Friday, November 30, 2012

Pheasants Forever's 30th Anniversary - Video

Pheasants Forever is celebrating 30 years of its wildlife habitat conservation mission. The most efficient national conservation organization has helped conserve more than 8.5 million acres of habitat for pheasants, quail and other wildlife in the U.S. and Canada.

Friday, November 9, 2012

L.L. Bean and Columbia Hunting Gear For Sale

SOLD - For Sale @

LL Bean Bean's Pa'tridge Strap Vest II Hunting Vest

 Lightly used.  Under 10 times in the field.
  • We've taken this customer favorite and made it even better
  • New design increases breathability, cuts weight and increases range of motion
  • Pivoting straps move with you and won't fall down
  • Game pocket unzips and opens wide for easy cleaning
We've listened to customer feedback to improve our bestselling Strap Vest. We've replaced the mesh back panel with a single swivel buckle located between the shoulder and the lower part of the vest. This not only increases breathability and cuts weight, it also improves your range of motion when shouldering your firearm. Waistbelt and shoulder harness now feature perforated foam for extra breathability, comfort and reduced weight. Rugged waxed cotton is water and puncture resistant, lightweight and durable. Game pocket unzips and opens wide for easy cleaning. Roomy bellows pocket over game pocket is ideal for snack, check cord, dog electronics and all the gear you need for a full day of hunting. Large front pockets each have four shell loops along with enough room to carry a whistle, spare gloves and other supplies. Wear it in any weather; vest adjusts for comfort over a shirt or light jacket. Imported.
I really liked the support that the waistbelt gave.

Columbia Ptarmigan Hunting Jacket L w/ Zip Out Fleece Liner

Lightly used.  I think I only had this one out 1 or 2 times.  Game bag is clean.

This is the classic Columbia hunting jacket

Flax colored
Elastic shell loops

Fleece liner zips out to let you use it in a wide range of temperatures.

Columbia Hunting Vest L

Used not abused.
12 GA Only - I don't have the 20 GA inserts.
Flax - Cotton

Columbia Full Draw Quarter Zip Hunting Shirt - NWT

New With Tag
The tag says Medium but I usually wear large sizes for columbia ( and everything else ) and the medium fits me.

Ideal for quick-changing conditions, lightweight polyester knit has a smooth, silky feel and is both water-resistant and sun-resistant for all-weather comfort. Great worn alone or as a base layer; relaxed fit.

  • 100% polyester Protector™ knit pique
  • Omni-Shield® advanced repellency
  • Omni-Shade® sun protection; UPF 30
  • Imported

For Sale @

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Webster SD Pheasant Hunt Day One

Tony and Quetico with their best ever pheaasant day

Thursday Nov 1 2012

My buddy Tony and I set out from the Twin Cities for Webster SD.  The reason that we were headed there is that when I looked at the SD map of public places to hunt it looked like it had a lot of options.  We have never hunted this area so it is just a shot in the dark.

We got to town around 2 pm, checked in to the hotel, got my license, and started out to find a place to hunt.  The SD Game and Fish people really seem to have their act together as far as encouraging people to hunt in their state.  I was able to download a set of maps to my Garmin driving GPS  that showed all the public hunting areas as well as an app for you smart phone that dies the same.  We just started driving to a few spots looking for something with good cover.  About 12 miles from town we started at our first spot.

The dogs started to get birdy relatively soon after our start.  They were narrowing in on one area when a rooster decided to try to make its escape.  Tony brought it down with one shot from his 16ga.  The dogs started to work in a manner that suggested that birds were running ahead of us.  We followed them to the thickest cover on the unit.  As we entered the cattails a rooster broke wild from the other side.  We weren’t able to get of a decent shot but Tina and I decided to head in the same direction that the bird flew towards while Tony and Quetico worked the edge of the cattails.  Tina and I hit the fence on the far side and started to work along the harvested cornfield.  As we got about half way down the line Tina locked up hard and I moved in front of her.  About 20 yards up the line I put up a hen.  A few minutes later as I came over a small rise I was able to watch Tony work to the front of Quetico and was able to bring down his second rooster.

