys who have young dogs, leave off shooting bumped birds, and make the dog do the work properly, if you want a good Grouse dog someday. I know its tough but to me good dog work is more important than Killing Grouse.
Its not how many Grouse you take, it's how you take the Grouse.
Hope everybody had a great time.
RGD/Dave
I cetainly try to hold off. I did shoot one where I probably shouldnt have. It seems to me (and I could be wrong) that Zoie is going through the woods so fast, by the time she catches the scent, she bumps the bird. The few decent points she has had, came later in the day, when she is a bit tired and moving slower. The one on the trail was perfect, the wind was right, she was a bit slower cuz she was tired, ect, then I mess up of course. I would WAY rather see a good point than shoot a grouse, Im just wondering what to do, as she is so fast, seems she bumps most them?? Thoughts?

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by MN Bonasa » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:24 am

If you were not in the woods on Saturday hunting grouse in northern Minnesota you sure missed out on some excellent hunting. Grouse were moving like crazy, I had over twenty flushes, got a few birds for the weekend. I noticed having a little wind sure helped as to having no wind. There were alot of hunters enjoying the weekend as compared to last weekend.
leaves are falling fast. Colors were awesome. Anyone else have the same type of experience?

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by Croix » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:17 pm

Was up north as well with my 1 year old Setter. Had 9 points/flushes sat and 7 points/flushes Sunday. I write points/flushes because he pauses for a split second then bumps them. After the flush he let's put a little excitment yelp?? We didn't shoot at any of the flushes.

Any suggestions to keep him on the right track. He ranges and listens well. I couldn't be more happy so far.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by baileydog2007 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:01 am

Last weekend here was good too. We only shot 6 (myself, my son, and his friend), but we saw probably 15 and heard about 4-5 more flushes (still a lot of cover, but falling fast). Im taking vacation on Friday and off on Monday, so Ill hit the woods hard this weekend. Heading over by Big Falls MN, for Fri and Sat, pretty good numbers over there, hope to put my pup on a lot of birds in those 4 days. Thursday cant get here quick enough.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by GWPtyler » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:59 am

We went up and hunted Thursday evening through Sunday morning. By the end of it, the pooch was pooped out! But we had a great time. Once we figured out what to look for, the birds were there. The last two hunts (Saturday evening and Sunday morning) we hunted the same trail and moved at least a dozen birds. Bagged four and missed a legitimate double: two birds got up left to right in unison, missed the lead bird with the first shot and downed the second with the other shot...DOH! Finished with 7 birds altogether. Debating going back up in two weeks or hunting ducks back home...decisions decisions! But I'd love to chase those ruffs at least one more time :mrgreen:

Primo grouse habitat!
Image

The piece de resistance:
Image

Remy and I with the first bird of the trip:
Image

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by DogNewbie » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:29 pm

I was busy giving Briar a 20ga gun intro this weekend to make sure he'll be ready for next weekend! Can't wait to see him learn from the birds!

Tim

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MN Bonasa
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by MN Bonasa » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:07 pm

Sounds like the weather is gonna be to nice this weekend if thats possible.
I love the sunny skies for grouse, but the heat I can do without.
At least its not snowing!!
nice pics GWPtyler, and yes that trail looks like the ones I have been seeing birds on.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by Ryman Gun Dog » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:45 pm

Gentlemen,
You know you guys are killing me right now, Grouse hunting when Pa's season is not open yet, some of the guys in up state NY are Grouse hunting however, man I should go buy a NY License. Great pictures and stories everyone.
GWP Tyler, never hunt Ducks when you can Grouse hunt, good grief man,
and now that you have a good German dog, its time to get rid of the semi-auto and pick up a good double Grouse gun. Never insult the Lord by taking one of his prize
Grouse with a Duck gun.
RGD/Davea

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by wills1235 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:00 pm

Ryman Gun Dog wrote: GWP Tyler, never hunt Ducks when you can Grouse hunt, good grief man,
and now that you have a good German dog, its time to get rid of the semi-auto and pick up a good double Grouse gun. Never insult the Lord by taking one of his prize
Grouse with a Duck gun.
RGD/Davea

