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Old 09-16-2013, 10:34 AM
ACP230 ACP230 is offline
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It was a slow day for the start of Michigan's small game season/grouse
opener. Green leaves everywhere as is normal.
I don't mind that as I have killed grouse on opening day many times.
I have also jumped a lot of grouse and never seen them due to the
foliage.

The day started out wet and gloomy but the sun came out just before
my wife and I got to the woods. For the past three years we've seen
grouse in a couple spots near some wild apple trees and the remains of
an old orchard. She has been picking apples while I hunt grouse. She
usually has a better yield for her time, (not counting intangibles/memories) than I do. But last year I took a grouse near a creek in the afternoon of opening day. They were in the area, off and on,
for most of the season so I had my hopes up.

This year I saw no grouse at all and few birds of any type. Only got
cussed out by one red squirrel which is also unusual. Met four other
hunters and they had seen no grouse either. One said he'd seen
"seven big bear dumps" on an old logging road. I had been down the
same road a bit earlier but not gone as far as they did.

It felt good to walk my 20 gauge over and under around.
My wife got three bags of apples. Pie, applesauce and some apple
wine are in the planning stages. Last year there was almost no wild
apple crop at all. This year they are all over the place.

We had patchy frost last night so some of the brush may be down a
bit today. I have some stuff to do but may get out for a while this
afternoon.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:48 AM
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I love to hear others' hunting stories. Thanks for sharing.

Good luck with your next days hunt, hope you get some shots.

Don
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:38 PM
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been slow in eastern WA too
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:05 PM
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Grouse season opened here in Utah on Sept. 2, same as the opening of doves season. I spent the 2nd shooting doves but got hunting ruffs on the 3rd for a quick before work hunt.

I had five points that resulted in just one shot. Four ruffs picked the smart through the cover route. One bird made a fatal mistake and flew straight down the little game trail I was standing on. I shot it folded and went into its final wing flapping death throws. The younger pup made a good retrieve.

The grouse was the smallest and youngest grouse I've ever taken. I'm sure I knocked egg shells off it when I shot. The good news is I'm sure it was the result of a second late hatch which means bird numbers might be up this year.

Since then we've been suffering with the same rain as Colorado. We've been lucky and most of the flooding has been less populated areas. If I wanted to hunt in wet weather I would start hunting ducks again. I hunted this last weekend but it was miserable and I didn't snap a cap.

The leaves really need to change color and come off the trees before it will feel like grouse season.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:14 PM
Jst1mr Jst1mr is offline
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They're at about the bottom of their cycle around here....'fraid the stew is gonna be pretty thin this year.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:54 PM
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Wish grouse were more plentiful around here. Fun to hunt and I love SXS shotguns for them. Good luck this season, Larry
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:47 PM
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Well, when the hunting grouse are slow, there's always THIS grouse...

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Old 09-16-2013, 04:26 PM
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Blast! I thought I was going to hear about a new species of grouse! But no, you were referring to the same old fast grouse.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:19 PM
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Or possibly mutated invisible grouse, judging from my trip yesterday.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:52 PM
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ACP230, any word about the bird's around Iron River this year? Tied up with a house remodel this year so won't be going north this season.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:36 PM
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Iron River is a ways out of my normal territory.
If I get down that way, I'll let you know.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:14 AM
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Thanks, The Grand Rapids paper says the small game season should be great this year with lots of birds. I think some one at the paper might wanna go look first before printing that thought.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:37 AM
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Just got back from the farm Monday...only thing I saw walking the meadows and woods was a huge flock of turkeys and about two dozen deer.

You're right. The absence of just about everything else was interesting. I chalked it up to more people in the woods getting ready for bow and rifle deer hunting, setting up blinds, little more DNR presence, etc...

Did get serenaded by a pack of coyotes at night... seemed closer in than normal. Kind of makes you check your sidearm a little more frequently while sitting by the fire!

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Old 09-17-2013, 02:52 PM
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Just got back from a short trip this afternoon.

Lots of small birds, including three or four nuthatches.
A flicker and a raven both of which got me going for a few seconds.
Got cussed out by numerous red squirrels and saw a very small
chipmunk beside the county road on my way out. Looked almost like an animated exclamation mark the tail was bigger than the rest of
him by a fair amount.

Saw no grouse. The place I went was almost a sure thing most of
last season. Several times I parked the truck walked for 12 minutes
and flushed a few of them. Usually have it to myself which is another
plus.

I like the spot because I can be hunting 15 minutes after leaving my
front porch. Guess I'm going to have to go farther out now.

It was warm. The kind of fall weather that no matter what
I decide to wear it's wrong part of the time.
Had on boots, jeans, t-shirt, flannel shirt, and my newer orange hunting
vest. (The old one now sheds 20 gauge shells if I move wrong). When the wind blew and I was in the shade I wanted more sleeves. The
wind dropped and I was in the sun most of the return trip to the truck, so I rolled up my shirt sleeves. Helped a little.
Supposed to be warm tomorrow too, and then rain for a couple of
days.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:22 PM
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I will be leaving for Wisconsin on October 6 for my yearly Grouse hunting trip. Last year was the worst I ever experienced and I have been going for decades. The best year was 1989.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:32 AM
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Started raining already this morning so I guess grouse hunting is on
hold for a day or two.

I used to know a place, thick evergreens and cedars, that held grouse
right after heavy rain. I could sneak in there during brief
breaks in the precip and be fairly sure of flushing one or two.