We made our way back to the truck without any more contact with birds.  We loaded up and followed the Garmin from spot to spot looking for another area with good looking cover.  After about 10 more miles we hit a group of public hunting areas that covered a fair amount of area.  As we got out of the truck a rooster flushed and flew across the road.  Tony and I split up and I worked another fence line while he worked the grass.  Tina started to point and relocate along the fence and was looking pretty serious about the likelihood of a bird being in the area.  Before we could find a bird though a shot rang out from Tony’s direction and he dropped his third bird.  Shortly afterwards Tina finally pinned our runner and put up another hen.  We made our way around the far side of the field and were on our way back when Tina had a nice solid point on a thick clump of grass and I was able to put up a rooster and took it with an easy shot.  It was a first year bird but I was happy we were able to get one for the game bag, I was getting paranoid that I was about to get skunked while Tony filled out.  After a short water break at the truck we made it across the road to another section of CREP land.

This field had a harvested cornfield along one side that we were working.  Tina and I swung left while Tony and Quetico swung right.  As they made it across a small section of cattails a rooster got up and Tony again dropped it.  Quetico was on it in a flash and make a quick retrieve of it.  After putting the bird in his game vest he took a few more steps and a hen came up followed by another rooster that escaped to a thick area of cattails.  We continued to work our way back to the truck and each put up another hen.

We ended up hunting about 3 hrs on public land and were able to take a total of five birds.  We are both hoping that this is the pattern for the rest of our trip.

Tina and I with our Webster SD Pheasant

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bigfork - Deer River MN Grouse and Woodcock Hunt


Tony, Quetico and a Bigfork MN Grouse

The weather in the Grand Rapids, Mn area was supposed to be wet snow on Friday so I decided to head up early on Saturday morning.  I met my buddy Tony and his dog Quetico in Deer River and we decided to head up to Bigfork to try an area that we’ve had good luck with in the past.  This area can be entered from two different roads so we thought that we’d try parking one vehicle and then driving to the other side and hunting our way back to the first vehicle.  This way if we got into birds we could always hunt out and back and if the birds were scarce we could bail at the first vehicle, swing back to the second and then head to a new spot.

We put the two dogs on the ground and started down the trail.  It looked to be a good morning for a hunt as there were still spots of snow on the ground.  Within the first 5 minutes we got a wild flush and didn’t get a shot off.  The trail comes to an intersection with two side trails and if you go forward you hit a clear cut that has started to have islands of growth.  It the past few years these islands and the edges of the field have held good numbers of birds.  We worked the area pretty thoroughly and did not move a bird so we headed down one of the side trails towards the parked car.

As we hit the main loop on the lower portion of the trail the dogs started to get more excited.  They started to work an area of newer growth when you could hear them slow their search.  Tony went into the area to check on the search when a grouse got up in front of Quetico ( Tony’s GSP ) and he was able to drop the bird.  We kept moving along the trail to an area that was an awesome hotspot in 2009 and 2010.  There is a large beaver pond along one side and a small pond on the other.  In ’09 and ’10 I’m certain I moved multiple birds in this small area every time that I hit it.  Tina started to get excited first as I’m guessing that she remembered all of the birds that we had seen there in the past.  We were close to the end of this area when the dogs started to tighten up their casts and narrowed their search to some softer ground.  A lone woodcock decided to make its escape and I was able to bring it down and put it into the game bag.

We finished up this trail and decided it wasn’t worth hunting our way back so we loaded up the one vehicle, swung back for Tony’s truck and decided to head to an area close to Deer River that I had excellent hunting a number of times last year.

