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Matt Breuer

Thanksgiving report...

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Well I headed South to chase roosters and have some family time over Thanksgiving, and I was a bit worried after reading all of the reports of wild flushes, hens, and low numbers. We put up 29 birds on 6 walks, only saw 10 hens. It was a pretty typical hunt for the area we go to. I didn't see any decline in birds, very few wild flushes, nor a huge abundance of hens. The birds were holding TIGHT as well, my female shorthair caught one rooster and my male took out a tail feather on another. Had to kick the birds they pointed in the frozen sloughs...

We also took a coyote out of the system that had the worst mange I've ever seen.

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Nice pictures.

We had excellent shooting over Thanksgiving as well. A late corn harvest is a pain on opener, but a blessing later on in the season. Congrats.

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sounds like you guys got some birds Matt. I like the dog you have there, it would be fun to hunt behind a pointer. Someday though.

here are some pics of last weekends 2nd day-morning hunt in SE NoDak on brother's in-laws land.

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Hunted the morning/early afternnon on Turkey day, all day Friday & all day Saturday. Mostly public land hunts.

Thurs - Flushed 10-12 birds, wild flushes, mostly hens. One rooster flew toward a house that was close by, no shot. Did get up two roosters from a small grove of trees. Got one.

Friday - Saw a few birds run from a chiseled field into the public land. Never saw the rooster again. Got up a few more birds from the cattails, wild.

Saturday - saw one bird all day, missed him.

The good news is that the one bird we got was my friend from IL first wild rooster. His dog did have his first point on a wild birds as well. I never pulled the trigger all weekend which I don't mind but it was diappointing not seeing birds. I was hoping to get his young dog on birds and get his wife a little more shooting. I even hunted further west than I usually hunt to try and get into more birds. LOTS of people as you can imagine with nice weather and a long weekend. The lack of birds is disappointing but I guess it can be expected for public land that probably gets hit hard.

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I got out grouse hunting up north Thanksgiving morning and Friday morning. I finally got Kash out for his first hunt of the year after being kenneled and on house arrest all fall due to a partially torn cruciate ligament. You can tell by his facial expression in the first pick he was happy to be out! I also brought the youngster out to enjoy the walk in the woods. Ended up with two grouse the first morning and one the second morning.

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311hemi are those pointing labs...?

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bjl....they are labs out of two different pointing lab breeders. I messed the lighter one up a little but he started pointing again at the very end of last season. He has not hunted this year due to health (until this past weekend). The pup has only been on a few live birds, but things are looking good. He needs more live birds bad...and soon.

None of these grouse were pointed, but the lighter yellow has only hunted grouse twice before this.

Speaking of that....you grouse hunters with pointers. On a pointed bird do the grouse actually hold until you walk up and flush the bird (similar to pheasants)? I would have to assume the dogs are pointing at a distance to keep from bumping the bird? I am fairly new to grouse hunting so I was curious about this as I walked this past weekend.

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We only got one bird but it was one of the best hunts of my life. It was my son's first hunt.

Last week I bought my son a 20ga mossberg for his 11th birthday. Saturday I took him out on his first hunt. We hit a few WMA's southwest of Redwood Falls.

I watched his firearm handling like a hawk and am proud to say that I only had to make one minor correction the entire day. He also never complained about the walking or having to carry the shotgun the whole time.

We did get the one bird, but unfortunately I shot it, not him. I gave him time to shoot but he never did, so eventually i took a long shot and knocked down the bird, It was a runner so my son was treated to the spectacle of watching our dog chase it down and retrieve it. My son then told me he thought it was too far away to shoot. I told him next time to shoot anyway...dont' worry about it being a long shot, just as long as it's a safe shot.

At the end of the day he said he had a great time even if he didn't shoot, and he told his mother that it was more fun than he thought it would be. We were stuck on WMAs and the first two we went to were being hunted so we ended up driving a lot before getting to hunt and I thought that may have soured him, but evidently not.

He and I are going to SoDak next weekend but he wont' be able to hunt yet, just walk. I think next time we go hunting in Minnesota I'm going to take him out of class and hunt midweek....I don't care what his mom says.

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Lenny,

I had taken my son hunting when he was about 10 or so. It got frustrating to watch as he failed to shoot on a number of fairly easy shots.

I was talking to a firearms instructor and he said that I was judging him using my skills. He pointed out that a first timer goes through a much longer thought process - a flush, it's a rooster, it's in range, put the gun up, shoot - no it's too late. Where I hear or see a flush and immediately the gun goes up, I see it's a rooster as I'm moving the gun toward it and I shoot. I take 2 seconds, he takes 5 and it's too late.

