Friday, September 5, 2014

First Grouse - Nemadji State Forest Ruffed Grouse Hunt - October 11th 2012

Brent with his first Ruffed Grouse

Oct 11th 2012

A friend, Brent, and I have been able to hunt pheasants together before but he had never had the opportunity to hunt for Ruffed Grouse.  We both had the same day off during the mid-week so I thought we would try some of the MN Hunter Walking trails that are by Nickerson MN.

The first two trails were in pretty rough condition and we didn’t move any birds.  The third trail was awesome looking.  Great habitat and the trail itself were well maintained.  It was easy to tell that a large number of hunters also thought that it was a good looking trail as you could tell that it seen quite a lot of traffic.

I decided to pull the plug on the walking trails and head over to Nemadji State Forest.  I used to hunt there quite a bit before the ATV craze hit full force but had mostly skipped it recently as there were too many ATV and motorcycles to worry about.  I figured since it was a weekday that there might not be quite as much traffic to worry about.

Within just a few minutes of letting my setter Tina out of the truck we had a bird that flushed wild so I was already feeling better about the decision to change locations.  We followed the main trail for another 20 minutes before turning onto a smaller side trail.  Within 2 or 3 minutes we went around a corner and saw Tina locked up on point.  Brent moved in and connected on a straight away flyer.  His first grouse ever.  The cover continued to look good so we moved on down the trail.  About 10 minutes later I heard Tina’s beeper go off.  As we moved towards the beep the bird broke from in front of Tina and Brent bagged his second bird.  I was looking at getting shut out by a first timer.

We moved on to another smaller trail and I was able to take a bird that was holding tight in a nice clump of cover.  On the walk back to the truck I was able to take a woodcock that Tina pinned near a creek in the area.

Brent was able to get his first grouse.  We only heard one ATV and didn’t even end up seeing it.  It was another good day to be in the woods.

Tina and I with our Nemadji Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock

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