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setterguy

Grouse Numbers up 43%

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Sigh... Now I'll have to take a long weekend up North to go with a long weekend in SoDak. What am I going to do...

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Read the full DNR report here.

This was the big boom everyone has been waiting for. I'm going to make a point of spending more time out for grouse. Although, it's hard to say that now when they are talking about it being a perfect spring for the pheasant hatch!

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I just got home after a month and a half near International Falls and I belive that they are up. I've seen a few and the drumming was pretty rampant a couple weeks ago. Also talked to a few loggers that i know and they tell me there are more than last spring and they have not heard drumming like this in a while. Lets cross our fingers because it has been a cold damp spring in the north and things up there have froze quite a few different nights.

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Over the last few years, partridge hunting has been fun and relaxing. No competition, no jockeying for position on the trails and logging roads and portages.... We shot fewer birds per outing, but I have to say I'll take a few less birds as a trade-off for fewer hunters.

Now the papers will start trumpeting the numbers, and Dennis Anderson and Sam Cook and Chris Niskanen and the other writers will all have glowing articles with skillfully done photos.... The roads to the North Country will be choked with cars and trucks and SUV's crammed full of hunters and shotguns and setters and pointers.

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That might be a little dramatic...I've been grouse hunting for 15 years and have never not been able to find a place to hunt because of pressure.

We go through this cycle, when its up its blast. 4-5 bird contacts an hour is something to get excited about. If you are out there hunting them, then you are also part of the traffic. 43% is a SIGNIFICANT number that is news worthy. Sorry to let the secret out that we are going to hopefully have a great grouse hunting season.

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While it is true that the outdoor writers will have a hay day writing aricles for this i really don't worry too much. Some of my favorite spots get hit pretty hard theese day but i still always find birds. A lot of the people who hear that numbers are up are lazy road hunters and only go up the first couple weekends anyway. Another thing to remember is a lot of people are cutting back due to the economy right now, it really shows up north so far this year with a lot of vacancies at resorts for the summer.

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A lot of the people who hear that numbers are up are lazy road hunters and only go up the first couple weekends anyway.

I agree and also with setterguy. The guys/gals who love to hunt grouse and get out and walk with or without dog, are the same guys/gals that go hunt grouse weekend after weekend, year after year, regardless if the numbers are up or not.

One saving grace might be that pheasants #'s are supposed to be up this year so once the middle of October rolls around pressure should lighten up as it does every year.

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I can't say that I have never plucked one off the raod before but i go at least a half a dozen times or so every year even if the the cycle is up or down. I do put some serious miles in on the logging trails and walking ridges though. Between grouse and pheasant season i actually lose wheight every year! I don't deer or duck hunt much, I figure I can do that when i'm old and the legs don't work so well anymore. Until then i would rather chase around a little. Just hope the birds are really up this year as advertised.

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Boy, I don't know guys. I read the same article, but in my travels so far this spring I've not been seeing many birds. The pup flushed one on our walk yesterday after lunch, but overall the population seems to be about like last year. Hopefully I'm wrong....

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I can't wait! Personally I don't hunt the first month, too many goons out chasing 'em with atvs. Plus you can't see 10ft into the woods when they do flush. Honestly, december's my favorite month to go after grouse. The woods are open, there's virtually no one in the woods, and they've dumbed down a little by then.

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I just got home from almost another 3 weeks in the International falls area and I am still seeing a pretty decent number of birds for this time of year. I have spent a few days back in the woods hauling some gravel and every time I have seen more than one. I was back in the woods last week and i saw 2 hens with little ones. One of them had 7 and the other one I only counted 4 because mama was rushing them into weeds.They were all still about the size of a baseball so maybe the hatch was running a little late up there due to a cold wet spring. My uncle is a ranger for voyaguers national park an I was talking to him and a couple other rangers the other day who all spend a lot of time in the woods and they all think that there are a lot more than last year. Things are still looking up!

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When I first read the story It was bitter sweet. Although it was good news and I am looking forward to going to our favorite grouse spots it will be without my Dad who was my longtime hunting partner, he passed away last October during prime grouse hunting. Because of this I didn't even make it up last year for the first time in years. I don't know what to expect when I go this fall for the first time without him. Maybe some of you have gone through a similar situation, but I can't think of grouse hunting without thinking of my dad. He had us walking in the woods looking for grouse way before we could carry guns. I will always be grateful to God for the times I had with Dad out in the woods every fall looking for grouse.

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Sorry to hear about your father. I am the same way with deer hunting. My father never was into deer hunting but my grandfather was a long time hunting and fishing guide. when he passed away I really was not that intrested in deer hunting for a while after that becauase it just was not the same going without him. He lived on Kabetogama and we always hunted in zone one opening weekend and he alwas made sure that everything was perfect. Now days I still go with my friends to some of their places but it just does'nt have the same opening deer feel. I was very fortunate to be the oldest grandson by a long shot and spend so much time hunting and fishing with a real outdoorsman. I consider my self very fortunate like you do, the reason hunting and fishing is declining is kids don't have someone to teach them the values that we learned. My only advice is go hunting, dad would want you to.

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Boy, I don't know guys. I read the same article, but in my travels so far this spring I've not been seeing many birds. The pup flushed one on our walk yesterday after lunch, but overall the population seems to be about like last year. Hopefully I'm wrong....

We will get a better grip on the spring hatch as the summer wears on and the chicks start maturing.

Right now, mom has them hidden pretty good.

As they mature, they will be out and about more.

Maybe this is a sign of another supercycle.

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This is truly bad news!!! Now the true, hard core hunters will have to deal with the hunters who only come out when they don't have to work for their birds. Ethics tend to get squashed when the numbers are up and that STINKS!!!!

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