Saturday, October 1, 2016

Deer River MN Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock - Saturday October 1st 2016

Deer River MN Woodcock

We left the Twin Cities Saturday morning and made the drive to the Deer River, MN area.  By the time we hit the woods it was 1 PM and it was already warming up.

Tina, the 14 yr old, got the first spot.  It is a shorter hunt and we have had luck at this spot in the past.  The cover was thicker this year than in the past and she had some issues getting through the tall grass in the trail.  We worked the area for 40 minutes but didn’t move anything.

Tasha got the next area.  This spot is one of our two favorites.  As we went down the second set of trails she gave me a flash point and a grouse took off out of a tree.  It surprised me so much I didn’t even get a shot off.  A few minutes later I heard her bell stop and then a grouse flushed.  As it cleared the woods it was coming right at me down the trail.  I spun around as it passed me and took a shot but it just kept going.  It was in the mid 60’s and next to no breeze so I wasn’t going to get too upset with a bumped bird.  I’m hoping that it won’t continue.  As we went down the trail we had a wild flush that again came from a tree. arrgg, no shot taken again.  The next section of trail was flooded out so we tried to work our way around it but ended up looping back to the original trail.  We went to an area that was lower but not too wet and ended up moving two woodcock.  One was a nice point but no shot and the other was another bumped bird.  We wrapped up this area after about 90 minutes and took a break to head to the cabin and get checked in.

I’ve rented the cabin for the month of October and will come and go over some long weekends.  It is a bit expensive but this lets me leave a fair amount of gear at the cabin between hunts.  Two main drawbacks though.  No internet.  No wifi at all and fairly slow mobile hot spot.  It is good enough for email but no streaming.  The second drawback is that after this year they won’t allow dogs any longer.  We got checked in, got the dogs plenty of water, and unloaded some of our gear.

We made it back out to the woods with about 2 hours of light left.  We went back to the 2nd spot that we had hunted and I took Tina out first again.  We worked a great looking section of trail.  This was much easier walking and the cover has grown nicely since being clear cut a few years ago.  She got birdy a few times but we didn’t move any thing.  Tasha got the call to close out the day.  We ended up moving 4 more grouse 2 of which came out of trees.  She did get a nice point on 2 woodcock.  I didn’t get a shot off at the first one but the second one was a nice point and when I stepped into the woods it flushed and went right down the trail and I hit it on a nice going away shot.

We got out of the woods with a little light left.  We ended up moving 7 grouse and 4 woodcock for the day.  It was great to see birds even if we didn’t do too much shooting.

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