The dogs worked the cover well but we only moved on woodcock and we didn’t take a shot at it.  I found it odd that we didn’t move any other birds from this area.  As we were leaving I did notice that the cabin across the road had 3 or 4 trucks at it with lots of guys wearing blaze orange and I don’t recall seeing any vehicles at it last year.

Even though we didn’t move a lot of birds it was still a great day to be in the woods with the dogs.

Tina and I with our Bigfork MN Woodcock

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quail Forever's 2012 Nationwide Quail Hunting Forecast

Quail Hunting Forecast 2012
Across the country, the mild winter of 2011-12 gave many states’ quail populations a needed reprieve from the cold, wet winters of recent years. Leading into summer, productive nesting conditions in early spring across the country gave quail managers hope of a significantly increased year of quail production. But as temperatures increased, rains decreased, and much of the country became locked in drought throughout the summer.
While most quail managers agree that quail can handle a pound of heat for an ounce of cold, wet weather, the effects of the drought of 2012 are yet to be determined for quail populations nationwide. If hens were able to get their clutches on the ground early enough in the spring, as some reports note, the more mature chicks may have been able to get a wing up on the heat and make it through to hunting season.
As if these 6-ounce birds didn’t have enough stacked against them, this season quail hunters will note a rapidly changing landscape in many states as habitat is continually converted to row crops at an astounding rate. With commodity prices at or near all-time highs, federal crop insurance coverage buffering the risk of planting marginal lands, continued fire suppression management in the southeast range and grasslands formerly enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and previously unbroken native prairies being plowed up at an astounding rate, it should give quail hunters pause, and more reason than ever to get involved in the work of upland conservation.
Many CRP lands and even some public lands were opened to emergency haying and grazing to help agricultural producers through the drought of 2012. Thus, hunters are urged to check ahead due to the effects of this dry season and land use changes.
The above said, it is important to note that quail are resourceful and will make use of what they can, so there are coveys to still be had. In addition, if readers note the numbers of states included in this report, they will find that there is still huntable populations across multiple species of quail in over half the continental United States, giving impetus for hunters to seek out one of North America's original upland gamebirds for yet another season.
Remember to always consult official state hunting regulations for rules and season dates, and please carry Quail Forever's code with you into the field this fall:
As a member of Quail Forever, I believe in conserving wildlife and protecting the environment. I promise to leave the outdoors a little better than I found it. I will hunt safely and treat hunting on public and private land as a privilege. I will always ask permission before hunting private land. I will obey all game laws and insist my companions do as well.

Click on the State Link for a detailed forecast. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Briley - Beretta Choke Tubes For Sale

Briley Choke Tubes For Sale - Beretta

I'm selling 3 NEW Briley Choke Tubes -  Beretta 

Check them out on Ebay

In a black oxidized finish. Long shotgun choke tube extends beyond the length of the muzzle, features highly polished interior for less pellet deformation; reduced fliers and tighter patterns. Knurled grasping  band speeds installation and removal. Shotgun choke constriction is marked on band so there is no need to remove shotgun choke to verify size

All Choke Tubes Are New

Beretta Optima Plus - Improved Modified - Extended

Beretta Optima Plus - Light Full - Extended 

Beretta Optima Plus - Skeet - Flush - Silver

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tower MN Ruffed Grouse Hunt 9/23/2012

Tina In Thick Grouse Cover - Tower MN

Sunday wasn’t quite as windy as Saturday had been.  Tina and I took off for the Tower area to give it another try.  We started at the area that we hunted second on Saturday.  I was hoping that the grouse would be coming out to the edge of the trail.  As soon as we hit the main part of the trail Tina started to get birdy.  Tina was working the cover well but we weren’t able to move any birds in the first two areas of cover.  The trail opened up a little bit with a clear cut to the right side and Tina swung wide into the cut.  As she came back toward the trail she locked up on the one piece of heavier cover along the trail.  I moved up along the trail and was trying to get into a good position for a shot when four grouse decided to take off for better cover.  I got off one shot but didn’t connect.

