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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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This might just help me go purchase the judge! I think it will be a great grouse gun.

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Last year was the best I've ever seen. I really can't imagine it being any better. We don't even use the dog these days.

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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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Can't wait till everyone is running around with their uncased guns in their vehicles/wheelers.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    •     I guess when I made that statement I was wrongly assuming it would be much colder than that. In that case, it should be a nice October game just like a couple years ago at TCF. 
    • I went back the next day hoping the slush froze.  No such luck i guess water wont freeze at 31 below zero.  Sunday i tried moving my fishouse.  I kept breaking threw the slush. We hooked 3 widetracks together to my fishouse and still had to jerk the heck out of it to get it out. I did get a few crappies Saturday afternoon.  We picked up 26 crappies. 
    • Finally made it to morson over the weekend.  Fishing didn't go as planned it was extremely cold on Saturday. Ended up with a epic stuck Saturday morning it was 31 below zero when i found some major water . I was pulling my alumalite fishouse on the way to go crappie fishing  I had to jack fishouse out of the water and set it on blocks. I then packed the slush down with my widetrak  i even used my trail groomer to pack it down. I let it sit tell Sunday afternoon to freeze down.
    • See details and join the conversation at the link below.    http://fishingminnesota.com/forums/topic/210112-st-cloud-area-get-together-22418/    
    •     Ice fishing in Wisconsin can be a challenge at times. Catching walleyes is not always an easy task either. We had some crazy weather leading up to this weekend, it was -20 degrees for a solid week and a half, followed by 2-3 days of mid 30s and pushing 40 plus some rain, then we went right back down to -20 degrees.   This made for a challenge fishing tip ups this morning. I’ve got some new hole covers for my Finicky Foolers, which do work great as I’ve used them before, but unfortunately with no snow cover I made the mistake of not setting them right away and forming slush to the cover. Lesson learned. I did get a bit lucky catching that walleye as I thought it would have dropped the minnow with the line being froze.   The first fish I caught was definitely a surprise, a species I have never caught through the ice before, although I have heard they are fairly common to catch out on this lake. Still was hoping it was a giant walleye, but fun nonetheless!   With the cold we weren’t really planning on moving much. We would mark fish every 10 minutes or so but many of them were tight lipped. We did manage a couple more fish jigging, which were some good sized crappie and perch!   Overall I did end up accomplishing the goal of catching a slot walleye out here, so can’t complain.   I will be out on Petenwell Lake more times this winter!
    • Drilled the holes first then set the sleeves down seemed to work a lot better...just have to make sure you mark your holes lol
    • A nice bite continues with anglers catching all sizes of walleyes and saugers.  Most of the action on the south shore is in 24-30' of water.  Daytime bite continues thanks to stained waters of LOW.  There has been a good morning evening bite in 15-17' as well.  Resorts and outfitters keeping ice roads in good shape. One two punch of jigging line and dead stick (hook/jig with live minnow under bobber) effective as is the use of electronics to mark fish. Jigging spoons in gold, glow, glow red and pink uv.  Small rippin raps also good. If not fishing in a resort fish house, auger extension could be necessary in spots where ice is layered.  Snowmobilers stay on marked trail, big ice chunks off of trail.   Rainy River pushing out some nice walleyes with an occasional sturgeon through the ice.  Fish houses along the snowmobile trail from Wheeler's Point to Baudette Bay.  Morning, evening bite most effective.     The NW Angle also has good ice conditions where resorts have ice roads / trails and fishing has remained great. Ice road goes to Flag and Oak Island from Young's Bay. Good walleyes in 22-28' with saugers and perch in water deeper than 26'. Combo of jigging spoons and dead sticks with a jig and minnow effective.  Resorts are guiding anglers to slab crappies on the Ontario side of lake. Preserve the resource, catch your crappies, move on to walleyes or another species as mortality rate is high for released crappies in 25' or deeper.  Snowmobile trails on and around the lake are marked and groomed.  
    • I believe I picked that one up at Red Rock Wilderness Store.  It’s located east of Ely on the Fernberg.   Good thing is he does have an on line store too. 
  • MWO