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RalphBeagle

Where in Mn / WI to buy Grouse Camp?

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I may be moving to the Twin Cities in the next few months. One of the things I am planning on doing is buying a few acres and putting a cabin on it to use as a grouse camp. Any suggestions as to how far north (or where) I need to get to be into good grouse hunting? I realize I'm probably going to have drive aways to do this, but I also don't want to drive farther than I have to. Thanks.

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Anything north of Milacs should have some birds - with management you can have a nice piece of property.

And, welcome to Minnesota

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I know some guys that are serious grouse hunters & they have a camp in eastern Pine Co. They hunt both Minnesota and Wisconsin. They are in WS when the MN deer season is open; and vice versa.

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Ralph,

I would look into the Walker, Remer, Laporte area of MN. Loads of public land being actively cut.

On a side note we have done a lot of work on our property mangeing it for whitetails. We have planted numerouse food plots over 120 acres. The grouse numbers were unbelievable on our property this year. I took a walk a couple weeks ago looking for whitetail sign and flushed 11 birds. I wasn't pounding brush and walked for a total of an hour and a 1/2. My brother was sitting in a small clover food plot and had 7 differant birds land and feed in the clover. I realize there are a lot of birds this year but it is incredible what good habitat is doing on our property.

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Price range is such a huge issue and your expectations.

The farther north you go the better hunting and less pressure. SNF and CNF have a lot of grouse but the logging in them is ignorantly restriceted so down the road will not be as good as some of the areas that have more county and state forest lands that are getting logged more.

We have a 40 between Duluth and Hibbing. The grouse hunting is much better up there than the Mil Lacs WMA which we hunt a lot. Birds aren't pressured as hard and in turn harvest goes up. The Leech lake and Winnie areas have tons and tons of great habitat for grouse that it's almost mind numbing.

Drive around the area you want to buy and see if there is much for logging going on. Lots of young stands of aspen means more grouse. Lots of open hardwoods and older stands of big old pines means less grouse. Major pre buying scouting will pay off in the long run.

Agree with Muskie456 there are a lot of grouse right now. He has a great point about working the habitat for grouse. We've worked with the DNR and are involved in the WHIP program on a third of the 40 acres. We've also been cutting in trails, making brush piles, thinning timber and hingeing trees. I am amazed what habitat improvments will do on just 40 acres.

Good luck with it.

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Sounds like a great excuse to take a few long weekends in the woods of MN next fall. Check out different areas, and you never know you may just stumble upon the property of your dreams. Great suggestions here, I love the area from Aitkin to Jacobsen. Close to great fishing there as well.

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Thanks for the all the input. This gives me some ideas where to go looking this summer and try hunting next fall. What I should have said - and didn't - is that I am really looking for just a small spot to put a small cabin and not much more. Does anyone know what zoning laws are like in Northern Minnesota? Can I buy 3-5 acres and put up 4 walls and a roof on a slab (or posts) with a woodstove and be in compliance?

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I am near Remer/Longville and when I added onto

my cabin and made it a year around place, there

was no building code. Electrical inspection only.

Your 4 walls and room should be fine as long as

power is OK. I have two britts and only got out

3 times for grouse because of lack of time, but lots

of birds this year. Good luck

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We've run into the same thing as Heidi as far as building. We've put up 3 cabins on family land in the past 10 years.

As for area, I live around Bemidji, and hunt the area a ton. This entire area has birds (Park Rapids, Lake George, CNF, Leech, Walker, Blackduck, etc..) but it is also flooded with hunters. I have land up near Wannaska and it's hit or miss on the hunters, but the birds are always there. The higher you get on the map, the less people you'll see, and chances are you're going up the ladder on ruffie numbers as well...

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I do well within 50 - 100 miles of the N. metro and average 2 - 3 birds per trip on mostly public land. In the peak years I will often flush 25 - 40 birds in about 4-5 hours of walking.

If you can hunt weekdays all of MN is easily hunted without much interference.

I would draw a block from Bemidji down to Park Rapids over to Mille Lacs up to Grand Rapids and back to Bemidji. On the weekends this area is heavily hunted by many locals and metro vacationers. Issues also include an over abundance of ATVs.

The overlapping of much public land with the bigger walleye lakes and people with lake cabins makes the hunter density in this area rather high.

Stay outside this box and you will find just as many or more birds with less hunters - even on weekends.

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