It's been on posted land for the past 20 years. New folks moved in then
and bought a triangular piece of land with that spot in the far corner. Haven't found a place that certain after rain since.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:59 AM
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Been so hot here in MT! We have cool weather this week maybe that will help. Our summer burned up all the berries and the birds are scattered..Love my early season Blue Grouse hunts with my Chessies!
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:48 AM
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Nice looking dog!
I had a very good springer years ago.
One crazy one, and one I had to get rid of because of my son's
allergies since.
I miss hunting with a dog.
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:15 PM
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My boys love the early season, and it leads right into Pheasant, and Waterfowl..They love it all, and I go more for the dogs than anything..I can't imagine not hunting over them! Thanks for the compliment!
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:56 PM
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This is going to suck! A hammer in my hand this fall instead of a Browning 20ga Upland O/U.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:03 PM
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I rely on fall hunting and the color season to get me through the
cold monochrome time that follows it.

Missed a lot of it last year due to the nasty cold that was going around.
I finally caught it a couple days before deer season.
Steady rain had ruined the week or 10 days before that.

It was a hard winter.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:26 PM
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Here in my part of northern Ontario (3 hrs from the Sault border crossing) grouse season opened with a whimper. One fellow got his limit while others saw few or no birds. Myself, I took my nephew out for the opener thinking we would do well. Much to my surprise, we humped logging roads and ATV trails for 11 hours on Saturday and another 4 on Sunday morning before he had to sit through the 4 hour drive back down to Toronto with his mother.

For all of our efforts, we managed to see 3 birds. He was able to bag the third one. This occurred at 6:30pm on Saturday, a half hour before we called it quits. Nevertheless, getting his first grouse made up for all the miles, blisters on my feet, and, the mosquitoes.

On a humourous note, the second bird we encountered proved that you could shoot at a walking bird at about 30m with a coach gun and IC and modified barrels and have pellets strike all around the bird while leaving the bird itself unscathed.

My nephew with his grouse...
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:38 PM
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Good to see a youngster with a grin like that.

I think it's going to be a rough season here. Had another couple places to check at my original spot so went out this afternoon. Heavy clouds
and a threat of rain at home but it cleared up as soon as I got to the
woods.

Walked around for a while. Heard of flock of geese go over but
couldn't see them due to the trees over me. Noticed several piles of
bear dung, before stepping in any of them. Got cussed, industriously,
by several red squirrels. Once was cussed in stereo.
Saw more deer tracks than last time including a couple of good-sized
ones. Found that the raspberries had taken over the top of
an old logging road where I shot a grouse two years ago. Made it
through them OK, but thought about bringing a machete out
to hack a better path through the jungle.

Saw no grouse.

If this keeps up it will be fairly easy to switch to bow deer hunting
October 1.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:40 PM
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Spent a few day's around Trout Lake 2 years ago and if I remember right saw only 3 or 4 birds, most of my time I hunt Crystal Falls and the Iron River area. From what I hear birds are way, way down so maybe I picked a good year to remodel! Back in the 80s I shot many limits of grouse and Woodcock while chasing a young Setter, today I chase my fat butt to the nearest chair so I can tell all that will listen how hard I'm working. Still can't figure out how the heck I let myself get old and darn near worn out? Good Lord willing next year me and Mr. Timberdoodle and old Mr. Pat will have another go at it.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:13 PM
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Well, I was out again on the trails this afternoon. In almost 4 hours of walking, I saw exactly 1 bird, who lived to see another day thanks to intervening greenery.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:51 AM
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Sounds like it's going to be a little tough stinking up a frying pan this year like my dad used to say.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:43 PM
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Well, persistence pays off. I went to one of my bush chicken spots after school with my daughter, and after a couple of hours we finally saw two birds together at the same spot. They flushed in opposite directions and I went after both, but only saw one of them again. He now resides in my refrigerator, waiting to meet the frying pan.

My daughter was quite happy, as you can see...
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:00 PM
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I flushed six today. Three in a group, one from a tree after the
original flush. May have been another bird or one of the original
trio. Jumped two later. Shot at two of the six, emptied my 20 OU both times and didn't ruffle a feather. Had the place to myself most of the time. Saw one other hunter in a truck and one four wheeler rider just out running around.

It was a fine day, high blue sky, some color in the trees, particularly
the small maples. Almost too warm off and on. Nice in the shade
on the logging roads I walked. Glad I finally found some grouse.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:32 PM
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Jumped five on the 20th. Shot at three of them with no result but
a drop in the number of shells on hand.
They were around some apple trees. The same little patch held
grouse 25 years ago, but there have usually been few to none there since.

Out again today, after not going for many days due to rain, snow, wind and cold. (They had a record cold nighttime temp in the Marquette area last night and we weren't far off).

Jumped two right after starting to hunt. They were in the apples
again and I heard, but didn't see them. Killed another on the
other side of the road about three minutes later. Just finished putting
it in the freezer a few minutes ago. It had a crop stuffed with pieces of
apple.

I like to have wild game for Thanksgiving, if possible. It's now
possible.

Not the reddest grouse I've shot but was trending that way.
I have now seen 14 almost all of them in coveys. Singles have been
hard to find this year. Not the usual way of things.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:42 PM
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Looks like snow across the U.P. Leaves will all be down, might have to tighten up the choke some. Sure wish I had time this year to hit the uplands seems the older I get the less time I have to hunt.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:29 PM
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I use the same OU with improved cylinder and modified chokes all year.
Doesn't seem to make much difference.

We have had snow already. An inch or two at a time, white yards,
white roofs. All melted at the moment.
Still a lot of leaves on the trees in the woods. Oaks still have
almost all, but there are also other trees that seem to be hanging on
to them this fall.
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