Amen my friend, went quail hunting with a duck man on saturday. Myself with my gsp and 20g o/u and him with his semi-auto 12. My pup retrieved his first(and only) bird, which he had hit at short range. The bird was just destroyed. I asked him what he was shooting, and he said #8. Then I asked what kind of choke he had in. He responded "Oh, it's a fixed full choke. It's my duck gun. Just love shooting it soooooo much." I made him go back to the truck and get my backup gun.
The best place to hunt is where the birds are. Next best is where they ain't. Anywhere else works too.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by baileydog2007 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:08 am

Now I dont know whats gotten into my pup. Im going out every evening after work. Early in the season, she was a little rangey, but not too bad. Now, she runs way further out, and has selective hearing. There are a lot of birds, put up 8 last night in a couple hours of walking. But its like my dog took idiot pills since Sat evening. And thats a day we got into a quiet a few birds.

Some guys tell me get her on wild birds, its good for her. But man, she goes and goes so far and fast, pointing is out of the question, she bumps em all. The only birds I could shoot are ones I flush when she is 100yds off in the woods. Am I best to not hunt her until she gets more training or what. Frustrating. She is young and I didnt expect much from her this season, Im just wondering if its doing more damage than good, since she really never actually points. She finds a lot of birds, but usually on a fly by, then they flush.......

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by GWPtyler » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:50 am

Ryman Gun Dog wrote:Gentlemen,
You know you guys are killing me right now, Grouse hunting when Pa's season is not open yet, some of the guys in up state NY are Grouse hunting however, man I should go buy a NY License. Great pictures and stories everyone.
GWP Tyler, never hunt Ducks when you can Grouse hunt, good grief man,
and now that you have a good German dog, its time to get rid of the semi-auto and pick up a good double Grouse gun. Never insult the Lord by taking one of his prize
Grouse with a Duck gun.
RGD/Davea
Well, it's the difference of a few hundred miles and a bunch more $$$. I can hunt ducks virtually in my back yard, whereas I have to travel a ways to find the king of gamebirds. That said, the temptation to get after the mighty ruff one last time is sure hard to ignore.
As for the "autoloader," I'm not entirely sure what gun you think you're seeing. The one over my shoulder is a 15-year-old 870 youth 20 gauge pump. It has a 22-inch barrel and has a knack of jumping up to my shoulder like it's being pulled by high-powered electro magnets. I wouldn't trade that gun for any fancy, shmancy over-under, side-by-side double whatchamajigger. That gun right thar is a grouse hunter's dream. I call it "little thunder." Don't knock it till you try it :wink:
My duck gun is an black synthetic 870 super mag that has yet to see the grouse woods. The thing weighs 12 pounds when fully loaded, and I'd just as soon use a heavy rock to kill grouse than lug that hunk of fine machinery around.
That said, if the Good Lord is so mad at me for harvesting a few of his tasty morsels with my undeserving scatterguns, than he is more than welcome to deliver an approved double to my front door and I'll be happy to tote it around :mrgreen:

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by MN Bonasa » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:51 am

Why does it take so long for the work day to end when all a guy has in the back of his mind a road trip to some righteous grouse counrty? Looking forward to 3 days of Aspen heaven, a cold beer after a day of hunting. :D

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 2nd hunt

Post by GWPtyler » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:37 am

MN_GROUSE_GUY wrote:Why does it take so long for the work day to end when all a guy has in the back of his mind a road trip to some righteous grouse counrty? Looking forward to 3 days of Aspen heaven, a cold beer after a day of hunting. :D
That's it, when you coming to pick me up?! Fargo isn't too far out of your way I'm sure... :mrgreen:

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by MN Bonasa » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:09 pm

Well, this last weekend provided warm weather and WIND! Not exactly the kind of weather I like to hunt in, but still beats a day at work. With alot of the cover gone now the birds have less cover to hide in and the hunting for the most part was pretty good. I saw and flushed quit a few birds for the time and effort, I had a couple of real nice dog training flushes for my pup. My gut says this year is better than last year as for bird numbers, I didn't keep count of bird contacts but I would say in the mid twenties or so, I shot about 15 to 20 shells so thats good action in my opinion. Ruffies sure can make a guy humble and shake your head, how the heck did I miss him....... Spoke to a guy that came all the way from Tennessee to hunt Mr Ruffie, told me they have been comming to that area for over twenty years. We locals kinda forget what we take for granted here, others have to come along way to get that kind of hunting. I wasn't very far from Canada hunting Thurs thru Sat Morning.
Actually had better hunting hour and a half south that area Sat night and Sunday morning. Grouse hunting is good in Minnesota right now, find the right area, put a little time in and you should be successful. Now the pheasant opens here soon there will even be less pressure in the woods. Anyone else have similiar type success this weekend?

