Northwood grouse trips

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by jarrodcombs, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. grouseguy

    grouseguy 12 pointer

    We decided to give our legs a rest and go chase some muskies yesterday and had a truly outstanding experience ... a true double on 42" and 40" muskies, both in the net at the same time.

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  2. Deadbeat

    Deadbeat 6 pointer

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Frenchburg
    Just got back from 5 days in Wisconsin. Truck broke down first day and cost most of the day. My father and I managed to get out limit in the next 3 days, 9 one day :0. Didn't hunt much the last day, just drove around. Was a good trip, seen lots of birds and got lots of points.
     
  3. grouseguy

    grouseguy 12 pointer

    Well, all good things must come to an end. Just finished packing the dog trailer and most of the truck. Heading out for one last northwoods dinner ... I'm thinking "walleye".

    Relaxing with a bourbon now and watching a flock of swans on the lake, feeding and resting before their next leg south. It's been a memorable trip ... With the double on grouse with my son on Kat's first grouse point, and the double on muskies with my good friend were definately the highlights, but just getting away for 3 weeks of northwoods living was some much needed "sanity maintenance".

    It seems the more time I spend up north, the more "at home" I feel here than back in KY. Hopefully, within a few years, I can retire and spend at least half the year up here.

    Anyways ... See you guys back in the Bluegrass tomorrow evening.
     
  4. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

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    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    6 days in the Northwoods, most of it in rain, wind, snow, damp and cold. Last week of October gave us the whole forest to ourselves, not another hunter seen in the woods except for a few bowhunters watching corn piles. The leaves were all down, swamps were full of water, good hunting conditions but comparatively few birds. An old woodsman at the local watering hole told us we were hunting "survivors", birds with that extra dose of survival instinct, and all the dumb ones had been taken by now. I think he was right. Most birds were coming out of trees or 50 yards in front of the point. We saw plenty of birds but got few good shot opportunities. All it all, it was still a very enjoyable trip, 10 birds taken, all over dogs. Woodcock were mostly gone but enough were hanging around to make it fun for the dogs. It was good to walk into a point knowing it was likely a grouse and not a woodcock.

    The dogwork was uniformly good and downright great at times. All the old dogs gave solid performances as expected. My little Scout, who is 4.5 years but in terms of bird exposure is more like a 2 year old, turned on and was just about the best dog we had. She finally matured and acted like a seasoned bird dog. She's been slow coming with few birds here at home to work but the light bulb finally came on this past week. She was as hard a working dog as I've ever seen. Last year she was always following behind the old dogs, content to honor their points. Now they're honoring hers. At the end of one day we were trying to get back to the truck a mile away and she kept running 100 yards back into the swamp to point. I had to leash her and lead her back to the truck or I'd still be chasing points in that infernal swamp.

    Dunn's old dog was great as usual, and though we kept her time on the ground limited, she pointed lots of birds. The young pup got her nose on some woodcock, shared a couple of points, and went from running in the woods to hunting birds. She needs lots of bird exposure right now so pigeons are in her future. If we're lucky she'll get to smell a Kentucky grouse at some point this season.

    I've been chasing birds in the Northwoods 10 times now, and I think I like the last week of October best of all. Cabins are available, no hunters to compete for honey holes, and just enough woodcock to keep the dogs busy without spending all day on 200 woodcock points.

    EDIT: Just checked the week's mail, got a Grouse Log Sheet from the KDFWR. The prospect of entering all those zeros after a bird-filled week in the Northwoods is downright depressing...
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  5. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

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    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    I've been hunting in wisconsin and michigan now for 17 years I believe. I've tried from the opening week and even in december. I've found 2 things in all those years. Go early you get great dog work on unhunted birds,but shooting is brutal. Go late and the weather and no ticks is awesome
     
  6. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

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    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    But the birds are really cagey to say the least. I prefer the 1st week of October or seconds if you can lose the crowd
     
  7. BIRDDOG KING

    BIRDDOG KING Fawn

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    Oct 27, 2014
    Need dog transportion michigan to ky

    Anyone going to lower UP
     
  8. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

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    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    I am going early December when season comes back in
     
  9. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

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    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    Will be in the atlanta/ mio area
     
  10. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

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    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    The weather just was too inviting. We are headed back up north for one more grouse trip. Wish us luck
     
  11. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

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    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    Had a pretty good trip . wind and rain got us 2 days but the 1 good day made it worth the trip. My pointer pinned 4 grouse in fairly open oaks. I got 2 of the four . not a double but still exciting. 2 birds came up and I killed 1 and missed the other. While reloading I noticed my dog was still locked and then another flushed right towards me. Fumbled around and didn't get loaded in time for the shot. The fourth bird wasn't so lucky, I was ready for him. I swear I could live in Wisconsin from September to early December. Not sure I could handle any later than that
     
  12. jarrodcombs

    jarrodcombs 6 pointer

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    Feb 23, 2007
    salvisa ky
    We moved 13 grouse the first day. All in heavy pines crazy windy. 12 grouse the good day in mixed cover. And couldn't even hunt the third day. Heavy winds and rain. I'm too old for that stuff
     
  13. grouseguy

    grouseguy 12 pointer

    Good to hear. We're planning on heading north Xmas afternoon and staying through New Years weekend. The original plan was for ice fishing and snowmobiling, but after talking with my partner (no snow on ground and our lake is still ice free) and your report, I'm planning on taking my young dog and the shotgun and give her some serious one on one time chasing ole ruff. The long range forecast looks like some favorable weather for grouse hunting. I'll give you guys an update, if there's anything worth reporting.
     
  14. JonDunn

    JonDunn 10 pointer

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    Dec 26, 2005
    Up the holler
  15. grouseguy

    grouseguy 12 pointer

    Don't be hatin on me too hard, Jon ... not much to report. The weather turned on Monday and we got a good coating of snow with highs in the teens the rest of the week. Only hunted 2 days ... 6 flushes and 1 in the bag and 10 flushes and 2 down. The first day we followed 3 sets of wolf tracks on a lane for a 1/4 mile ... weird feeling. Got in some good obedience work on my young dog, especially house manners. Took several drives around the area ... its amazing how far back in the woods you can see now with a good coating of snow. Seen some elk sign from the one's they got from KY. Did a little ice fishing (tip ups), but didn't catch much ... the ice was only good for a few dozen feet out, so our area was limited.
     

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