2017 Hunting Reports

jackrabbit

New member
A slow start to the season for me. Between 2 days I've spent about 6.5 hours hunting public land in the south central part of the state. I have seen a total of 4 hens and no roosters. Still a blast to get out with the dog though and I will continue to hunt as often as I can whether I see birds or not. Nearly all the corn is still in, been warm out, so I do think it'll eventually get better.
 

Rooster guy

New member
Hunted north of the cities yesterday for half the day, did a couple public areas and flushed 3 hens and 1 rooster. I'd say 95% of the corn was still up. Towards the end of the day near the golden hour I did come across a spot that I saw 7-8 roosters in, with a couple more in the ditch about 30 yards further. Overall I was pretty happy with the numbers seeing that I only hunted about 4 hours and all the corn still up (plus it was about 70 degrees so that doesn't help the dog much either). One of the public spots I got to, i was getting loaded up, getting the dog ready, etc... and this guy in an old white beat up van pulls up with his dog, doesn't say a word and just hops out, grabs his dog and goes right into the field. I understand I don't "own" this land, but just blows my mind how some people have zero courtesy when they're hunting. I wouldn't even think twice about hunting an area that already had people in it (or parked in the lot for that matter). I wanted to say a few things I probably can't repeat here, but instead just packed back up and went to a different spot. Have some hunting etiquette!
 

mnbirdchaser

New member
Been out a couple times and it seems to be about the same number of birds as last year. Corn is just starting beans almost done where I hunted.
 

Smokyhillsguide

New member
MEA weekend ranked in the the top 3 all time for both mallards and pheasants. My area is definitely up from last year, which was a very good year. My brother and I shot limits of mallards in the morning and found plenty of pheasants later on. Usually done by noon for both..DNR counts on pheasants are as flawed as the grouse counts IMO.
 

Seve

New member
Just got out on public land to pheasant hunt for the first time this season this past Saturday.

I didn't have a ton of time to drive so I ended up driving just west to the Hutchinson area. I got out there around 8am to find a spot and the parking lot of my favorite piece of public land was wide open, so I parked and hung out. (Didn't see anyone parked anywhere for hunting, really). Hanging out for a while when at 8:50 a truck pulls by slowly with two guys staring at me. Turns out the parked themselves about 200 yards down the road on the same piece of land on the other side of a farm house. Didn't realize they were there until I ran into them turning a corner of the property. I know its public land, but holy smokes people...pull in and let me know what you're doing in the name of safety! Or at least ask if we can split the property?

Anyway, hunted that spot for about 90 min and only saw 3 hens. Tons of corn up, so about what I expected.

As I was hunting, another truck pulled next to mine and a guy gets out with his dog and starts heading right in my direction.... Just a ton of activity.

I left and was kind of wishy washy on hunting much more given the pressure, corn being in, and lack of birds. But thought I would check out a nearby spot about a mile away that I hadn't hunted before mostly to get the dog some more work and to scout the land.

Turns out it was pretty solid. I saw about 12 hens, and 1 rooster which I managed to hit after a very nice point near the edge of a lake by the pup. Not a huge WMA but there was one side with recently harvested corn and one with corn still standing. The side with the corn was surprisingly more bountiful. Ended up spending another 90 min and had a lot of excitement with some good dog work (strong pointing and flushing hens is still fun for me and the dog).

So, was a disappointing day turned more optimistic. A couple of weeks from now once the corn is out and all the lazy hunters with their fat labs are either on their couch or a deer stand, we should be in for really solid late season hunting conditions.
 

TBIRD19

New member
Hunted SW MN last Friday/Saturday. Friday was basically a waste with wind gusts as high as 40-50mph throughout the entire day. I knew this was the forecast coming in but decided to go down and see how it would play out for that day. Was not a good decision, winds were just what they projected, if not worse. Turned into more of a scouting day and evaluating new potential spots to hunt for the rest of the season. We did see birds in the corn. provides a nice wind break for them in there, so that's where they were hunkering. Saturday was a beautiful day for hunting and we managed to shoot 2 before heading back home by 1pm. As for bird numbers, they are there, just need crops to come out to even the playing field a bit. Lots of corn still standing in the area we were in, I'd say about 70% still up, cover also still somewhat thick. Farmers I talked to while we were down said it should be coming out quickly now. Will be deer hunting the opener and back down SW MN pheasant hunting weekend of the 11th. Will be a great year for late season pheasant hunters. Better days to come, I just get too anxious!
 

Byrdoglvr

New member
We battled the wind last Friday in West Central MN and had an easy two man limit. We got our limit both Saturday and Sunday but it took to dang near dark Sat. Sunday we were done and on our way home by noon. Four of us are heading back Monday for a week. Hoping the combines are still running!
 

mutthunt

Member
Did a quick walk Sunday evening in West Central MN. My first real walk of the year. Last two hours of LST put up two roosters and about a dozen hens, just me and the dog. The old rooster gave us the run around, and a young rooster played dumb, just the way I like.

