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Jim Almquist

Is it time for Sharptails to dance ?

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I have seen these guys in the same spot a few times and I will have off on Tuesday so I thought I would try to catch them dancing if the time is right. Has anybody seen or heard if they have started ?

IMG_6182copy.jpg

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Something about the way the grasses look in this image is quite appealing. Love how well the grouse blends into the surroundings. Sorry, don't know much about dancing locations.

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They're usually daybreak dancers Jim. Sunrise lighting must be more romantic for them as opposed to sunset for us civilized beings!

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I was planning on setting up my blind in the dark and hope that I am in a good location with the sun at my back.

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Nice image Jim....Your image looks like a typicle field in the Meadowlands area where I've been seeing a handful of sharpies...It's been a couple weeks since I've been down to that area but the dance is still going on yet I'm sure...last year it lasted a good month or so......I posted a map awhile back of the area I saw them in on Cty road 29(just off #133 ) a mile or so north of meadowlands near the Watsula /Racek Road.... there were 6 or so in the fields that day but weren't dancing....I also saw a couple the same day in a field close to the intersection of hwy#7 and the Arkola Road......

note:....I'm sure the areas I saw the sharpies are on private land and the blind thing probably is out just depends on how close to the road they are to the road I guess...

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Jonny these are the birds right off 29 and Racek. I have seen them close to the road so I want to setup my blind in the right of way and hope that the birds dance close by.

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Looks like we'll be seeing some sharpie pics soon grin...that idea should work!...I did get a few images from that same field last year of them dancing but they were about 125 yards out ...alittle to far even for my digiscope for that "great shot'....plus it was one of those "Minnesota gray days" if you know what I mean ...If a guy could be on that field every day he could get some good shots ...

a not so good image of the sharpies in that very same field last year ....they were probably 60 yards or so from the road that day....mid day shot,no dancing...

Frame_DSCN0547-1copy.jpg

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The forecast is for a sunny day on Tuesday but my biggest concern is that they will be too far away from me to get a good shot but it will be a fun trip none the less.

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Jim, best thing to do is make two trips. On the first trip, get there just around sunrise and stand off a long ways with binos and see if they are dancing. If they aren't there at that time of day, they are dancing somewhere else, because the peak dancing time is NOW! If they are there and they are dancing, then you can mark the location and plan to put your blind about 35-40 feet east of the lek. The first grouse usually show up about an hour before sunrise, so you've got to get there in plenty of time to get the blind and your gear set up so that an hour before sunrise you're there and not making any noise.

Unless the light is very nice, you'll probably be looking at iso readings from 800 and up with the 100-400. Tripod is a must. With excellent technique you'll still need shutter speeds of 1/200 or faster at 400mm because they move pretty quick.

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Thank for the great info Steve because I might not be up for it tomorrow. The surgery I had today may make it tough to setup my blind for awhile so scouting might be all I can get done for now.

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