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Grouse Reports ! ! !

9/12/03 @ 10:53 AM
ORIGINAL POST
150class
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?

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 2,401 POSTS
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11/13/21 @ 7:26 PM
44/45
MEMBER SINCE 3/9/11

Saw my first grouse this year! Northern Oconto Co. I was sitting in my deer blind and it flew into an apple tree 3' above my head and started dropping leaves while it fed. Go figure!

11/13/21 @ 1:01 AM
Birdyboy
Birdyboy
USER SINCE 8/24/07

Not really a grouse report. More a word of caution. Brother in law was out yesterday in one of our covers near Mercer. His griff got caught in a trap that was set about five feet off the logging trail. He was able to get her out and she seems fine. It was troubling to see a trap set so close to the trail. Especially in the middle of grouse season in an area where a number of guys run dogs regularly.  I know the woods belong to everyone. Just be careful with your four legged hunting buddies. 

11/9/21 @ 9:04 AM
150class
USER SINCE 8/24/01

Good discussion and reading fellas.

11/9/21 @ 8:48 AM
Graceonpoint
USER SINCE 10/24/17

My setters would probably be considered big running there out of coverdog/grouse field trial stock and can really move and gobble up ground.  I run them with beeper collars, it would be hard to keep them in bell range.  The beepers definitely give me some peace of mind in wolf country, and have never had any issues.

11/9/21 @ 8:45 AM
Birdyboy
Birdyboy
USER SINCE 8/24/07

Graceonpint:

I agree with you on all points. In the dry and warm days this year, the birds were flushing wild and the dog was flagging more than sticking a hard point. My best day so far came the morning after a little rain and it cooled off. Birds held tighter and I picked up two off of solid points. Abigail is learning to adjust when they start flushing wild. 

SwampBuck:

I use a bell and a Garmin Alpha on my dog. Last season, I only hunted her on grouse a few times because she was ranging too far and her recall was non-existent. First time I let her out of the truck she was almost 400 yards out in a couple of minutes. That was in Chequamegon around the ranger station near Fifield. There is an active pack of wolves over there that picked off some hounds and (I think) a bird dog the last couple of years around Riley Lake. I worked with her a ton in the off season and now she stays within 100 yards and runs around me in circles or figure 8 checking in frequently. I felt much better this season. The bell and GPS really help. 

RiverChaser:

I agree on the bell. In fact, a buddy of mine who guides, and the same guy who gave me my setter, insists on using them for safety. He also believes the sound of the bell holds the birds longer. He knows way more about birds and dogs than I do so I follow his lead. 

11/9/21 @ 7:51 AM
river_chaser
USER SINCE 10/3/12

The bell defintely gives some assurance on dog location and doesnt seem to scare the birds anymore than not having a bell.  My grif turned 5 this year and she calmed down and staying much closer and I havent needed the bell this season.

11/9/21 @ 7:13 AM
Swamp buck
USER SINCE 1/23/09

Birdy, you say your setter hunts big. Are you worried about the wolves with a dog like that? I've hunted Springers for years and they have always worked a good distance for me. I put a bell on him which I really dont like but in wolf country I want to know where he is . Especially on windy days.

11/9/21 @ 6:37 AM
Graceonpoint
USER SINCE 10/24/17

As I recall your setter is young so she's probably still learning how to handle grouse.  They can change from day to day, one day hold pretty good the next day cant get within 30 yards of them.  My old setter if she bumps a bird or the bird comes up shortly after she points she'll make an adjustment.   When they get real skittish she doesnt really even going on a hard point she just stops tail is flagging.  Kind of gives you that look that says "the bird out there somewhere but if I get any closer its coming up".   And sure enough a bird will come up about 30 yards in front and lucky to get one wild a$$ shot off.   

I think the dry conditions have made birds more skittish this year, the dogs and hunters are noisy getting around in the woods.  I've only hunted one day when everything was good and wet and the birds held great.  The scenting conditions were good that day too.

11/8/21 @ 5:53 PM
river_chaser
USER SINCE 10/3/12

I dont see grouse hunting as having a large learning curve. The grouse are 95% of time smarter and faster than man and dog .   

I did hunt today.  Lot of spots were beaten down by previous hunters and I gravitated to a 1000 acre gnarly creek bottom. No normal person would go in there but thats the only place i found birds.  Dog pointed 2x and we put up 2 with no opportunity for shots. 

no woodcock today either.  Appears to be a year of low numbers for woodcock in my area. 

11/7/21 @ 9:26 PM
Birdyboy
Birdyboy
USER SINCE 8/24/07

Ten4;

Sounds like a great outing!  This year has been interesting. Hunting with my new setter is vastly different from my old Weimaraner. She runs big and when she pointed birds, they flushed well out of range a couple of seconds later. Birds have been skittish. They weren’t holding for points. Some years they seem to hold better. Maybe it’s just me learning to hunt over the new pup. 

Check out the Fflight tool on the DNR website. It’s a great resource to identify grouse and woodcock habitat. I’ve used it for years to help scout new areas and it is helpful. 

Good luck to you!

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