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by baileydog2007 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:22 am

MN_GROUSE_GUY wrote:Well, this last weekend provided warm weather and WIND! Not exactly the kind of weather I like to hunt in, but still beats a day at work. With alot of the cover gone now the birds have less cover to hide in and the hunting for the most part was pretty good. I saw and flushed quit a few birds for the time and effort, I had a couple of real nice dog training flushes for my pup. My gut says this year is better than last year as for bird numbers, I didn't keep count of bird contacts but I would say in the mid twenties or so, I shot about 15 to 20 shells so thats good action in my opinion. Ruffies sure can make a guy humble and shake your head, how the heck did I miss him....... Spoke to a guy that came all the way from Tennessee to hunt Mr Ruffie, told me they have been comming to that area for over twenty years. We locals kinda forget what we take for granted here, others have to come along way to get that kind of hunting. I wasn't very far from Canada hunting Thurs thru Sat Morning.
Actually had better hunting hour and a half south that area Sat night and Sunday morning. Grouse hunting is good in Minnesota right now, find the right area, put a little time in and you should be successful. Now the pheasant opens here soon there will even be less pressure in the woods. Anyone else have similiar type success this weekend?

Yea, it was a better weekend for me as far as number of birds we flushed, but it was way too windy, they were jumpy in the wind. Two of us hunted fri-monday morning and we got 17 birds total. Unfortunately, didnt have my pup out a lot. She just runns wild and flushes everything, and I was with someone who Im sure wouldnt appreciate that. Im pretty frustrated with my dog right now.

You said you were near Canada?? Where at, Im on the border here, we hunted here a bit and a bit down by Big Falls, MN. And I think there are a few more birds here actually, at least we found more here. As far as birds this year vs last year, we have seen a few less, but I suppose it depends on where you are. Definately need to find water this year, its DRY.

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by laxhcky4 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:27 am

I was out hunting this weekend with a buddy and we flushed 31 grouse and probably 15 woodcock. We ended up with 10 grouse and 2 woodcock. We definitely could have had more but my dog was having fun flushing them so we didn't pull the trigger. I am seeing a lot of improvement but its not constant improvement. Points some and busts others. I did shoot 2 birds over her points and then I wasn't able to get a shot at one that she locked up on. Sure was fun to see her lock up and let me move in for the flush. Going out again this weekend, will be targeting water, water, and more water. Oh, and always trust your dog! made a big mistake there. We were walking a nice trail and she was cruising down the middle and locked up, we set up on each side of her and pushed in the thick stuff 15 feet or so. she was still locked up. We looked around and figured there was no bird. Walked back to the trail and the bird flushed another 20 feet in or so. I know I'm learing stuff every time out, hoping my pup is too!

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by laxhcky4 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:38 am

Image

2 Nice red phase, the one on the left had a chocolate band, real pretty bird
Image

Stella thought she would walk over and pick up a bird while we were setting them up for a picture, I think my FF is paying off.
Image

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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by MN Bonasa » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:48 am

MN_GROUSE_GUY wrote:You said you were near Canada?? Where at
I was hunting near Orr East of HWY 53 it was OK but two many guys with their 4 wheelers and OHV's not that I am against them, but that area has too many roads and trails that allow them. I saw a nice TIMBERWOLF on the way out Saturday morning on the road. Glad it was on the road and not in the woods.

Nice red phase birds laxhcky4, most of mine were grey and immature.

Need advice, when my pup gets a hold of a grouse she wants to pretty much eat them. I had to ZAP her to "LEAVE IT" hopefully she will outgrow that behavior.

