Well the 2015 grouse and woodcock season is well underway here in Minnesota. However up until yesterday, it had not really “felt” like it. Yesterday was the first day of the season that I can recall during which the temperature did not rise above 60 degrees. It was calm and clear and it felt good when the dog and I were able to sneak out for a quick late evening hunt. While most of the leaves are still clinging to their respective branches, there is abundant color in the woods and the next couple weeks should result in peak color. The cooler temps are expected to stay with us as we enter October and begin to live once again, the greatest month of the year! [Read more…]
The 2015 season is upon us and after two weekends of pounding the woods, I have yet to bag a grouse. I hunted the opening weekend with my dad and his two shorthairs Gemma, and his six month old pup, Ruby. I of course had Stella and Surly so we had plenty of dog power for the weekend. [Read more…]
We’re less than a month out from the Ruffed Grouse opener here in Minnesota, so it’s time to make sure your four-legged companion is in tip-top shape when you hit the woods opening morning. We intentionally didn’t address the care for dogs in our last post as we felt it warranted its own. I’ve outlined below what I feel is essential to make sure your dog has what it needs to get out there and find some birds for you. [Read more…]
Last week, as the MN Regional Director for the Ruffed Grouse Society, I joined Brad Strootman, co-host of the Prairie Outdoorsman Radio Show to discuss the upcoming grouse season as well as the plentiful opportunities we have to hunt in Minnesota. My interview was followed by a discussion with Ruffed Grouse Society Biologist, Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen, as she talked about spring/summer breeding conditions and outlook for the 2015 season.
Thanks for reading and listening. It’s officially September now!
Since we’ve successfully made it to the “one month out” mark, at least here in Minnesota, we thought there was no better time to remind everyone of these five preseason essential rituals for the grouse and woodcock hunter. I would imagine that everyone has their own version of this list and I look forward to hearing some of the items in your preparation for bird season.
I’m currently reading Burton Spiller’s More Grouse Feathers and a section that he discusses jumped out at me. Burt referred to a piece he wrote in Grouse Feathers in which he stated “it might possibly be the faint recurrence of a long-lost instinct to migrate”, and that “Nothing was farther from my thought than to imply I believed they did migrate, but I know that during certain seasons in the fall, their movements are actuated by a different impulse than that which guides their wanderings through the rest of the year.”
He goes on to tell a story of a hunt in the 1930’s in which his hunting party, along with two dogs, combed a grouse covert for several hours without finding a single grouse. On their way out, not far from the car, an uncountable number of grouse flushed simultaneously. [Read more…]
It has been awhile since I last posted but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing anything fun and worth reporting. Quite the contrary actually; I’m sure I’m not the only one who fills their summers full of adventures and activities to take advantage of the beautiful summers we enjoy in Minnesota. [Read more…]
There is just something different about hunting in the spring. If you have never watched the sun come up while sitting out in the woods or on the edge of a field, I highly recommend that you do it. Whether you are hunting or not, I guarantee you won’t regret it.
What I find so fascinating about sitting out in the spring is the amount of life that returns after a long and cold Minnesota winter and how active everything is in the early hours of the day. Well before the sun came up, I heard pheasants cackling, turkeys gobbling, waterfowl flying and calling, and even the neighbor’s rooster crowing. [Read more…]
Since I started researching bird dog breeds and training techniques in the fall of 2013, if there has been one piece of advice that I have heard or read more often than any other, it’s that wild birds will teach your dog how to hunt wild birds. Essentially, the more contacts you can get your dog on wild birds, the better that dog will be able to hunt and handle wild birds. [Read more…]