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longbeard34

Where to hunt in this snow!?

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Where are you guys hunting in this thick snow. Went out driving around today and saw lots of birds but were quite far away and in huge groups.

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I will agree this is very tough. I finally have reason to get out the snow shoes which haven't been warn for 4 or 5 years now. I would guess that evergreen or spruce treelines close to roads might be your best options. Or find a farm grove that has a honeysuckle or hedge row and put out blockers/posters and flip the coin who gets to push it with the dogs and let the others pass shoot birds.

This much snow makes it tough. I have about given up this year, but will make a couple more pushes, but will admit, most of my energy has shifted to the ice fishing department.

Have fun, be safe and let us know how you turn out.

Muc

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It is very much like early season huntng when the corn was still in. Except now you can see them out in the fields feeding, making it very frustrating. You can see them but know you can't even think about getting close enough to hunt them. Like early, a good strategy is to wait for the last hour, watch them fly down into the thick cover, I prefer the cattails, give them a few minutes to settle down and then sneak in. Quiet is the word, if your dog will heel, keep him there until you are all the way in before you release it. Then let the dog work, these bird are not going to run, they are burrowing in for the night. The flushes are great, the snow explodes, sometimes the roosters cackle, the dogs are bulldozing through the cats, busting out with snowy faces. They are spooky this time of year and every bird bagged is a trophy, especially public land birds.

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A buddy and I decided to hit em hard today and hard it was, the snow was up to my waist in some spots and the birds are very skittish. They will be holed up in little spots with us hitting a couple areas that were absolutely loaded with birds. We managed to get 4 between the two of us and probably could've managed 2 more for our limit but I had to quit at 2 or so. It was very hard work, but also fun and rewarding. I decided to not hunt with the dog today, but could have used him in a few instances. The key is to find good cover that's not completely filled with snow and close to a food source. There are plenty of birds out there still that's for sure.

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Cattail patches bordering gravel roads held birds today. Birds were bunched up, but flushed individually, had to let the dog work around, and be patient. If we saw tracks we just stopped, and let him sniff around. The patches where the cattails were knocked down seemed like they were a fortress for them.

Got three birds in an hour and a half, but it was brutal getting into spots. Like a poster said above, drifts that are waist deep make for tough going. Still a lot of fun though.

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Hunted cattails and got 3 and then did some evergreens and got 2... Saw the most birds ive seen all year! thanks guys

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This is by far my favorite time of year to hunt roosters and always my most productive. I can get into the cattails and heavy cover that's normally too wet to get into earlier, where they're feeling pretty safe. YES it is more work and again, YES, there's not a lot of competition for the spots. A large percentage of hunters have switched to icefishing,or TV viewing, I guess. I especially like finding tracks in the snow and kicking around in the cover to have birds flush from underfoot!! Phred52

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Was able to get out for a little on Christmas morning while at the in-laws. Saw lots of birds in the THICK cattails and in some standing corn that was still there. Had a blast didn't get any but the dog had a great time and I got a good workout. Some of the drifts are DEEP.

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It can be GREAT fun hunting now! I have been digging around for those snowshoes that I had around here a few years ago. . . They are great for getting around the cats while the dog works away.

Enjoy the final days!

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Exactly Ron, It is a very productive and exciting time of year. I am actually done today went out and found tons of hens and one rooster that are group harvested. We also saw a ton jumping up way in front which were very spooky. After the hunt we ate some fish that we deep fried at our camp and now I got the twitch to hit the ice and give my black lab a break until next year. he gave me the stair but I said do you want me to fall in another snow bank like I did and took five minutes to get out of..LOL

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I was hoping to get out a couple more times before the end of the season but Kody, my lab, is out of work for another week or two with 9 staples in his foot. Dang dog keeps pulling out the stitches and before that was chewing off and eating the bandages. When we were out in SoDak earlier this month something poked through his paw and it swelled up pretty good. Vet cut it open, cleaned it up and sewed it up. Now I need him to heal up so I can drop him off for training next weekend.

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Just be careful. A friend told me about a friend of his who had his kid disappear through the ice on a slough. Have a set of dry clothes, carry some rope or some of those claw things to help get up onto the ice.