I ended up with 8 for weekend, like you guys coulda had more. Its a learning year for the dog, this winter and spring I will get into hard core training so next year hopefully she will be more polished.
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GWPtyler
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by GWPtyler » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:30 am

If I'd a shot it, that brown-banded red-phase would be on the wall in a heartbeat. Talk about a trophy!!!

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DogNewbie
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by DogNewbie » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:46 am

MN_GROUSE_GUY wrote:
I was hunting near Orr East of HWY 53 it was OK but two many guys with their 4 wheelers and OHV's not that I am against them, but that area has too many roads and trails that allow them. I saw a nice TIMBERWOLF on the way out Saturday morning on the road. Glad it was on the road and not in the woods.

Nice red phase birds laxhcky4, most of mine were grey and immature.

Need advice, when my pup gets a hold of a grouse she wants to pretty much eat them. I had to ZAP her to "LEAVE IT" hopefully she will outgrow that behavior.

I ended up with 8 for weekend, like you guys coulda had more. Its a learning year for the dog, this winter and spring I will get into hard core training so next year hopefully she will be more polished.
I saw a wolf cross 53 just north of ash lake. Small guy. Briar was pretty actively trying to eat a grouse wing whole when we where cleaning my buddy's bird Sat evening. I thought I'd just get him on the scent and toss it and let him hold it in his mouth..nope, he wanted to eat it instead. On the trail he was having trouble carrying the large birds and he would give up trying to fit it in his mouth and just stop half way to me and start plucking feathers from the birds.

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laxhcky4
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by laxhcky4 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:14 pm

GWP - The thought crossed my mind. I did keep the tail feathers and have them spread out to dry. Real pretty bird! You chasing the grouse this coming weekend?

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GWPtyler
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by GWPtyler » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:15 am

laxhcky4 wrote:GWP - The thought crossed my mind. I did keep the tail feathers and have them spread out to dry. Real pretty bird! You chasing the grouse this coming weekend?
I want to! Oh how I'd love to get out after ruffs for just one more weekend. But my hunting fund is a bit too dry for the long trip east (just finished paying off the vet bill...hallelujah!) and pop said he isn't going to make it so I'd be footing the hotel bill solo. That said, I doubt I'll be chasing the king the rest of this fall :cry:

Then again...maybe I can get out in late November or early December. I've never actually hunted ruffs in the winter. Wonder what that would be like?

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DogNewbie
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by DogNewbie » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:31 am

GWPtyler wrote:
laxhcky4 wrote:GWP - The thought crossed my mind. I did keep the tail feathers and have them spread out to dry. Real pretty bird! You chasing the grouse this coming weekend?
I want to! Oh how I'd love to get out after ruffs for just one more weekend. But my hunting fund is a bit too dry for the long trip east (just finished paying off the vet bill...hallelujah!) and pop said he isn't going to make it so I'd be footing the hotel bill solo. That said, I doubt I'll be chasing the king the rest of this fall :cry:

Then again...maybe I can get out in late November or early December. I've never actually hunted ruffs in the winter. Wonder what that would be like?
I don't even try to go out after deer season opens...Unless you have some private land to hunt...just too many tired, drunk, hunters looking to shoot anything that moves.

baileydog2007
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by baileydog2007 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:53 am

^Actually, hunting after deer season can be very good. During deer season I could see not wanting to go out, but after its good hunting. Actually a refuge up here that allows upland hunting on it after deer season. I think if a guy wants to walk, especially in the evenings, Nov, after deer season, is good hunting and I run into a lot less people than there are in the woods now.

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DogNewbie
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by DogNewbie » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:59 am

baileydog2007 wrote:^Actually, hunting after deer season can be very good. During deer season I could see not wanting to go out, but after its good hunting. Actually a refuge up here that allows upland hunting on it after deer season. I think if a guy wants to walk, especially in the evenings, Nov, after deer season, is good hunting and I run into a lot less people than there are in the woods now.
I've never thought of that...Nov rolls around and I'm usually thinking the pheasant hunting is just getting good. It'd be fun to do some grouse hunting in the snow!

