Back from the Northwoods

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by trust me, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    7 days of hunting the Northwoods of Wisconsin, 2 full days of travel to get there and back. I'm whipped.

    Plenty of birds in the balsams and alders, but you won't see them, just hear the flush. We finally started finding some grouse in the popple and they were easy pickin's. Brought home 16 grouse, shot 2 or 3 bushels of woodcock over points, ate of few and gave the rest to a kindly gent we met that eats them 3 meals a day. Lots of birds flushing from high in the trees, and this gave the dogs fits. We got a lot of good points and made some good shots, though. Our shooting was actually above average. Dunn's dogs were uniformly good, while mine had a more mixed performance. Every dog had at least a few points and birds killed over them.





    This young girl shown below is 2.5 years old, although developmentally she's still a pup. I hunted her by herself late one afternoon, and she got on a bird, relocated once, and then stayed on point for several minutes while I got to her. The bird flushed, and somebody, maybe yours truly, made a heck of shot and brought the gray tailed bird down as it passed behind a flaming maple sapling in the failing light.

    She pointed several more times during this trip but this was the only kill made over her. With lots of one-on-one time between her and the birds, she'll eventually make a dog.

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  2. Payton

    Payton 6 pointer

    Dec 6, 2005
    If you guys went to Phillips, then you did MUCH BETTER than the group of guys that I know! Congrats, and great looking dogs, too.
  3. djs

    djs Fawn

    Jan 30, 2010
    Good for you! Great looking setters too!
    I've been up to the Necedah area twice. Not worth a rip yet. Too warm, too much foliage yet, and too many ticks.
    Maybe now that the frost as hit I'll give it another go.
  4. inchr48

    inchr48 10 pointer

    May 14, 2013
    NW Indiana
    Congrats, sounds like a great time!
  5. agr_hunter

    agr_hunter 6 pointer

    Nov 30, 2005
    Over the Hill
    Great pics!! Im pumped, we leave next Tuesday for 4 days!
  6. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    No, we were in the NE section of Wisconsin. A little spot west of the UP. Bird numbers were down quite a bit, killed mostly adult birds since the spring hatch was poor, and the birds in the evergreens were next to impossible to kill. But if you could catch them in the popple and bigger timber, that's when the shooting commenced.

    I heard from a couple of local Kentucky hunters that went to the Phillips area and in a week they killed only 5 birds, said they were disgusted and never going back. I don't know if that is an indication of bird numbers, cover choice, dog quality or shooting skills, so I won't read anything into it. I do know that we found enough birds to make the trip worthwhile to the dogs, and that is what matters. I don't go north to kill birds; I go to make bird dogs.

    We saw more hunters than we normally do, met one gent from Kentucky and saw another truck with KY plates as well. Most of the hunters were from Southern Wisconsin and they drive up to the cabins for the weekends. I have to say that without exception, the people from Wisconsin were the friendliest folks I've had the pleasure to meet. They genuinely wanted to help us find covers and birds, and they would buy us a beer at the restaurant just because they liked our funny accents. We met a local logger at the gas station that not only gave us tips on where to find birds but took us onto private property with his dog and hunted with us for a day.

    On another day we were driving out a forest service road and came across a young guy standing in the road with a shotgun in his hand. He had a look of panic on his face and I rolled the window down and said hey, one hunter to another. He said, "Have you got a dog? I knocked a grouse down and can't find it." I told him we had all manner of dog, and we set two of them out and shortly we had a wounded bird found and dispatched and in the hunter's hands. He was a young guy up from Milwaukee, all kinds of appreciative, and told us where he had been walking up birds, gave up a couple of excellent tips on locations, and before the week was over we'd shared a hunt with him and a beer afterwards. He wanted to make sure we scheduled our trip next year on a time that he would be there at his cabin as well. Best fellow you ever want to meet. He killed more birds off the road and out of trees than we did over dogs, by the way.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  7. handgunner

    handgunner Cyber-Hunter

    Nov 13, 2002
    Lexington, Ky, USA.
  8. mcdenney

    mcdenney 12 pointer

    Dec 16, 2002
    Wildcat Country, USA.
    Man, that is awesome! Thanks for sharing. I gotta do that one of these days. Not sure my hounds could handle a grouse though, lol but they point what few mud birds we get around here. Sounds like a great time in the woods. My father-in law used to go for a week or so at a time back in the day. He still talks about those trips and I think deep down wants me to take him back.
  9. GSP

    GSP 14 Pointer Staff Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Take him.
    If your dog is steady on timberdoodles they will figure grouse out.
  10. Munson

    Munson 12 pointer

    Dec 24, 2011
    Natural Bridge
    Nice job fellers!

    Jon, I located a few birds earlier this year. If ya get time this winter holler at me, we'll burn some boot leather. I'll leave my misbehaved shoe shiner at the house lol.
  11. G-Man

    G-Man Fawn

    Jul 11, 2009
    Going back to Wisconsin tomorrow. Our first trip was slowed by warm weather. The first day we got up 31 birds then averaged about 15 or 16 birds a say from then on. Weather is better now and there won't be many hunters. The birds we found were wild and I've noticed over the years that it seems to me that when numbers are low they tend to be wilder than normal.
  12. BirdBuster

    BirdBuster 6 pointer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Just got back myself. The picture is of the last hunt I made. Managed to kill a limit of grouse and woodcock over Chess. Had the same expierence as Trust Me, 8 out of 10 birds were old birds.

  13. headoftheholler

    headoftheholler 12 pointer

    Oct 16, 2007
    Getshot, KY
    Great looking Ithaca Trustme, looks like you all had a great time.
  14. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    Thanks. I refinished the wood last year, factory finish didn't last a season. I broke the Raybar bead on this trip, so could you tell which thread I need to order on the new gold bead? I'm guessing it's 6-48 but don't know for sure.
  15. headoftheholler

    headoftheholler 12 pointer

    Oct 16, 2007
    Getshot, KY
    There are factory orig. used raybars that come up for sell on ebay all the time. They are indeed 6-48 thread.

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