We worked our way to the end of the trail and back to the truck without coming across any more birds.  We loaded up to head to a short trail that we hunted just a few times last year.

Last year when we hunted this trail each time we moved one bird but it has good looking cover and if you can move one bird on it it is worth the walk.  About 5 minutes into the trail we came across a tree that someone had hung a plastic bag with the remains of a grouse inside.  I was hoping that the grouse in the bag wasn’t the only grouse in the area.  We walked the trail past one beaver pond to the second pond that marks the turn around on this trail.  The water level in both of he ponds was much lower than last year.  On the return trip Tina started working the cover a little bit farther out than she had on the trip out.  As we got close to the “grouse in a bag” her pattern started to tighten up a little bit.  She went on a soft point at a pile of blow down.  I was circling around the pile when the grouse came out from behind a pine tree.  I wasn’t able to get off a shot but it was nice to see that there was still one grouse in the area.

Our last stop of the day was the trail that we had started at on Saturday.  Almost immediately Tina was working the cover in a way that told me she was excited about the area.  In just a few minutes she was on point at the bottom of a small ravine.  As I was sliding down the side of the ravine a pair of grouse decided to make their escape.  We made it to the end of the trail without any more contacts with birds.  On the return trip Tina again went on point near the ravine.  I wasn’t too enthusiastic about our prospects but decided to go into the cover as she was staying solid on point.  This time I picked an area that wasn’t quite as steep to make my approach.  Tina didn’t budge as I got closer to her and this time the grouse held long enough for me to get into a decent shooting position and I was able to bring the bird down.  This ended up being the last bird that we saw for the day.

We didn’t see or take as many birds on this trip as we had on our trip to the area at about the same time last year but I was happy with the way that Tina worked and it was still a great weekend to be in the woods.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

American Woodcock Migration Mapping System

Woodcock Migration Mapping will be Active from September 2012 through April 2013

Submit Daily Migration Activity Report 

Access Historical Maps and Summaries 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 95
Welcome to the Ruffed Grouse Society’s National American Woodcock Migration Mapping System. In partnership with, the online authority in waterfowl migration tracking, RGS started providing real-time tracking of the annual American woodcock migration in 2006 -- for the first time in history. It has continued each year since. The advanced GIS mapping system relies on daily migration data provided by our members and online readers. Users enter the zip-code for the area they're reporting on, then select if the woodcock activity in that area is Light, Medium, Heavy, or at its Peak.
**The map is a real-time summary of daily (24-hour) entries which reset each midnight, so we encourage our visitors to report each day they encounter woodcock. To view prior 24-hour or longer prior period historical maps, click the Historical Maps and Summaries link.

More Info and Complete RGS Article

Monday, October 8, 2012

MN 2012 Walk-In Access Program

Walk-In Access (WIA) Program

...providing public hunting opportunities on private lands thanks to volunteer landowners.
  • Walk-In Access sites are open during any legal hunting season from Sept. 1 to May 31. Please respect private property and verify public hunting areas by observing boundary signs.
  • No hunting is allowed in any WIA until it is posted.
  • Only walk-in hunting traffic is allowed on enrolled acres. Land enrolled in the WIA program is not open to trapping, trap shooting, dog training or activities other than hunting. No vehicle traffic is allowed. Parking is along roads or in designated parking areas.
  • Hunters must follow the Code of Conduct This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. developed for WIA lands.
  • Emergency Grazing and Haying on WIA sites

Find a WIA Interactive Map

See WIAs for Grant County See WIAs for Traverse County See WIAs for Stevens County See WIAs for Pope County See WIAs for Big Stone County See WIAs for Swift County See WIAs for Kandiyohi County See WIAs for Lac Qui Parle County See WIAs for Chippewa County See WIAs for Yellow Medicine County See WIAs for Renville County See WIAs for Redwood County See WIAs for Lincoln County See WIAs for Lyon County See WIAs for Brown County See WIAs for Pipestone County See WIAs for Murray County See WIAs for Cottonwood County See WIAs for Watonwan County See WIAs for Rock County See WIAs for Nobles County See WIAs for Jackson County See WIAs for Martin County Click on a county in the map to bring up detailed maps of WIAs

WIA tools

 Printed Atlas Updates

Map update status as of 8/31/12:
  • All WIA online map products and downloads are now updated!

