Lets here some good dog stories as well.
Can we attach pictures in this forum now?
FWIW - WNV has been found in grouse in MI. Some of us thought this might be the case with the flush count so down this past year. I have been in touch with the WI DNR to see if they have done any testing and will post what I find.
Not good for WI and the upper Midwest grouse numbers.
Was out with my Springer yesterday in Oneida County. Put 4 birds up and knocked 1 down. Was only out for a few hours. Also had a very intrigued bobcat staring at me from up in the trees. All my old spots are empty of any signs of grouse. No pattern at all to the 4 that were put up.
Today marked 21 days in the woods straight cutting boughs. All over the place is an understatement. Finding good bough is as hard as finding birds this year. Which in this pursuit puts me right where the birds will be. Finding them here and there. What should be great habit is vacant of birds. Then a few in another area. Contrary to all the drum count propaganda. 3 days ago I heard my first drumming of the year. For a guy that lives in the Northwoods of WI. Spends 300 days a year in the woods. That is a bit crazy.
I can tell you all birds I have seen. Their tracks in the snow. Were in areas that had heavy balsam cover. Next to thick aspens, and water. Mostly this time of year being creeks, or rivers still open.
It was awesome though. 3 days ago to listen to a dueling banjos chorus of sorts. With 3 birds drumming at the same time for over 2hrs.
As I get older take notice of the smaller things I missed in my youth. Most of the birds I have found lately. Were also in the same areas I seen the most bunnies, and deer. That is something to think about as well.
Deer guns are out of the woods now. Bough season is wrapping up. No good snow to run the hounds. Means I will be out with the GSP's looking for birds! Hope to see you out there!
I gun hunted 5 days in western Oneida County. I saw 2 birds, heard 3 more. None would of been in shotgun range.
Deer wasn't any better, saw 3 but would not of been able to shoot any.
Had fun, but not seeing deer makes for long days...
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!!