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walleye vision

Woodcock

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Just curious if anyone has ever hunted these birds? I've never even seen one of them before. I've hunted grouse many times and i thought they shared the same environment? Just wondering if anyone has any info on these things.

WV

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We've never purposefully went out to hunt them, they were always just a bonus while grouse hunting. You're right, we always happen to find them in the same areas as grouse.

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Sometimes called Timberdoodles. They are usually in low, wet areas. Easy to tell them by their long bill. Tough to hit--small and fly in a zig-zag pattern (or it sure seems they do!). Dark meat and not much of it--but it tastes pretty good--so if you want more than just a taste you have to shoot quite a few.

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Concur with eyecross, he about nailed it. They are great fun to hunt and do share much of the same habitat as ruffed grouse. Northern MN can produce good numbers of birds if you hit the migration right. Good luck!

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I used to make an annual trip to Northern Wisc along the Brule and in Northern MN around Grand Rapids to hunt for Timberdoodles, but haven't for the past 7 years. I've hunted a couple years in Southern MN's Whitewater Valley and had fair luck. I use either a double 410 or 28 ga. I certainly wouldn't go bigger then a 20 ga. They are small and tough to hit but they are very good table fair, especially if you can get a few or a grouse or 2.
Like eyecrosser said they like low wet areas.

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Woodcock can be somewhat elusive. Without a dog, hunting can be real tough. Woodcock prefer wet, marshy areas. Creek bottoms can be good, however young popal slashings can be great! Woodcock are migratory, so timing the "flights" are critical. Pay attention to the weather. Look for "splashings", the droppings that have a whitewash look to them. Feathers and probe marks also are tell-tale signs of thier presense. Woodcock hold tight, without a dog, you may be walking past them without ever knowing. Woodcock IMO are one of the easiest birds to hit. Low brass 7 1/2 or 8 shot in imp. cyl. is what I load up with.

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