Are you a true Wisconsin Bird hunter ?

Discussion in 'Upland Game hunting, Dogs and dog training' started by GRIFFMAN, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. I was talking with a friend of mine that lives out of state and he was telling me how lucky we are in Wis. to have the land we have to hunt and the bird population that we have. I guess where he is at it is far different.

    Well it got me to think how many of us Wisconsinites are actually die hard grouse hunters? I mean go every weekend and hunt all season long type of hunter.

    I am....anyone else?

    I swear that in the fall I see more out of state trucks grouse hunting than Wisconsin trucks.

    So how often do you hunt birds in Wisconsin?

  2. I am going to try to get out more this year

  3. I agree that I see more out of states trucks. In my area i see a lot of trucks from TN.
    Can't honestly say that I am out every weekend, but I am out most, and I can get out in the evening during the week. There is just too many other things to do in the woods to get out chasing Grouse every weekend, but as long as my dogs can hunt, and I can walk, Grouse (or Partridge as we call them up north), will be a passion for me. Now if the ducks every come back............dogs are Labs.
  4. I get out every minute I get, it's the only thing I hunt. Can't say as I've seen to many out of state plates, but I sure don't run into to many other people in the woods with dogs, in my area.

    I also go through withdrawals when the season ends every year, but the high of the new season and every day afield is worth it :smile:
  5. i am going to take my boys out next weekend cant wait its been a long time
  6. Wow !! There are a few of us bird hunters lurking in the bushes !

    Good luck to you guys and keep us posted on how the season goes.

    Team Griff and I are ready and will be hitting the brush this weekend.

    BE SAFE !!

  7. Not the best weekend of hunting I've ever had, but I made it out. Took my dad on saturday and only moved three grouse and 1 woodcock. One spot I struck out at I have never struck out at before:frown:? The places I found birds were in totally new areas I have never been to before.
    Sunday I went out and got completely drenched before calling it quits, but I did move 1 bird in the 1.5 hours I managed to hunt before rain. All in all not my best weekend but it was good to get out with my dad and the dogs.
  8. You will see lots of family groups early in the year. This means that they haven't broke out and spread out yet.
    Much harder to get lots of contacts in early seson unless you find the groups.

    They should break up in the next 3 weeks or so.

  9. I put in close to 50 days the last couple years. I've seen plenty of out of state license plates over the years. The first couple weeks are normally pretty quiet, but come October and it tends to be zoo.

    I split opening weekend between cutting firewood and and bird hunting. Unfortunately cutting firewood won most of my time. I did take a grouse though.
  10. After getting absolutley drenched Saturday morning from the rain on the leaves( it was really wet ). We managed to move 26 grouse and 14 woodcock. Suprised on the grouse numbers and dissappointed on the wc numbers.

    We had some nice dog work for early season. Actually saw a few young birds. The ones in the trees were the young birds. We just watched them after the flush up into the tree. They will be bigger in a month :smile:

    I was pleased to see only 4 bear hunting trucks and not another truck the rest of the day. That will change !!

    Can't wait til the weekend

  11. We only hunted for an hour or so on Saturday due to the rain. We didn't see many grouse I didn't see my first woodcock of the season until Sunday. However once I saw one woodcock I saw a bunch more. Sunday was an absolute blast. My setter pointed a bunch of woodcock and three grouse and my lab flushed three more grouse and probably 3 or more woodcock. I don't shoot woodcock, but they did provide a lot of fun last weekend.

    I used my blank pistol with my setter because I wanted to use the day as a training day. I used my shotgun with my lab, but my I missed all the grouse.
  12. Got out two weekends ago in Northern WI. Flushed 3, I took one over the course of about 4 hours total hunting.
  13. Speaking to the topic of out-of-staters ...I am an one of them. Well, sort of. I grew up in N WI and have lived in Alaska the last 20 years. I have continued to keep 1 foot in the door since I left, returning often to hunt grouse and fish. My family still lives throughout WI and I am a die hard ruffed grouse hunter and average around 20 days a year in Wisconsin chasing birds, generally in N Central and Northern Wisconsin. So why would I leave AK - generally viewed as one of the top hunting destinations in the world - to hunt in WI?