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gsps4evr
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by gsps4evr » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:16 pm

I'm hoping to make it up north later next week. Any general areas better than others?

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MN Bonasa
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by MN Bonasa » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:18 pm

DogNewbie wrote:I saw a wolf cross 53 just north of ash lake
Looks like the Orr area doesn't have a shortage of MR Timberwolf.
DogNewbie you didn't happen to stay at MelGeorges did you? I saw a guy with a young wirehair with his wife and kids come in late Friday night.

I think grouse hunting is really good now, but I have seen a ton of birds during deer hunting. I wouldn't hunt with a dog on opener thats for sure, but in area 100 I think second and for sure third weekend there are lots of areas I guy could still hunt with his dog and not worry about deer hunters. I would just use a orange vest on the dog.
gsps4evr wrote:I'm hoping to make it up north later next week. Any general areas better than others?
Grand Rapids area is usually good, but I wonder if the National Hunt is being held there this weekend...?

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gsps4evr
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by gsps4evr » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:58 pm

Yeah I was looking on going up during the week to avoid the weekend warriors. Do you guys use beepers on your dogs or do they tend to scare the birds?

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MN Bonasa
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by MN Bonasa » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:25 pm

gpblitz wrote:You got more balls then I do or less brains than most Iron rangers. Don't do it man your asking for problems
Well.......... I am not saying I would actually go out there during deer hunting, but I think you can find trails and areas in the north country where deer hunters are gone for the year. I think most guys hang it up after the first 4 days up north. If you compare opening weekend to 3rd weekend I think the pressure drops pretty significantly.
Now with that being said, I would need to be pretty confident about the area before going out, now I wouldn't venture off trail or anything like that, go bushcrashing! Then yes I would have less brains than most iron rangers, but I think its the brown its down purists that concerns me the most. I on the other hand don't hunt that way, so at times I am probably pretty nieve to the fact that others do. i have shot many grouse during deer hunting season (without a dog), its to bad that I have to be concerned of the other guy all the time.

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DogNewbie
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by DogNewbie » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:12 am

MN_GROUSE_GUY wrote: Looks like the Orr area doesn't have a shortage of MR Timberwolf.
DogNewbie you didn't happen to stay at MelGeorges did you? I saw a guy with a young wirehair with his wife and kids come in late Friday night.
No, I was stay at a buddies hunting shack on Pelican. If you turn off 53 at the Dam Supper Club it's about 4 miles down.

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DogNewbie
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by DogNewbie » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:23 am

MN_GROUSE_GUY wrote: I think its the brown its down purists that concerns me the most.
That definitely concerns me as well, but I'm also worried about me. I've been walking the woods during the bow season and not seen a guy in camoed blaze orange in his tree stand. I'm not looking up and the camo pattern really makes the blaze orange less effective. And of course he's thinking that he's fine because he's wearing blaze orange so he doesn't call out or anything! I'd hate to think about the worse case scenario if a bird was to flush at that moment. When there are that many people in the woods hanging out in trees being as quiet as possible, I'm just as scared for them as I am for myself..

Tim

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MN Bonasa
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by MN Bonasa » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:30 am

gpblitz wrote:There's still lots of folks that look at it as adog in the woods during deer season is a deer chasing sob and should dye on the spot
Forgot about that scenario.......... keep the dog indoors during deer hunting, which I more than likely would do anyway since I hunt 1st, 2nd and 3rd weekend if need be for deer. Its to bad though I know grouse hunting could be really good, especially if we don't get any snow. I can't even count how many times a grouses has scared the crap out of me comming and going from the ole' deer stand.

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PntrRookie
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Re: Minnesota Grouse~ 3rd hunt

Post by PntrRookie » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:26 am

gpblitz wrote:
gsps4evr wrote:Yeah I was looking on going up during the week to avoid the weekend warriors. Do you guys use beepers on your dogs or do they tend to scare the birds?
Yes, I run beepers on my dogs. I Have since yearly 80's. For the most part No beepers don't scare the birds. Don't use a hawk scream for point mode. Timber chickens tend to bail with that sound.
What Howie said. I just "Traded Up" my old TT beeper for the new one...should be here soon! http://www.tritronics.com/g3-beeper.html

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