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This year, I have been able to schedule my week long grouse/wc hunt for mid October, and it will fall in line w/ the Sharp Tailed season. I have never hunted Sharp Tailed before, and only seen one in my life.....so I am rather clueless about them. From what I have read, it sounds as though their habitat is similar to pheasant, but not exactly the same. More grass lands than traditional CRP stuff. I have also heard that they like many of the bogs in the EUP. I have heard that much of the good habitat in the EUP is private. I have heard that they can be a little spooky and tend to flush further out. Many times, they will covey up. Shot size, 5's.

Is this info fairly accurate? I know what are good flush rates for ruffed grouse, wc and pheasants, but what should I expect if I am in the so-called right cover? Just want an idea so if I am in the wrg habitat, I can quickly figure it out and move/explore another area.

Also, never been to Sugar or Neebish Is, would those be worth the ferry ride? I would be coming from just south of Mackinaw.

Thanks and I hope have a great opener next week.
 

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I've never hunted sharptails (I do get the license add on every year though) in the UP but I have seen them the last few years in both the eastern and central UP. Pretty much everything you mentioned in the first paragraph is spot on. It would seem difficult (or impossible even??) to target them on public land in the EUP. Every time I've seen them they were on private land, big hay fields, and they move around a lot.

Last summer when I was in the Soo fishing for atlantics, I killed a day taking the ferry over to Sugar I. and driving around the entire island. There is very little public hunting land. I did see some promising spots for ruffed grouse, but nothing I would go over there for. There is some nature conservancy land that allows hunting by permit only but it did not look good for either ruffs or sharpies. The only good sharptail habitat I saw was of course on private land.

Personally, if I was going to target them in this region, I would cross into Canada.

Good luck if you attempt to chase them
 

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I see coveys of Sharp Tailed Grouse in the hay fields by me. They are always moving, always on private land, and a little too far west to be legal game where I see them.

I have never hunted them but it seems that they'd be hard to get close to. They fly when just driving by.
 

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I only personally know of one bird killed (on private land) a couple years ago. Sounds tough, good luck.
 

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At the MSGA annual meeting a couple weeks ago Al Steward gave us a few statistics from last season;

About 3,200 people got the free sharptail stamp
About 320 people hunted for sharptail grouse
About 150 birds were harvested

It is a tough hunt in Michigan. They are looking into expanding the hunt area but have resistance from the FS and Seney.
 

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This year, I have been able to schedule my week long grouse/wc hunt for mid October, and it will fall in line w/ the Sharp Tailed season. I have never hunted Sharp Tailed before, and only seen one in my life.....so I am rather clueless about them. From what I have read, it sounds as though their habitat is similar to pheasant, but not exactly the same. More grass lands than traditional CRP stuff. I have also heard that they like many of the bogs in the EUP. I have heard that much of the good habitat in the EUP is private. I have heard that they can be a little spooky and tend to flush further out. Many times, they will covey up. Shot size, 5's.

Is this info fairly accurate? I know what are good flush rates for ruffed grouse, wc and pheasants, but what should I expect if I am in the so-called right cover? Just want an idea so if I am in the wrg habitat, I can quickly figure it out and move/explore another area.

Also, never been to Sugar or Neebish Is, would those be worth the ferry ride? I would be coming from just south of Mackinaw.

Thanks and I hope have a great opener next week.
un-cut Hay fields east of 75 are good place to find them. The cover I found them in was waste deep. While driving the dirt roads I did see them run across the road a few times into hay fields. I used #4 and 5s. Not sure I would call them spooky, since they run in groups there is a lot of eyes and ears. They will run if they hear you coming. Kind of like hunting early ruffed grouse when they are still in family groups. I let the dog get out to try to pin them. So I hunted with a quartering wind from my back. This enabled the dog to run down wind and hunt back into me. I used a bell on the dog since I could not see her. She did have to chase them to get a flush. They rather run then fly. Not sure how they will do if your using a pointing dog.

They travel long distances and may be in a field one day and then not return for several days. I had flushed as many as 8-10 birds in a group. And your right private property is where they are. I thought I had good video from Ikams but it was all sound and no picture. Easy shooting no tree foliage in the way.

Straight east and a little south of Rudyard is good place to try. I drove Rosedale area and saw birds but I did not have access to the land.

If you try to get onto private land it helps to have a cute little springer. Then they say we had springers when I was a kid I just love them sure you can hunt that field.
 
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