Lots of nice points on hens. Beautiful evening to be out.
 

epagneulbrit

New member
Went out to SW MN for the afternoon on Sunday. Made a point to hunt 2 new spots that I had never hunted before but looked promising...not good, only saw 2 hens in about 3 hours of hunting. Even though this was the worst trip of the season in terms of birds, it was a beautiful day to be out with the dog.
 

Flush em up

New member
Not many hunters out this weekend even with the gorgeous Sunday we had. Slowest weekend I've had this season but think the birds are now using the cattails. Certain areas you could walk them others you would break through.
 

mnhockey99

New member
Hit my favorite 150+ acre spot in Stearns county yesterday. Almost all corn is down. Flushed 3 hens and some veteran roosters gave my 2 year old mutt the slip within 2 hours but was a gorgeous day to be out. Wetlands are starting to freeze and a bit like walking on eggshells but they are getting close. Agree with the post above, they were definitely along the cattails. Thought it might be a better day as roosters were vocal as crazy between 9-10 but of course they were on the side of the wma that was occupied by the group which pulled in at 8:53. My luck :)
 

mnydir

New member
Hunted in wantowan county Sunday. We shot two roosters and should've had two more. But not a whole lot of birds total. Hopefully the cattails freeze soon.
 

TBIRD19

New member
Went down SW weekend of the 11th. Seen a fair number of birds in thigh high CRP grass. Brother and I shot 7 birds in two days. Dog wasnt able to get on much with the heavy wind day one but much better the second day. Headed back down this friday and saturday. Will take into consideration others posts about birds now using cattails. makes me a little hesitant because its plenty frozen for birds, but still a little early for dog and human, just enough for them to stay out of reach! Will stick to the edges for now until safely tested. Wont be overlooking CRP grass, given the success we had last two weeks ago in that type of cover. Last year we moved into frozen cattails too early, although we found birds there, CRP was still holding what you wouldnt think. Will report back on Monday, with pictures this time!
 

TBIRD19

New member
Went down Friday/Saturday and we were destroyed by the winds Friday, nowhere near huntable. Called it off that day and checked into motel. Saturday of course was a much nicer day for hunting. Managed 4 birds between 3 of us that day. What we did find was in CRP grass, im sure birds are holding in swamps but nothing frozen to merit giving it a shot, everything open water with the recent high temps. Actually was very optimistic for saturday, but didnt see as many birds as I thought we would have. I'll be the first to say this year has been somewhat disappointing in numbers seen, birds are definitely on the decline at least in the area I target. My sample pool of trips and time spent down there the last 2 years or so is big enough to form an overview. However, I've heard rumors of it being a better year out west? Not sure on the validity to that. Winds this season I just cant seem to get along with. Have had a lot of days this year smothered due to wind. Can be pretty frustrating when Mother Wind never ceases to fail on those exact days we have scheduled to go down. Actually very Frustrating, but not much ya can do...

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jmnhunter

New member
Tbird, you ever hunt around Hugo? some pockets of birds if you can get permission on them :thumbsup:
i plan on doing a day trip this sunday, i'll report back, hoping to find the same numbers as i did on opening day, hunted around ortonville on opener
 

TBIRD19

New member
Tbird, you ever hunt around Hugo? some pockets of birds if you can get permission on them :thumbsup:
i plan on doing a day trip this sunday, i'll report back, hoping to find the same numbers as i did on opening day, hunted around ortonville on opener
I do take the dog to some public over there fairly often, mainly september or so just to get him running and the chance of running into a couple, and we do come across some birds. Hear them crowing in fields off the the distance quite a bit so i know they are there. Met a guy who works for pheasants forever that lives right in there with a couple acres who has been real nice to let me run through what he has if i ask. Have knocked on another door or two, but not enough as i probably could or should! Shhhhhh nobody is suppose to know there are birds out there ;) just kidding, its pretty well known :cool: Thanks for the tip!
 

Flush em up

New member
Saw a lot of people out hunting yesterday taking advantage of the gorgeous weather. How was the hunting for you? I just saw 2 hens while driving and 2 roosters on private. Sure was a nice day to be out
 

Hoster05

New member
hunted the golden hour on friday, then for a few hours saturday and sunday morning. Dumped a few roosters and jumped 3/4 hens. Almost all the action was in the CRP fields. Tried to push through the cattails but with them not being frozen the access wasn't the greatest. Only pushed on hen out of there anyways. Weather was amazing and now its going to turn south quick. Hoping to get out after the first snow settles in.
 
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