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First grouse of the season

Discussion in 'Upland Game hunting, Dogs and dog training' started by bedlyblaster, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. bedlyblaster

    bedlyblaster

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    Location:
    western mich
    hunted ne montana [scobey] last week to work my 10mo old field cocker buzz on sharptails and huns. season opens sept 1 so it is a good warm up before the michigan grouse season. huns were down from previous visits but we moved lots of grouse. they are having a bad drought out there and the birds have moved into the best of the best cover. it was a lot of fun, feel like my cocker is not a rookie any more and did a very nice job. he only weighs 23 lbs but he hunted 4 days full of heart without any issues, flushing and retrieving like a champ with tons of bird work. lots of state land and block management walk in land in this area with endless spots to hunt. just head west on us2 out of st ignace for 18 hours and you'll be there. the cover is easy to hunt no burrs or pickers, just need tennis shoes t-shirt and jeans.

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    zimmzala, FREEPOP, plugger and 7 others like this.
  2. Chasin Tales

    Chasin Tales

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    Location:
    Battle Creek
    Nice way to start the season. Jealous of all the dog work and birds!
     

  3. RobbyBoy32

    RobbyBoy32

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    Your videos are awesome. I look forward to your West Michigan hunting uploads this fall... I'll be hunting in Mason and Osceola counties.
     
  4. OHIO VIZSLA

    OHIO VIZSLA

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    Location:
    Strongsville, Ohio
    I've always wanted to hunt early season sharpies & huns, but never have. Have you hunted that area before? What were the temps like that early? Was it all public land or private? Many snakes? Were did you stay/eat? Did you go with a group or solo? Much other pressure?
     
  5. bedlyblaster

    bedlyblaster

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    Location:
    western mich

    this was my third trip to scobey, mt. i like to go to mt because the grouse/hun season opens 9/1, so it doesnt interfere with the michigan grouse season. temps were hi 30's early low 80's in the afternoon, then cooler in the late afternoon. it is tshirt tennis shoes hunting weather. last year was much cooler with rain. two years ago it was about the same as this year. you are not hunting thick cover for these birds, its amazing how little cover they can hide in. it is very easy cover for the dogs, i dont think they had any burrs or sticktights. hunting state land and block management private land that you have to sign in to hunt [they have a sign in station]. you can view all these areas on the montana hunt planner map. these areas are huge and you can hunt forever. the huge fort peck indian reservation is bout 15 miles to the south and you cant hunt there unless you buy another license from them. i am 61, two of my dogs are 10+, one is 10 months and we cover about a 30 yard swath which is nothing. therefore we concentrate on edges grass/wheat/alphafa/shelter belts and we manage to flush a lot of birds. just estimating we probably flushed 150 or so grouse and 5 coveys[maybe 40 birds total] of huns in 4 days. i think because of the draught the grouse were super bunched up in the best cover. all the grouse had a mixture of little grass hoppers/wheat/ purple alfalfa buds in their crops. the huns seemed to me to be way down, but maybe we just missed them, they hold super tight, two years ago we flushed at least 100 huns in 4 or 5 coveys all in the same section this year maybe 2 coveys 10-12 birds in the same area. my wife goes with me and she just walks doesnt hunt. she likes to watch the dogs and see the birds flush. this is great land for big running pointers/setters. these birds hold very tight and are really good for training. met 3 guys last year from sc that brought 16 pointers and 3 horses out there for a month. they train their quail dogs there, they dont shoot any or very feww of the birds, they said the birds return to the same place everyday if you dont shoot at them. there are no rattle snakes N of the Missouri river, have asked many locals and they all say they have never seen one. stay at the juel motel, it had 3 other groups of hunters, there is another larger motel and it had hunters also. there are good places to eat in scobey and flaxville. the locals are very friendly everyone waves. we hunted 4 days and saw a few trucks of hunters drive by but never saw any others in the field, i heard 2 shots one day way off. it is a huge area to hunt. i would say this early season doesnt get near the hunting pressure as the grouse woods in mi. probably more hunters out there when pheasant season opens on 10/7, did see quite a few pheasants. i hunted a day further south near cirlce/vida and never flushed a bird where last year i saw a lot of huns and sharpies. it was super dry in this area and i could not find anything greens to hunt, my little pup did find a grouse head which is not a good sign. if you do go take a fire extinguisher, they are scared to death of grass fires out there. i usually use a 20ga with #6 shot out there. the grouse tend to raport flush so you get many chances. the huns explode flush all at once. i have seen coveys of 20 or so all go at once, they all squak and make a lot of noise, it is really something to see and hear. i have some youtube videos from out there just search bedlyblaster. i really dont know if i will go again it is a killer drive but if you are a bird hunter it is definetly a place you should try to get to. the huns are delicous to eat. the little sharptails are ok also. the old big sharptails are a different story, like a big woodcock and can be pretty strong.
     
    ncgreg, dnj21 and NbyNW like this.
  6. fordman1

    fordman1

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    Cook the sharps rare to medium rare much better that way.
     
  7. OHIO VIZSLA

    OHIO VIZSLA

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    Location:
    Strongsville, Ohio
    Wow, thanks for all the info, I've got to try that.
     
  8. Canvsbk

    Canvsbk

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    The drive is the thing. Excruciating at best. We hunt a bit east and south of there. We hunt the pheasants and take the sharp tails and Huns as they come. Other guys - most I would say - hunt the sharps and take what roosters they see. It takes quite a bit of time to do it right.