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sparetime

Any suggestions on a Grouse Hunting Destination

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I am looking for a suggestion on a destination for grouse hunting this fall. Probably the weekend after opener. I've always headed to the arrowhead off Highway 1, but its been several years since getting up there to hunt. When in college I hunted just north of Duluth near Island Lake, but that was a while ago.

I'm not looking for your primes spot, just a suggestion on where there is plenty of access and possibly some birds. We will probably get a hotel room or cabin at a resort. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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I have hunted many public lands around Mille Lacs with mixed results. I usually just hit the DNR's HSOforum and look at the information on the State Forests and WMA's. It can be a [PoorWordUsage] shoot whether or not you get some birds, but it never fails to provide me with a beautiful walk in the morning.

Do you have a dog?

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I attended BSU, and always had good luck north of Cass Lake, in the Chippewa National Forest. Go north on hwy 39, from US 2. I don't have any specific spots, and they usually change due to logging, but the numbers are good, lots of public land, trails, etc.

My second choic would be from Cass Lake to Grand Rapids. Anywhere north of US 2

I always look for think popple stands next to standing water, ridges, breaklines from think stands of tress to open areas, etc.

Any place that will hold small berries, clover, or similar low laying veg.

Lastly, get off the trail. I use my gps to get me started, then hop off the trail and seek out a nice spot. The trails can get pounded by road hunters, and in general people just passing through on atv.

PS never used a dog for grouse hunting, and have had much success

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I hunt the Cook and Ely area. The Canadian shield areas with exposed rock and giant pines hold birds and few people hunt the remote areas of the BWCA. Portage trails and cross country ski trails make for easy hunting, BUT it is never as good as the logged areas around Cook.

I'll take the edge of an alderswamp next to a 10 year old clearcut any day. It's harder to get a shot but there are always birds, even in the down years.

Many deer hunters have Purchased a lease from Potlatch for deer hunting only. Find a list and offer to offset their lease costs and you could hunt eighty acres in early Sept. I know dogless deer hunters who would jump at the chance to hunt birds over a good dog-so it is always worth asking. Hans

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There is a little town just east and a little south of Grand Rapids called Warba, there is all kinds of good hunting land just north east of there. Lots of birds, too many square miles to be over-hunted, and no dog necessary. Decent deer hunting too.

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Lots of state trails, ATV trails, and deer trails in the Chippewa. I love anything north of Grand Rapids, but then again so does everyone else. If you see trucks, keep moving. There are plenty of places that aren't disturbed...you just either have to walk for a while or drive way into the thick of the U.S. forest service roads and then get off the trail.

Good luck. Getting there is half the adventure, and like the GM commercial says, half the budget frown

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Thanks all for the info. I actually have a free place to stay near walker, which is only 30-45 minutes from Cass area. I didn't mention that earlier because I wanted open ideas.

Time to save some money for gas, and get up there. Not long now.....

Ton Hanso612, is there much public access near Cook?

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I am also looking at that Tower/Cook/Orr area. I have a friend that wants to try grouse hunting(does a lot of fishing/cabin on the Big V)...anyway we were looking to do some casual morning grouse hiking around and some afternoon fishing. I talked to the dnr in both Cook and Orr and they made it seem like there wasn't a lot of public land between the two towns, and what there was had limited road access. Do people find this to be the case? I kind of grew up hunting around Mille Lacs, Bemidji, Park Rapids area...so this is kind of new to me? Still wondering if it's worth a weekend up there this fall. I've got a Superior Nat Forest map coming in the mail so I'll have to check that out.

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Limited public land around Cook/Orr? That's a new one to me. Go to the MN DNR homepage, do a search for Lakefinder, then Vermilion, and click on the Recreation Compass. TONS of public land around there - Orr is surrounded by Kabetogama State Forest. Don't be afraid to get off the beaten path and walk the woods - the further in you go, the less "experienced" the birds will be too.

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Best investment I ever made in Grouse hunting was to buy a Plat Book of my favorite counties in Northern MN. Shows where the private/public land is, and also has the main forest roads. From that you can use Google Earth to find the "unmapped" logging trails. Get a color printer and you can make your own maps to carry along so you won't get lost. You can mark the trails you want to walk before you ever leave the house!

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Best investment I ever made in Grouse hunting was to buy a Plat Book of my favorite counties in Northern MN. Shows where the private/public land is, and also has the main forest roads. From that you can use Google Earth to find the "unmapped" logging trails. Get a color printer and you can make your own maps to carry along so you won't get lost. You can mark the trails you want to walk before you ever leave the house!

where did you get the plat book from?

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"where did you get the plat book from?"

Call the County Office of whatever county you're interested in, and you can order one. Sometimes other cities within the county sell them in their City offices too.

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On a plat book look for county tax forfit land, many locals have atv trails cut in even though they are on public property. The trails are great grouse walks. Hans

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I have a couple Plat Books myself. VERY good investment. Like hanso612 said, look for tax forfeited land, as well as paper company land (Blandin, Potlatch) etc. You can find many square miles of this public land in Itasca county. Lots of hunters in there, but with a chunk of 50 square miles of land, it doesn't get too much pressure if you dont mind doing a little walking.

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Over 1,000 looks at this post and only 16 replies!! People must just be looking to make sure someone hasn't given up their spot as a destination...There is so much public land up there it's crazy..Buy that big Minnesota gazette book..you can get it at any outdoor store. It breaks the state up in to little sections....then get up there and hunt.....or just get a hold of me and I'll take you out..I know some good spots close,...but I don't tell unless I get to go.....good luck, get out there and enjoy what I think is the greatest hunt going....uplander

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Exactly Uplander.

I have shot ruffed grouse in atleast 10 - 12 MN counties across many different forests (private, county tax forfeited, state, and fed). Almost from Red River to St Croix river. None were found via net based forums.

Aspen and edges (aspen-oak, swamp, trails) all produce.

Get out there and try spots until you find success ... what you find this year should pay-off for the next 3-4 years and if you find the real gems - will pay-off as long as you hunt ruffs in MN.

With all the good maps (hard and web) and google earth no excuses..

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