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Paul

SO anyone seen any Sharpies Dancing yet?

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I saw Mikes pic on another post and started me thinking that we should see some activity soon. Around here only if they have life jackets on but I would guess if the snow ever stops we may get some dancing activities.

When do you guys normally see them?

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Last Sunday when I was checking out the bog there were 5 of them in the open fields that are known Leks so I think it would be a just a matter of catching them now. Jonny_redhorse has seen them dancing on the snow so keep your eye's open grin

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They're dancing now a bit. They'll peak the middle of this month and later. If there's some snow on the leks, they'll pack it right down and keep dancing.

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I'm new to the boards, and this post caught my eye. Last year I had a chance to see sharpies in McGregor and can't wait to go back again in 3 wks.

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Looking forward to spending some time this weekend near the "Lek Fields" of the "Bog"....Last couple of years they were dancing in the spring snows north of Meadowlands area.....They change fields occasionally but eventually reuse the same fields from generation to generation....Beautiful birds for sure!....anticipation! grin

a few "habitat" shots(certainly not the best) from last spring around the same time....taken about 80 yards away....

sharpies7.jpg

sharpie21.jpg

sharpie60.jpg

sharpie41.jpg

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Thats a great resource so close to your home, Jonny!

How often do you see the Roughies in the spring? Is it fairly consistant?

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Yes Mike....I went a few weekends in a row and saw them most of the time but not in the same fields.Sometimes they were close to the road for some decent shots and sometimes 150 yards out doing the dance thing...trouble is in that particular area it was private land so one really can't setup a blind...The spot on county road 208 this year(and a thanks to Mike Hendrickson and MOU for the "heads up" for the latest info on these sharpies)may just have better opportunities not sure if then fields are public or private since I've never seen them in these fields.....Will find out in the next few weeks though grin

here's a map I drew up a few minutes ago of the area's leks and where they will be this year but certainly could change....

P1070803-1.JPG

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Buzz, if your looking for ruffed grouse in the spring they are very easy to find by listening for the males drumming. Once you hear them you can try to sneak in on them and find them on their drumming logs. They often freeze up and stand still so scan the tops of fallen logs. Now waiting it out and seeing if you could get one to drum would be tricking. I think you would need to set up a blind at night and get in before it gets light out the following morning.

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Most ruffies have more than one drumming log and will move from one to the other if disturbed.

When stalking a drumming ruffie, move slowly, and only when the bird is drumming, and stay still when the bird is not drumming. It takes a long time to sneak up on a bird that way. On the bright side, the drumming often sounds farther away than it really is, so you may not have as far to go as you think.

The blind idea is a good one. Partly because scouting for locations on day one and placing a blind for days two and three allows you to clear any brush/branches between the blind and drumming log. If you find the bird's log and flush him fairly early in the day and then set up the blind, do a bit of clearing (all done quietly) and leave, likely he'll be back there the next morning.

Also, ruffies often drum facing away from the sun, which produces frontal photographs that are backlit.

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Jay is certainly correct...I heard them drumming last weekend at Carey Lake(5 miles east of Hibbing at a recreational park with a few miles of ski trails which is where I see them every year) ....spotted 2...."they saw me" ...stopped drummimg and eventually first walked ,ran, and finally flew off...It's early yet and the drumming will only intensify as the warmer weather arrives...once one finds the drumming logs ,they'll be there for a couple weeks for sure and sometimes longer...Wouldn't be a bad idea to setup a blind over night but would probably be stolen and gone by the next day!....A guy could just set up and sit there for hours I guess and wait for em....

a few images from last spring of grouse on various drumming logs....never actually got images of em drummimg simply because they spotted me and stopped!....

Frame_DSCN2034-1copy.jpg

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Frame_P1010839-1.JPG

Frame_ruffedgrouseCarey.jpg

Frame_DSCN1683-2.JPG

Frame_DSCN2032-1copy.jpg

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I have noticed that the grouse in Carey Lake are easier to approach because there is no hunting there. An area with no hunting may have birds that are easier to work with because the dumb ones are not shot right away. In my backyard they high tail it as soon as they see me coming. They know I will eat them...lol

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They have been dancing here for a few weeks.

I can usually find a few leks.

I get most of my pictures from the inside of my pickup. Last year they were so close I could not see them over the hood of the pickup.

If your ever around Lancaster, Minnesota let me know I pretty sure I could get you some good pictues.

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I found a spot last year just East of HWY 18 and south of HWY 46 in North Daktoa, west of Kindred, East of Enderlin, on some private property but right on the road. Locals tell me that they usually set up lawn chairs in their pickup beds with a case of beer and hang out all day and make a party of it. Well not quite, but they do sit in lawn chairs in their pickups on the gravel road to get a good view over the fence since their drumming ground is right on the fence line.

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