Where would you go/What would you do?

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Where would you go/What would you do?

Postby JONOV » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:00 pm

I'm going to do everything I can to get Gus on more wild birds this fall. While we had a handful of outings here in NC, we didn't manage to move any birds, and while some of it certainly had to do with him be 6-7 months old for most of the season, I know others that had similar results because aside from woodcock moving through, there simply aren't many birds here, period.

I'm turning over a few options in my head. Every year I take a trip to NoDak, that's almost exclusively duck hunting. I was thinking of tacking on a few days at the front end for upland hunting. It wouldn't be at or near the opening weekend for huns or sharpies, probably closer to the first or second week of October and may or may not coincide with the pheasant opener.

Second option: Delay my summer vacation for UP Grouse hunting, OR tack on some extra time at Christmas. My dad just bought a cabin in the UP and He's retiring this year. I've only grouse hunted a few times, but I think it would be nice, and I love the UP, and the cabin is free.

Third option would be to go to Kansas or Nebraska or Ok or something. I think that one would be harder because I'd be starting completely from scratch.

What say you? What would you do?
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Re: Where would you go/What would you do?

Postby jlw034 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:21 pm

Pretty sure ND is moving up their phez opener this year.

Not sure how you do it, but my standard MN/ND/SD hunt day is ducks in the AM/clean birds/upland in the midday/scout/upland in the evening/clean birds/sleep/rinse/repeat.

Definitely not relaxing, but that's not the point I suppose.
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Re: Where would you go/What would you do?

Postby orhunter » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:26 pm

Winter kill is going to be an issue from Oregon through the Dakotas. Don't plan anything yet.
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Re: Where would you go/What would you do?

Postby Beech » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:39 pm

If there are birds around your dads cabin then that sounds like a winner. Hard to know from here how many birds you and dog will encounter. Woodcock may be an added bonus before November, by movember most of the migration is past and if this spring is any indication then the woodcock flight next fall will be good.. Christmas in the northern midwest is always a crapshoot weather wise, could be icy crusted snow, could be deep snow or little snow. most folks ahve a toughtime finding grouse after November. Ice fishing around christmas time is always an option too..
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Re: Where would you go/What would you do?

Postby Willie T » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:28 pm

Jonov, I would hold off on finalizing plans as long as I could. Follow the weather spring through summer and make plans to hunt areas where bird numbers will likely be high due to favorable conditions for nesting and brood survival. I would not be deterred by new areas. Once you reach your destination the upland dog is the one that does the actual hunting. If the birds are plentiful the dog won't care if it's been there before or not. Some of the most memorable times I have spent afield have been hunting and experiencing new country with my dogs. If the goal is to put your dog on birds you need to go where the birds are and with upland birds things change every year.
Also to further what JLW said, if you are going to be in Nodak, commit a good portion of your time to upland birds. That is a heck of an opportunity to get your dog on birds. The old axiom of "no birds equals no bird dog" is pretty accurate.
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Re: Where would you go/What would you do?

Postby Steve Anker » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:29 am

Well, I guess this year the agenda looks like this.........
Over the summer, get the hounds in good shape again for a nice easy season.
Then, we'll take a look around the new neighborhood for State Lands to Hunt.
Being newly situated here getting familiar with my surroundings sounds probable.
If I can wake up the Troops (my old hunting buddies) maybe we'll make a trek up to New Hampshire for a long weekend blitzing for Mr Grouse.
Yeah, that sounds like a very do-able season 2018.
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Re: Where would you go/What would you do?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:12 am

When it comes to getting young dog's on a lot of birds, I favor the Dakotas. I live in N. Wi. So I can grouse hunt anytime. Thing is, you don't get a lot of contacts unless the woodcock are in.

I like the Dakotas because one, there's a lot of birds and two, I CAN SEE WHAT THE PUP IS DOING. I think that's a huge advantage. Early season in the Dakotas can mean snake breaking so be sure you do that if you're hunting in Sept there.
The pup will find so many birds he'll go cross eyed and maybe even point one.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Where would you go/What would you do?

Postby Scott Linden » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:35 pm

I'm with those who suggest the Dakotas. Plenty of public access, friendly people and year to year, more birds per acre than everywhere else combined. Do your homework, don't be intimidated by your lack of knowledge of the area because many of the residents will help you. Yes, you'll get skunked in some spots, but also find some new honey holes. Glad to share more by PM. I'll see you there.
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Re: Where would you go/What would you do?

Postby watermen » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:00 pm

I just got back from an informal crow and road survey. The fishing was good enough to leave lots of window time. I covered from 281 to the river from 94 down to 50 miles into south dakota. Birds took a beating this winter, The ducks are happy and the fishing is great. Having said that I did see pheasants and more grouse than expected. They had 1.5 inches of rain since tues and will need a dry spring to help numbers rebound. Locals said loss was from60-90% depending on where you were specifically. Like knowledgeable people have said it is too soon to tell. It is raining in the southern plains and they are starting with good carryover. The hens were with the roosters in the morning in the dakotas and gone to lay in the evenings so they are starting to nest (early).... The southern plains have been a great place for young dogs the last two years, worth considering IMHO. I did not cover most of the best ground in the Dakota's, but ground that is plenty good enough most years.
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