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Grouse Reports ! ! !

9/12/03 @ 11:53 AM
USER SINCE 8/24/01
Let us know where youre finding the birds, what were the conditions, what type of terrain.

Lets here some good dog stories as well.

Can we attach pictures in this forum now?


TODAY @ 8:29 PM
waltereye sr.
USER SINCE 6/25/01

Put 20 miles on today, DEEP in Northern Vilas County. Perfect Grouse habitat. I'm talking backcountry roads/paths. Never seen a feather. Wasn't hunting,  just went to find a friend's deer camp. Disappointing for sure.

TODAY @ 1:31 PM
Musky Ben
USER SINCE 3/13/02


With all due respect, Steve lives 15 miles Minocqua and 15 miles from Eagle River neither are major metroplis', so he's in the big woods. 

I'm not in the woods with Steve, but am darn close, him to east of me and I just moved south of Minocqua.  I am aware with friends in the woods west of Minocqua that the Willow pack by itself was several years ago reported by the WDNR at 26 dogs. And there is a Stone Lake pack, Boot Jack pack and both of them are in a 10-20 mile radius.   All three of these packs are west of the Willow, so if you go futher west, north and south, are there three more packs running from 5-10 to 25 dogs, it doesn't take long to get close to 100 +/-...

I have property south of Marshfield and have plenty of trail cam photos of coyotes, but also know that there are wolves in the area per conversations with the locals who farm the area.

Another thing to consider is his bait run was "Only 40 miles", so how many more miles was he putting on before cutting back to come to his 120 number.

I also have friends moving to the area that run pointers and I have point blank told them that if want to see their dog survive in the grouse woods up here, they better have superior control over them as a friend who run beagles for rabbits has lost dogs and been "close".   My first paragraph comes from friends who run bear dogs west of the Willow area and they've lost dogs to wolves out there and he's employed as a beaver trapper so he's in the woods plenty.

Musky Ben 

TODAY @ 11:27 AM
USER SINCE 6/16/03

Regarding the wolf population, I have no idea the number. One thing I would say, it is much, much, higher than what it is stated. I believe the recent wolf hunt total in 3 days verifies that assumption....

9/21/21 @ 8:23 PM
USER SINCE 7/24/01

This is gonna get good!

9/21/21 @ 7:02 PM
USER SINCE 7/24/01

Steve- I don't doubt that there are high numbers of wolves by you. But 120 within 10 miles of your place is a bit much to believe. That would be 1 tenth of the entire states population if you use the DNR's population estimate of 1200 statewide which I do not believe. I for sure believe there are many, many more than that. I once found where 2 packs had crossed within a few miles in Sawyer county some years back after a fresh snow. There would have been a total of about 10 wolves in a 20 mile radius that I was driving in at that time. 


9/21/21 @ 4:08 PM
USER SINCE 8/24/07


Thanks for the insight.  I agree there are more wolves in Wisconsin than the DNR estimates.  We have not seen as many around Mercer in recent years. That said, I hear them howling frequently on the Turtle Flowage around Big Island.  Last year While grouse hunting, we were on our way out of the woods near Wilson Lake and a large male casually crossed the logging trail in front of two members of our group. Didn’t even seem nervous or in a hurry which leads me to believe he encountered people before.  The deer population seems more robust in recent years so maybe we can expect to see more. 

I have never had a bad wolf encounter and my dogs usually hunt close so I don’t worry too much. Even when I hunt alone. Porcupines are more concerning to me. I was just curious what others thought about the trends in the wolf population.  

I am looking forward to a string of glorious days in the grouse woods in a few weeks. Good luck to everyone and be safe. 

9/20/21 @ 10:30 PM
Steve White
USER SINCE 3/17/04

My bait run today was only 40 miles.  Seen my second grouse of the year.  2 wood cock as well.  Wife did a bit more. Has yet to see a grouse.

Birdy, I dont think they are moving at all. The population is just expanding. I have many friends in the UP that are seeing more than ever. Many friends that hunt to the south. With more than ever. Im talking around Wi Rapids, and as far south as Black river falls.  No doubt they move to food sources. Just like all critters. There is just that many more now, and continually growing.  Even if we get another hunt. Still wont touch the population.  Not one was killed in vilas county on last hunt. Only 4 in onieda.  When I can count 120 within a 10 miles radius of my house. Its really bad!

9/20/21 @ 4:24 PM
USER SINCE 10/3/12

Got out with the dog today despite the heat. Got one flush one shot one kill. 

Its funny starting the season off with some success.  I could put in another 100 hours of hunting and never kill another bird. thats grouse hunting for you

9/20/21 @ 8:51 AM
USER SINCE 8/24/07


Do you feel or think the wolves are moving further south?  Reason I ask is, we hunt grouse mainly in the central and northern part of Iron county. Over the last five years, it seems like the deer population there has grown and we see less wolf sign in the woods. One of the locals guides I know thinks the deer are back because the wolves are heading further south for food. One area of Price that I like to hunt has seen a higher number of DNR reported depredations since 2016. Multiple in a pretty small area in the Chequamegon. 

I’ve seen your posts and know you spend a ton of time busting the brush. Interested in your take. 

9/19/21 @ 7:06 PM
USER SINCE 1/27/17

Got up to the iron river mi area,  lots of foliage and lots of birds . Never left our property and just walked the trails. Afternoons were best, not a lot of shots offered,  did have one almost run across my feet with my lab in hot pursuit from under a group of pine trees.

Back up next week. 

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