    To start with, there is lots of PUBLIC huntable land in WI. You don't appreciate how accessible hunting is in WI until you move someplace where it's different. The CLOSEST place I can hunt from my house for "huntable" numbers of birds is 65 miles. I consider that the backyard, and other places are as far as 350-400 miles. That makes for a very long, tiring weekend. In contrast, where I grew up in WI and where our family cabin is located, we generally hunt within 10-15 miles of the property, often only a few miles from home. A related point is WI has lots of ROADS. Somehow in this day and age, roads have become a bad things according to some advocacy groups. AK has lots of land but very, very few roads to get into it. And grouse hunters know that roads and birds go hand in hand.

    Re numbers, I had the best day of my career in the area I live in AK last weekend, flushing 10 birds and killing 2 over 7 hours - probably covering 14 miles or so. A normal day is 2-3 flushes. I equate 10 birds here to a 50 flush day in WI. Don't get me wrong - I love hunting birds up here, but it's very much a niche sport, probably not all that different from being a sharptail hunter in WI. And its a tough sport. The hunting itself is A LOT harder than WI - generally in the foothills of mountains through the nastiest, thickest stuff you can imagine. We have a shrub here called Devil's Clubs which is a really treat, let me tell you. And throw in the ever real risk of stumbling into a grizzly bear (they like thick stuff too) and you have some challenging conditions.

    So, yes, without question WI is exceptional for ruffed grouse- where you think nothing of 20-30 flushes, or even better at the peak of the cycle, and measure success in terms of flushes per hour. Others would die to have the kind of hunting WI produces at the LOW end of the cycle.

    The other key difference is habitat - southcentral AK has no timber industry and in my area, no fires to speak of. So, absent the efforts of RGS, you would have very little second growth at all where I live. Be happy you have a vibrant timber industry in WI that continues to create good habitat for birds (and other wildlife). WI has some of the best grouse hunting in N America, and I can say its definitely not something that should be taken for granted. Efforts to enhance public access, create more habitat (particularly on Forest Service lands), and strengthen the ranks of hunters should be a priority for everyone.

    What do I dislike about hunting in WI. Only one thing: wood ticks. Up here, there are NO TICKS. AK vets don't have a clue when I inquire about vaccinations for Lymes. Most people have never even heard of Frontline. 2 years ago my dog came back from WI with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - it was a real treat trying to get that diagnosed and treated in a place where none of the vets have ever seen a woodtick. (note: I was not aware that WI had RMSF. It's nasty. My dog was cratering only 4 days after returning from a weeklong hunt in WI. Much, much shorter incubation period than Lymes or Ehrlychia. Good news is that it is completely treatable with Doxycycline).

    Great posts here, and I am happy to see that there are others who are as passionate about the sport as me and my brother (who lives in WI and starts grouse hunting on 09/15 and finishes his season at dusk on 01/31). Good luck this season!
  14. Now this is good thread! Keep on keeping on
  15. Here's the trip report. Spent 10/20 thru 10/28 in Wisconsin - hunting north central to northern areas. The highlight was 100 flushes over 2 full days for 2 guys. That's one of the best 2-day stretches we had. The numbers in this area held up over a pretty wide area and were way, way up from last year and the strongest we've seen the late 1990s.

    But, in other areas, particularly in the far north, the numbers are way, way down from last year. There are bird to be found, but 2 guys hunting all day was yielding around 20 -25 flushes.

    Back in Alaska, I hunted this last Saturday and walked 6.5 hours over leg killing terrain: I was very happy with 5 flushes and 1 dead bird. So, for all of you in WI, be happy with the great hunting you have. Even in bad years it's better than most areas in the U.S.

    good luck to all - don't give up on the late season. Personally, I think it's the best time to hunt birds.

    Go Pack!