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I've been out running the dogs with a few buddies looking for woodcock. We were successful finding 14 females though only three had broods. The others were still on nests. Those will hopefully be hatched and available next week.

During our search we contacted 43 woodcock total which was better than the norm. This late in the spring these should all be resident birds and around for the fall. One brood was found behind the house which is a rare occurance.

We also contacted 14 grouse of which 9 were on nests. Males do not often hold for points or even accept much disturbance before flushing so there were probably a lot more that we didn't were around. What I was very happy to see was the three nests found behind my house had 6 eggs in two and 8 in the last. That contrasts to the 4-5 eggs and hopefully is the result of a stray bird or two finding its way into our landlocked woods.

Pheasants are beginning o hit their peak for nesting with my new grassland area having three nests in it plus one turkey nest. The turkey is close to road at the front edge of the property which keeps my dogs from the area. I'll have to get a few more raccoon traps out there to give her better chance of bringing off a brood. The pheasants are in a less favorable place right where I like to run my dogs but I'll keep them out of there for the next few weeks. This is the most birds of all types I've seen locally in a while. I hope it means an increase in bird numbers rather than a loss of nesting areas.

I'm looking forward to next fall...

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Man I'm happy for you. Here in eastern Kansas things are pretty bleak.

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Thanks. Hope for better weather for your birds too, it's been slim pickings around the Salinas area the last few years. It was better than MN even through most of the years but it's been questionable the last couple. Being open through Janurary is a great draw as Kansas is a lot closer than Arizona and the weather is not as hard on the dogs. No snakes then either.

Found another pheasant nest and a turkey nest on the hillside next to the house. I'm surprised at how close they are considering the hustle and bustle going on. I gave them a little better chance as I removed another raccoon from the area. That's 8 so far and the year is early.

Last edited by woodmaster81; 05/24/22.
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It was a dry may in interior Alaska so should be good survival for grouse.
We have 3 species: ruffed, spruce, sharptails.
Season opens Aug 10, ends March 31.

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Raccoons are evil.

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Originally Posted by Alaska_Skeeter
It was a dry may in interior Alaska so should be good survival for grouse.
We have 3 species: ruffed, spruce, sharptails.
Season opens Aug 10, ends March 31.

Don't forget the three ptarmigan species, they are also grouse.

I didn't get a chance at ruffs or sharptails when I was up there but did get the other 4. It was great to put experience on a dog as one could take up to 15 grouse depending on the unit. A two day trip with 4 hunters and a dog could have as many as 60 birds shot over it though I had two dogs but ran them one at a time. I could get out for at least 6 days which could be more birds than most dogs see in a couple years.

I didn't care for willow ptarmigan nor spruce grouse as the odds of meeting a bear seemed higher. I didn't see a brown up close but saw a couple over the years. Having pointing dogs that could run big along with beeper collars and bells probably helped the most. I am not afraid of bears but I felt responsible for those with me so didn't want any problems. Moose, porcupines, and the guests were the actual problems.

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Originally Posted by huntjinx
Raccoons are evil.

Nah, they aren't that bad! Lol

One just has to remember they are governed by their stomach and have opposable thumbs. They are suckers for the dog proof traps.

Now, a black bear that has a hankering for poultry, livestock, or whatever is in the garage is another matter. They don't have opposable thumbs but they are strong enough to not need them. I hate black bears that become pests.

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I was able to slip bands on 14 woodcock chicks last Friday and Saturday. I was hoping for more but between the weather and not finding some hatched broods I did OK. I ran across a couple broods that were up and flying pretty good too. It's a fair bet that those birds may have used that disturbance to break up.

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Wood: Do you need a special permit from MN DNR to run your dogs between April 16 and July 14?

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Yes and no. See MN Statute 97B.005 for starters.

Depending on purpose, may need permit from USFWS too.

Might need additional certification from other entities too, in some cases.

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I started off hopeful as the rains in May were about average in eastern CO and western NEB. We’ll, now not so much. Gonna have a few days in the low 100’s out there and that is a recipe for disaster for the chick’s survival. We’ll see how it goes the next couple weeks but I’m not holding out much hope. Looks like another slow year for pheasants this year!

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Getting good chick reports from some in North and South Dakota....


laissez les bons temps rouler
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I drove to Bismarck and back this week, green grass and lots of it all along the way. High temps this weekend but just S/S so things are looking fantastic here. I can't wait for fall. Even turned back a couple of deer tags.


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So far, so good!

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Weather report said the SD had a decent rain today.


laissez les bons temps rouler

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