WIA maps & data

All map data and map products (including Google Earth, Google Map, and GPS files) are general and do not accurately represent the actual legal or established boundary of these areas, and thus should be used for reference only. Please respect private property and verify public hunting areas by observing boundary signs.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tower MN Ruffed Grouse Hunt - 9/22/2012

Tina With Her First Two Grouse For 2012 - Tower MN

I arrived home from my work trip at 10pm on Friday night and was on the road by 7am Saturday so that I could pick up Tina at the trainer.  She had been at the kennel for a month so that they could road her while I was gone.  Having your dog not get any exercise for three weeks right before the start of the season is not the best way to set yourself up for success.  She was lean and mean.  She had lost four lbs overall.  I’m sure she lost more fat than that and put on some muscle as she was looking ripped.  They shaved her so that helped the look also.

I picked up my dad in Ely and dropped back down to the Tower area.  We have hunted a few spots in this area on and off for 10 years.  We started at a set of trails that has gone from being prime cover to being on the old side of productive.  There has been some new clear cutting in the area so hopefully we will see a rebound in the future.  Tina and I started on a trail that heads downhill to some low areas.  With it being so dry this year I thought that the birds might be lower where there might be some dampness.  About 5 minutes into the trail we came across some blowdowns which isn’t all that unusual in the area except that there usually is a group of deer hunters that have stands at the bottom of the trail and they tend to keep the trails open.  Perhaps they have given up on the area.  I’ve been seeing fewer deer and more wolves each year...  

As we got to the fist set of blowdowns Tina was working off to the left and her bell went silent and the beeper came on.  Once I got an approximate location I turned off the beeper and headed into the woods.  Not much of the cover had come down yet so it was tough to get to her point and the grouse didn’t stick around for me.  Still, getting the first flush 10 min into the hunt isn’t too bad.

We continued down the trail and in just a few minutes Tina went back on point.  She was pointing right in the middle of the trail.  As I approached two birds flushed too low to get off a safe shot and by the time they rose they were headed into the cover.  While I enjoy seeing birds it is nice to be able to reward the dog and myself by getting to take a shot once in a while.  Luckily the next bird wasn’t quite as skilled with its escape.  Tina made a nice point and the grouse held its spot long enough for me to make a decent approach and was able to finish the job with a single shot.  At the shot another grouse got up a bit deeper into the cover but I was unable to get off a shot.

A bit farther down the trail a grouse got me in the classic I’ll wait until he is climbing over the blowdown before I flush maneuver.  Tina held point but the bird was trickier than either of us.

We made it to the end of the trail but didn’t end up seeing any birds in the damper areas like I thought we would.

On the way back to the truck Tina made a wide cast and I was day dreaming when a grouse flushed as I walked past it on the trail.  The flush gave my heart a jump start but I was able to swing around and get off three shots.  This ended up being one of the very few times that I have hit a bird after the second shot.  Usually the third shot just ends up being a wasted shot but this time I think it took me until the third shot to collect myself and actually concentrate on the shot.

In under two hours we saw seven birds and got two.  One advantage to having the blowdowns is that a fair number of hunters used to road hunt that small stretch and now it isn’t getting as much pressure.

We loaded up and headed to another spot.  We hunted this spot right before Christmas last year and about five minutes into our hunt a wolf came right up the trail towards us.  I shouted at it and it left the trail but I thought it best to pull the plug on hunting that spot for that day.

