Lets here some good dog stories as well.
Can we attach pictures in this forum now?
I am looking to head up North on Thursday for a solo day trip with my pup.
I have not been out since last month up in the pine river (brainard) area,
Did not do to well up their, got a few woodcock and one grouse in four days of hunting. Any suggestions on a good place to start within a couple hours of the cities? Not looking for exact locations, thinking Mille lacs or Duluth area?Moose lake? Just want to get my pup on a few birds, been having fun training her this year she is a Llewelyn setter 1 year old.
Pretty much the same story here for the last 2 weeks. Moved a fair number of birds but no shots fired. Flushed most birds before I or dog could do our job.
I will consider it a blessing if I find time to bird hunt in december or january.
Just about the same today. 8 birds hitting 4 different spots. We are always on the move. Rarely hitting the same spot very often. Much of that depends on birds shot though. If nothing is shot may hit it a few times. If a bunch of birds are taken. Wont hit again for a year. No sense to over harvesting an area. Perfect example is what I was told in the last few days. 3 yrs ago this was a great spot. We hit it 5 times, and got a 2-3 man limit each day. Not seen anything in there the last 2 years. GEEEE!! Wonder why!!
Still everything is in those same areas I talked about already. Mixed popple areas adjacent to thick pine cover. Balsams being best, and jack pine next. 3 birds flushed in thick jacks today. Only 75yds from mixed popple growth. Many of these spots also have wintergreen, and strawberry in them under the pines. Just like anything else. Find the food, and the cover. You will find the game. Of course this year it means a bit more boot leather.
Couple cancellations this week. Scouted some areas Thursday finding 5 birds and at least that many more tracks. Was a bit surprised by the overall game movement with the storm, and high winds.
Finally got back out on the hunt yesterday. Flushed 8 with only 1 shot fired. Found at least 3 times that in tracks. Birds still moving way out in front of the dogs, and flushing. Or not at all having moved out from where they were feeding a long way. Even with the snow now. Those little bumps, or knobs on the trail sides. Are giving acess to wintergreen, and strawberry. This is where we have been seeing the tracks, and few birds. But they are there then move back deeper into the pines for cover. Beyond where we are going.
This little video shows how a bird ran out in front of the dogs, and flushed 60-70yds out. Love to watch the dogs hit the brakes when hitting that scent cone. The liver GSP is our Tye. Hitting them brakes hard!
Heading out here shortly. 3"of fresh snow last night is going to make it fun!!
Couple little scouting walks today while working in the woods. No dogs, and just blasting through a few spots. 4 quick in out 1-2 mile hikes. 6 birds bumped on the day. All off the road/path. All in the same type of cover. Balsam patches among the the popple slashings. More wintering areas than anything else. Heavy pine cover with food sources in, and nearby.
Still this may sound good, but is vastly different. Same areas last year would have at minimum double the numbers. Sweet spots little further between each other. Vary day to day.
I will be in the woods every day. The boys will join me at least 4 days yet this week. Birds may be harder to find this year. When your boots are made for walking it helps just a little.
Sorry have not posted in awhile. Not even sure how many times been out since last posting. Its all sort of blending together. Maybe hunting in all this wet weather has something to do with it. Yes, hunted both snowy saturday's!
Overall been much the same as everyone overall. Averaging 4-6 birds a day. Mostly grouse but still a few doodles around. Yesterday one of the guys before the hunt says, " dont look like it will be a good grouse day." Well it turned out to be one of the best all year. Put up 11 grouse, and 2 doodles. In about 5 hrs of hunting.
Hawkeye, I have to respectfully disagree with Tuddy. I live in St Germain, guide, and am all over the area woods. Yes, there are some areas that are hunted hard. Mostly road hunters, so they are missing much of what is out there. Yesterday every bird we put up could not be road hunted. One area could not be driven, and the other. Well hunted hard is an understatement. However few leave the road, or trail if walking. That area the birds were well off the trail in the bush. This year it seems most of the birds are closer to the trails though. But still far enough off to avoid the road hunters, and dogless folks. Being from 20-75yds in on average. Our GSP's and the ones have had the pleasure to hunt with. Are getting the job done, but have to work hard as well. Just a matter of putting some miles on the boots.
JKB, although am pretty sure of the black berries in your crop picture. Seen that buckthorn also has a black berry. Makes me wonder a bit if that could be them as well? Not even sure grouse would eat buckthorn?
The crops we have examined have mostly had strawberry, wintergreen, and catkins in them.
With the weather it's no wonder most of the birds we have found. Have been under or near balsams adjacent to, or in popple thickets.
Taking the day off this rainy Sunday, but starting to get an itch. Maybe will scout some other areas. Either way will be out at least 4 times this week with friends and clients. Will try to post anything exciting we find.