Check out a chance to send him to a camp sponsored by PF or the MWA and he'll be a companion for life.

I backed off and let him mature, all the time giving him as many chances as I could and spending time at the range. Now he is doing well. Luckily for me he's still a bit slower than I am.

Give it time, give him exposure, and it'll work out and in a few years he may be teaching you a thing or two.

Good luck, and I hope both of you have fun.

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Congrats Lenny, that's a great hunt. Thanks for taking the time to teach your son safe gun handling concepts. This was drilled into me by my dad and I will do the same with my son. It drives me crazy to hunt with adults who walk all day with no clue where their gun barrel is pointing.

My son is only 9 and he's been walking along with me for the last 3 seasons and loves it. He's watched me shoot 20 or more birds this year and I think he's learning a lot. He knows what it looks like when the dogs get birdy, how to walk in on a point, and I've had him start calling hen or rooster when they get up. I'm hoping all of these things serve him well when he hunts for the first time next year. I'm also planning to take advantage of our youth season where he doesn't have to compete with adult guns to get his shots. It really is amazing how much more meaningful a hunt is when you can share it with a son or daughter.

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311Hemi, my shorthairs are both different on ruffs. My female bumps some grouse because of re-adjusting, and locks up on other runners very well. My male holds point back about 15 yards from the bird typically in open areas, and doesn't re-adjust unless I ask him to. He'll lock up a grouse under his nose though in thick cover. I typically have to get within a few feet of the bird an off they bust... It's a whole different ballgame, as grouse don't hold that tight, and they spook far easier.

Quack, yes, it was a good hunt! I limited out on Thurs. and Fri. but my uncle only managed 1. I was kicking the birds from under the points though!

Great hunts and stories everyone! Whether you got birds or not, I'm sure it was nice to be out! Also, congrats on the father/son trips! I can't wait until that day comes for me and my little one!

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Took the dog out to the Glencoe/Stewart area on public land on saturday. Ran into a guy right at shooting time that was dogless and buddy-less so we hunted all day together. Flushed a couple of hens, and I flushed one rooster at the end of the day out of the cattails that I missed of course. Pretty slow. Only other roosters we saw were three sitting in somebodys front yard.

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Pretty good day overall, kicked at least a dozen maybe closer to 20 hens with 4 guys and two dogs. Had one rooster by 9:10, then missed a couple. We pushed four roosters to a tree line only to realize there was a guy in a deer stand behind the trees so we didn't get a second chance on those. That was all in the morning. Not a single thing all afternoon though. I was out with some college buddies though so we probably were talking a little more than we should have and were pretty casual all afternoon. It was a great day, and we even got to see Glencoe-Silver Lake celebrate their football championship while we filled up with gas in Glencoe, they had all the fire trucks and ambulances driving in front of and behind the school buses full of players, pretty neat!!

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Thanks for the reports. I had a lot going on at home over the Holiday but can't wait to get out west this weekend.

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Went out the Friday after Thanksgiving, with 5 guys and 3 dogs in Central MN. We were out for about 3-4 hours and saw 7 roosters and 3 hens. Got two of the roosters, a third I hit on a long shot that ended up being a runner that we couldn't find. My buddy missed two that were no brainers, must have been slow from too much turkey!!!! The others flushed out of range.

We still had corn up adjacent to the CRP we were hunting, which I am sure affected the numbers somewhat. It was a mild day, and a great day to be out.

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...a first timer goes through a much longer thought process - a flush, it's a rooster, it's in range, put the gun up, shoot - no it's too late. ... I take 2 seconds, he takes 5 and it's too late.

I backed off and let him mature, all the time giving him as many chances as I could and spending time at the range.

Give it time, give him exposure, and it'll work out and in a few years he may be teaching you a thing or two.

Tom, you make some excellent points! Now that you mention it, I recall being that way myself when I first started hunting. By the time your gun was up and you identified it as a rooster and you made sure it was safe to shoot that direction, doubt would creep in because of the distance, and because you're new to it.

I didn't give him any grief about it. Just told him not to worry about the distance. Shoot, shoot, shoot and get the practice.

The most telling moment of the whole day was on the drive home when he told me he had a lot of fun even though he didn't shoot. Coming from a kid of the Playstation generation, that tells me he really gets it. That must be from the part of him that can sit and read a book for 2 hours on a Saturday afternoon.

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