We ended up only getting one point along this trail but a bow hunter that we saw said that he had been seeing grouse in the area so I’m sure we will continue to try it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2012 MN Grouse Opener Report

Carmel California

The 2012 MN Grouse season opener ended up being a bit different for me than in years past.

I ended up working in California for three weeks and the second weekend was the first weekend of the grouse season in Minnesota.

I did get a chance to see a few birds though.  As we drove the Carmel Valley Road on the way back to San Jose we did see a covey of California Quail.

Even though I enjoy my trips out to the West Coast I was anxious to get home and start to chase some grouse.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2012 Prairie Grouse Primer - Forecasts - Tips - CO, ID, KS, MI, MN, MT, NE, NV, ND, OR, SD, UT, WI, WY - prairie chickens, sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse

Most states west of the Mississippi have upland seasons for prairie grouse – prairie chickens, sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse – opening in September. These early upland seasons are ideal for dog work and sharpening your wingshooting skills. Don’t expect a lot of competition for spots, as many prairie grouse hunting opportunities are notoriously underutilized by upland hunters.

As the nation’s leading upland conservation organization, Pheasants Forever’s wildlife habitat mission is also being utilized to help prairie grouse. Nationally, Pheasants Forever is a leader on the Sage Grouse Initiative, and Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologists are working with landowners in the southern plains as part of the Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative. Additionally, Pheasants Forever chapter habitat projects where pheasant and grouse ranges overlap – Canada, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming as examples – are also benefitting prairie grouse.

Outlook:  Colorado’s rich upland offering includes prairie chickens, sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse, one of just a couple states in which all three exist in huntable populations. The largest populations of sage grouse open to hunting are found in North Park (Jackson County), Grand County, and Moffat County. Greater prairie chickens are found in the sandhills of northern and central Yuma County, extreme eastern Washington County and extreme southern Phillips County. Sharptails are doing well thanks to the presence of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands in their range.
Sage grouse
  • Multiple seasons, consult regulations for details
Prairie chicken
  • Season: Oct. 1 through Jan. 6 (select units only, consult regulations for details)
  • Daily Bag Limit: 2
  • Annual Bag and Possession Limit: 2
Sharp-tailed grouse
  • Season: Sept. 1 through Sept. 16 (select units only, consult regulations for details)
  • Daily Bag / Possession Limit: 2 / 4

Outlook:  Idaho is home to Columbian sharp-tailed grouse and sage grouse, and reports from the field suggest this fall will be promising, according to Jeff Knetter, Upland Game Biologist with the Idaho Fish and Game Department. Counts of male sage grouse on lek routes were down 13 percent this spring, but nesting conditions were favorable for production. For sharptails, eastern Idaho is the best area, namely the southeast and Upper Snake regions. “There is abundant public land (state and federal) and many Access Yes! properties that provide access for hunting to private land,” Knetter says of these regions. For sage grouse, the best areas to hunt would be the southwest, Upper Snake and Salmon regions. “Most sage grouse hunting opportunities can be found on abundant public land, primarily BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands in Idaho,” Knetter says. On the habitat front, the Conservation Reserve Program-State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) practice is being implemented in both the Southeast and Upper Snake regions to improve or enhance sharptail habitat, while the Sage Grouse Initiative is being implemented across the range of sage grouse in Idaho. Last year, Utah hunters harvested 2,900 sharptails and 2,100 sage grouse.
Sage grouse & Sharp-tailed grouse
  • Season: Sharp-tailed grouse: Oct. 1 through Oct. 31; Sage grouse: Sept. 15 through Sept. 21
  • Daily Bag / Possession Limit:  2 sharptails, 1 sage grouse / 4 sharptails, 2 sage grouse

