North to the Northwoods!

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by JonDunn, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,728
    186
    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    Gentlemen the time is approaching quickly. This time next month, some will already be gone. A couple weeks after that, the majority on here will be gone. Whos ready? Me, Ive been waiting since March 1st. How is everyones dogs doing? Ive been running mine pretty hard here the last 2 weeks, though Ill only be taking my 3 year old. 3 hunters and 4 dogs is plenty.

    My job has been ever so kind to let me only work 3 days in November and December this year. If I can find a willing partner or 2, I may make another trip in November, if the funds allow.
     
  2. uplandchessies

    uplandchessies 10 pointer

    1,791
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    Mar 20, 2002
    Florence, Ky, USA.
    Heading up on Oct. 1st this year. Still bummed about losing Sage last year.

    As for the new dog, I have no idea what to expect yet. Plan to get her on some doves this week and hopefully things go from there.
     
  3. Birdman

    Birdman Cyber-Hunter

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    Feb 26, 2002
    Paintsville, KY, USA.
    Would like to there now, hope to make it up this year.
     
  4. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

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    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I'll be there, but I'll just be carrying shells for the hotshot with the new gun, apparently. I've been told that there's not point in me bringing my own gun and shells, since the birds will fall and be in the bag before I even get a gun mounted.

    Guess I better take a camera to record the rain of birds falling from the sky.
     
  5. grouseguy

    grouseguy 12 pointer

    Well, this is a BIG year for ole' grouseguy.

    I have spent my 30th and 40th birthdays at the Flambeau Forest Inn in the Flambeau River State Forest west of Phillips ... and if I make it till September 25th, I'll spend the BIG 5 0 there also.

    Apparently, grousegal has some special secret plans up her sleeve for a blow-out 50th birthday party at the FFI on Saturday evening on September 25th. She seems to be pretty proud of herself ... so I don't know if that's good or bad for me. ;)

    Anyway, I plan to arrive in WI on September 24th and stay till October 31st and give MYSELF a birthday present of nearly 40 days of hunting, training, guiding, eating, drinking, being merry and just overall LIVING LARGE.

    As always, the standing offer for all northwoods travelling kentuckyhunting.net members is to join me, basically any evening, at the Flambeau Forest Inn about 20 miles west of Phillips on County W and I'll buy the 1st round.

    See you in the NORTHWOODS!!!
     
  6. grouser68

    grouser68 Banned

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    Jan 29, 2006
    Mark, I envy you buddy! I am on duty until Sept. 27th but 2-3 days later will be heading north.My uncle that has a cabin in Mn. has asked me to come there this year. He also has been hunting Price County Wi.for over 20 years and has given me several spots there.Depending on who goes with me we may hit Price county then onto Mn. I am not making any definate plans this year just gonna go with the seat of my pants.I have heard from 2-3 of the Guardsmen I know in the area I generally hunt and they are saying they have seen many birds in that area.The drum count said it was down 6% this year from last but I put up better than 35 a day there so it should be good. I wont make your b-day but if I go to Price county I will be sure to look you up.BTW-Rocco is coming along nicely, just need to get him to slow up some. He will line out once I get him in the birds of the northwoods.
     
  7. grouseguy

    grouseguy 12 pointer

    Dale,

    Good to hear about Rocco. If you make it back through WI, be sure to look me up ... either at the FFI or call my local # 715-332-5675 ... and if I don't have any bookings, we'll get Rocco out with the rest of the family.

    I'm also getting good reports from my northwoods contacts ... my partner is also a bear guide and he has 8 clients booked and is running 20 bait sites every day and is reporting plenty of birds, but also PLENTY of water this year. WI has had the wettest summer on record ... several trails are still washed out and/or damaged and the swamps are FULL.
     
  8. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

    1,728
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    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    What does that mean for the birds Grouseguy?


    I'm also getting good reports from my northwoods contacts ... my partner is also a bear guide and he has 8 clients booked and is running 20 bait sites every day and is reporting plenty of birds, but also PLENTY of water this year. WI has had the wettest summer on record ... several trails are still washed out and/or damaged and the swamps are FULL.[/QUOTE]
     
  9. grouseguy

    grouseguy 12 pointer

    That will be hard to tell ... water levels can change in 30 days. Last year, I got up there for opening day ... 9/12/09, I think ... and you had to pack water for your dogs. You could literally walk across any swamp in a pair of tennis shoes and have dry feet. At that time, you had to find water, usually running streams to find birds ... either that or find the nastiest tag alder swamp and start bushwhacking. Around Oct. 1st, it started raining, the swamps filled somewhat and birds returned to their normal pattens of locating around food sources and cover.

