Here’s a brief report to all from Tim Brandt, a fellow Serious bird hunter. Tim lives in Minnesota, is a ruffed grouse fiend and actually gets paid to hunt (!) since he’s the PR guy at Federal Premium Ammunition. (In fact, if you ever watch the Duck Commander show, you might have seen him on there).
We pestered him for some pics from a couple recent grouse forays he took – because if no pics, it didn’t happen! – and here’s what he sent. Minnie sounds good! Enjoy.
Hey Serious Bird Hunters!
Minnesota has been terrific for us ruffed grouse hunters the last couple of years, and this year is no different. The population was supposed to peak on its 10-year cycle in 2009, but we’ve had great years (maybe even better) the last two. No complaints here.
Anyway, I got out with some of my good friends on the opener, and we had a great hunt. The weather cooperated with nice, cool temperatures and the leaves were not nearly as thick as they normally are on the opener.
Very dry conditions had the fire danger high and made the work for the dogs hard, but it had the foliage down earlier. So it wasn’t all bad.
Anyway, we hunted one trail opening morning with great results. We shot three birds and saw about 15. Most of it was 15-20-year old growth with decent elevation change – for Minnesota, so that means more than 50 feet!. Three of us were breaking brush (one on the trail) and helped out by a Gordon Setter (Guinness) and a Chocolate Lab (Mocha).[We could use a Guinness and a Mocha right now, in that order! Lol.]
The afternoon found us working around our camp. We stay in a wall tent so there’s always plenty to do. Although the hunting was great, we needed to do some chores so we can hunt more as the season goes on! We chopped wood, planted a tree and set up a porch on the tent.
After that we went to another great public spot – and by the way, all the birds we hunted were on public land. We saw about 20 birds in 2 hours during the evening, and even hit one or two. A great end to an excellent opener!We hunted again Sunday morning and kept up with about the same flush rate: 3-4 birds an hour.
Since then I’ve been back up north (I live in the city) one other time, and what a trip. I was there for the better part of 7 days. Birds were plentiful, even though it was unseasonably warm. We even got into some woodcock, always fun.Best of luck to everyone out there. Even if days afield don’t produce a lot of flushes, remember it beats the alternative. Enjoy the time with friends, dogs or just the peace and quiet of the woods!