Outlook:  Populations of greater and lesser prairie chickens remain strong in west central and northwest Kansas, though down slightly from last year, reports Dave Dahlgren, Small Game Specialist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Greater prairie chicken populations have increased in northwest Kansas in recent years, so the state has expanded its early season into this area that includes some of the highest densities. The extreme drought of the past two years has especially hurt southwest Kansas, including lesser prairie chicken areas that have seen extreme declines in recent years. Dahlgren adds that the Flint Hills did not receive prescribed management burning this year due to drought, which left more nesting cover on the landscape and likely resulted in higher production of birds in that area. Last year, 6,200 greater prairie chickens and 400 lesser prairie chickens were harvested by Kansas hunters. New for 2012, Kansas prairie chicken hunters are required to purchase a $2.50 prairie chicken permit which will allow the state to monitor harvest with much more precision.
Prairie chicken
Early Season (Northwest and East units)
  • Sept. 15 through Oct. 15
  • Daily Bag Limit: 2, single species or in combination
Regular Season (Northwest and East units)
  • Nov. 17 through Jan. 31, 2013
  • Daily Bag Limit: 2, single species or in combination
Southwest Season
  • Nov. 17 through Dec. 31
  • Daily Bag Limit: 1

Outlook: Michigan is home to the eastern-most huntable population of sharp-tailed grouse in the U.S. Last year marked the state’s first sharp-tailed grouse season in a dozen years, as the grouse population was greater than biologists realized. The hunt is open in parts of two counties in the eastern Upper Peninsula. Most of the sharp-tailed grouse habitat in the eastern Upper Peninsula is on private land, so permission will be needed from landowners. A free sharp-tailed grouse stamp is also required to hunt Michigan sharptails.
Sharp-tailed grouse:
  • Season: Oct. 10 through Oct. 31
  • Daily Bag / Possession Limit: 2 / 4 (limit 6 per season)

Outlook:  Minnesota’s sharp-tailed grouse count declined by 22 percent this spring, but the statewide index of sharptails per dancing ground was similar to the long-term average observed since 1980. Sharp-tailed grouse are more abundant in northwest Minnesota, but can also be found in east-central Minnesota. Minnesota typically has about 5,000 to 10,000 upland hunters who pursue sharptails annually, with a yearly harvest of up to 22,000 birds. Pheasants Forever and the Minnesota Sharp-tailed Grouse Society recently, with the help of a grant recommended by Minnesota’s Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, acquired a 1,285-acre parcel in Kanabec County. The property, now permanently protected habitat for wildlife, including sharp-tailed grouse, has been turned over to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to be open as a state Wildlife Management Area.
Sharp-tailed grouse
  • Season: Sept. 15 through Nov. 30
  • Daily Bag / Possession Limit:  3 / 6
Prairie chicken
  • Season: Oct. 20-24*
  • Daily Bag / Possession Limit:  2 / 2
*The application deadline for Minnesota’s limited-draw fall prairie chicken hunt was Aug. 17. Surplus tags go on sale Sept. 24th at noon.

Outlook:  Montana boasts one of the strongest remaining sage grouse populations in the country, as well as the most liberal sharp-tailed grouse season – a four-bird daily bag limit – making it a premier stop for prairie grouse hunters. Across Montana’s sage grouse range, numbers are expected to be back at average or even slightly above average except for south central Montana. Sage grouse are found in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Regions 3, 5, 6 and 7. As for sharptails, an above average season is expected in Region 4, which stretches from Fergus and Petroleum Counties in the central part of the state northeast to the Rocky Mountain Front. Region 6, which has many times been the top sharptail producing area of Montana, should have numbers improved over last season, and possibly even above average the further east you travel. Sharptail numbers are also stable in southeast Montana.
Sage grouse
  • Sept. 1 through Nov. 1
  • Daily Bag / Possession Limit: 2 / 4
Sharp-tailed grouse
  • Season: Sept.1- Jan. 1, 2013
  • Daily Bag / Possession Limit: 4 / 16