    With this much water, birds will be anywhere depending on what is on the menu. I doubt you'll find many in the tag swamps, as they will likely have standing water in them. At first, I'll probably concentrate on solid historic producing places, like thick popples with a few evergreens mixed in and go from there. Also, with this much water, I bet the trails that have been planted in clover will be lush and probably have a lot of action, especially in the last hour of the day.

    Last year, I think I hunted 46 out of 52 days in the northwoods and it was interesting to see how the birds habits changed from mid-September thru mid-November, but there was one constant you could usually count on ... so here's grouseguy's tip that we all know, but rarely practice ... MAKE SURE ... you either stay in the field or take a mid-day break and come back out, but be out there hunting the last hour of the day.

    Last year I averaged flushing well over 30 grouse and 20 woodcock per day, but obviously some days were better than others, and even on the slow days, if I could take a break or keep my clients motivated to stay out till dark, it almost always was rewarded with several solid points and close flushes, and maybe a bird or two in the bag, even for the guys who have to pay someone to take them bird hunting.;)

    Here's another "long term" tip ... I know its important for a lot of guys to experience new areas and see new places, but I've found to be really successful up north, you have to learn an area, just like you know your home area. It doesn't matter that much which area you prefer, but make a habit of going back to that area year after year. "KNOWING" an area will really pay off much more than the swing of the cycle. This year may well be the peak of the cycle, and the next few years will be a struggle, but use them to keep going back to your favorite areas and "learn" the birds in that area. Once you can find them in the "down" years ... the "peaks" become incredible, and overall year in and year out, you will be successful.
     
  10. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

    497
    0
    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    We are going up oct 2nd thru the 10th. I have a friend who lives in butternut. He spends alot of time in the woods and says the bird numbers are better than ever.I can hardley wait. Is the flambeau inn the one owned by Dick Wojesiks, or however you spell his name. We stayed there a few years ago and really enjoyed it.
     
  11. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

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    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
    We flew alot of birds out of the clover last year right around quitting time. I also noticed there was alot of water in the swamps up there last year when I was there. We flew alot of birds in the alders. I believe we flew just as many from alders than we did popples. Is that odd with it being wet? Keep us updated on how its goin up there in a couple weeks if you have access to a computer. I mean, what outfitter doesnt have there own website that they monitor everyday? :)


     
  12. grousegal

    grousegal 6 pointer

    124
    3
    May 9, 2008
    Grayson, KY
    Jarrod--Flambeau Forest Inn is owned by Jake Nelson. Red Gilbert owns the building--he's the one-of-a-kind character who ran the bar for years. It's exactly midway between Phillips and Winter on County Road W.
     
  13. grousegal

    grousegal 6 pointer

    124
    3
    May 9, 2008
    Grayson, KY
    Well, I guess you'll just have to wait and see exactly WHAT I have planned, won't you?????????????????
     
  14. grouseguy

    grouseguy 12 pointer

    Let me clarify what I meant about the tag alders ... early last year when it was VERY dry, we found birds way out in the middle of the bigger tag swamps where there was a little moisture remaining, then when the rains came, the birds were back out to their normal patterns of hanging out around the EDGES of the tags, because there was standing water in the swamps then. When its wet, birds like to use the tags as escape cover ... so if you point a bird around the edge of a tag swamp, 90+% of the time it will flush out towards the middle of the swamp, and unless you drop him on the raise, you won't get a reflush.

    I'll try to give updates from the northwoods. I don't have an internet connection at our house, but the FFI has Wi-Fi and I can get online there.
     
  15. grouseguy

    grouseguy 12 pointer

    I see grousegal already answered your question. If you're going to be in Butternut, the FFI is about 30 miles southwest of you right in the middle of the Flambeau River State Forest ... just come back down 51 to Fifield, then west on 70 for about 8 miles, then south on Price Lakes Road (a 9 mile long gravel road that goes right by the Kimberly Clark WMA with several birds in that area), then west on W for about 3 miles.

    Just a hint, but Thursday nights are 2 for 1 steak night, when you and a buddy can get 2 new your strip or T-bone steak dinners for the price of one ... $17.99 if I remember right. Also, Saturday nights are Prime Rib night, but it gets pretty crowded in there over the weekend. Its worth the trip ... I guarantee you have never seen as many antlers in a tavern before, plus LOTS of other cool taxidermy. I wish I could link their website, but its been taken down and being updated at the moment.
     

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