Check this out:

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Went western MN on Friday and hardly got out of the truck. All the spots from earlier in the year are all drifted in. Drove around a couple of hours and only saw a handful of birds out in the fields. We made our way east into cattail country and scratched out 1 bird. 1st time this season of not getting a limit - guess I was getting verrry spoiled. The cattails were getting pretty hard to work with the thigh high drifts on the edges. Dogs were having a hard time getting thru the cats also and were spending much more time trying to climb on top. We were too tuckered out to hunt the last hour of the day, which would have been better as alot of birds were out in the fields during the day. We really didn't see too many tracks in the sloughs so I think the snow is deep enough that they are flying right from the roost into the fields and back into the roosts. Might hit it one more time over New Year's weekend. The bird we ate tonight was mighty tastey!

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Will be back in Nodak with family this week. I expect we will get out one day, but in the end our experience may end up much the same as fivebucks.

I enjoy these drive-arounds. Sure it is great to work hard and pull limits, but these drive arounds can be used as scouting trips for future hunts smile

Then again it takes one good find to make a successful day grin

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3 of us went out for a few hours on Friday and got 6. 2 came out of the cattails, 1 came out of a food plot (spooked just right and flew into a guy he didnt know was there), 1 came after a merry chase down a ditch (yes, it ran a few hundred yards as the dog tracked it by nose and I tracked it by its tracks in the snow), and 2 came out of willows. A great hunt. Had to give my 14 year old brother some grief as he was the only one to need 2 shots for a bird!

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I'd give up the first half of the season to hunt the last few weeks...hunting them in the snow and cattails is AWESOME. Yes, it's work, but if you find them and can get them to explode out of the snow it is a rush! Hunted in ND on Friday, shot 3 in 30 minutes - saw over 100 that morning, hunted ND Sat morning, shot 2, drove home with the wife and kid and got home by 3:00 and hunted behind my house and shot 2 more which made 4 in one day from 2 different states - heck yeah....shot 2 more on Sunday out of a different patch of cat tails....9 birds in 3 days all on solo hunts with NO dog...all from the cat tails...gotta love it. Some of my best hunting this year by far.

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Hunted nearly all day yesterday in the Stewart/Brownton area. Between the brutal wind and the fact that it was a monday I pretty much had every WMA I wanted to myself. Wind was horrible, but managed to get a couple of birds up. Saw a few moving around before shooting hours, managed to flush a hen and a rooster in late morning. Ended up with the one bird for the day. They were holding reall tight in the cattails. Will post a pic later.

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Was out a week ago and we got 3 out of the pines and 3 out of the cattails. Birds were holding tight in the light fluffy snow. Today I went out alone in the same area and got two. Shot them in the cattails and found only one hen in the pines. Missed on a couple very easy and close shots. Just glad I got the two for the pup.

Snow was hard and crunchy today and a lot had melted from last week.

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Have any of you experience auto shotguns jamming or not ejecting the shell all the way when it gets really cold like this??

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longbeard34, Would you be talking like an 1100 or 11-87 Remington? Phred52

I've had that problem with my 11-87, any ideas what causes it?

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nope i own a browning silver, but my friend who was with me was using a remingtom 1187 and it was also ejecting slow

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mascad, Take her down and give her a GOOD cleaning. Especially concentrate on the gas passage from the barrel down to the piston. A pipe cleaner or such works very well for the job. Also be sure the o-ring is clean and in good shape, no cracks. Those are generally the causes of the problem. As for longbeard, I'm not familiar with the Browning gas system, hopefully you will get a response from some other Browning owners. Phred52

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Thanks Sparcebag, good point. You could actually use a light coat of Vasiline for that purpose. That'll help seal the o-ring as well as lube it. BTW, Went out wood cutting this afternoon, 4, YES 4 Roosters! Right on the edge of the woodlot! No Gun, I thought of throwing the chainsaw at 'em, I don't think it would've had the same effect as the 12 though. Unless they'd died from laughter!!! grin Now I know of 4 roosters that NEED to be dealt with! Phred52

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