Grouse/Hun Opener

gjw

Member
Hey all, well today was the opening day of our Sharptail/Hun hunting season.* It can be summed up in two words...........IT SUCKED..........But I can't understand why....*no cover due to haying (thanks last years drought),* high winds (25-30+ mph), dry,**dusty conditions and hot (80 degrees).* Perfect upland conditions for both hunter and dog!


All that aside, we did see birds, but they were spooky as all get out.* Not able to even take a shot. The rancher where we hunt did say he's seen more grouse this year than last, so there is hope.* Once that damn wind goes down.* They did hay quite a bit of prairie and that doesn't help, but there is cover, just not as much.


Another downer is, we saw zero pheasants and the rancher hasn't seen many this year either.* Guess time will tell on this front.


Anyway, going to try about the house tomorrow, winds are supposed to be normal, that will help.* Will report back then.


Best,


Greg
 

PTM

Member
Although the predictions are not good I am fairly optimistic that this year will be better than the last. I’ve seen numerous broods where as last yeatr I saw none. They have cover, bugs, and water. We will never see the numbers rise significantly if we don’t have CRP or something similar.
 

benelli-banger

Active member
hunted MT from 9/5-9/7, and ND from 9/8-9/11; the latter was pretty good, the former was a bit tough. I shot 25 between the two, had a ball...my favorite hunt of the year, quite frankly. May be back to ND about a week from now, different area, hope there are some birds....grilled the birds up most days after marinating in italian dressing...MMMM!!!! My uggie 28 gauge with #8's did real well...
 

esetter

New member
What did you shoot? Mostly sharpies? I love them , lots of people say they aren't worth eating. I make a mixture of coke and italian dressing. Its my go to for any dark wild meat.
 

BRITTMAN

Active member
Reminder that party hunting upland birds is illegal in ND. Party hunting in MT is illegal for most game ... not sure about upland birds.
 

benelli-banger

Active member
Landowner of our best spot enjoys a few birds each year...we make that happen...when the dust settled, it was what it was, I guess...must have shot an extra bird along the way, I guess, but my math could be wrong...hard to keep track after a week...always enjoy making sure a landowner gets birds from his/her own property...never had more than 3 in my vest or vehicle, I know that...good to have the reminder, thanks...I do recall asking my hunting buddy about whether you can party hunt for ducks and geese in ND, and he said No, laughing, as that would be hard to enforce, and also, to be compliant with. An interesting thread would be whether or not one could be technically illegal in some respect, but still be ethical...and also, could one be legal, but unethical in some respect. I like to reward landowners with game from their own land that they maintain for wildlife...if I technically shot an extra bird over the course of my trip--or two--but was never in possession of more than my limit, I guess I broke the law, and would have to answer to the law if I was caught. Not saying that that happened, but if I shot 25, not 24, I guess it may have. And it probably could be attributed to party hunting, I usually pay attention to my buddy's shooting to gauge what he may be carrying. Bouncing between states that treat certain laws and regs differently does get challenging for some of us that don't read the fine print as closely as we should...I guess I know what I feel is wrong, and also, what I feel is right, but I should take the bifocals out and read the fine print of each state's regs, and then formulate my plan from there. Back out to ND Friday...weather looks darn good for us walkers!!!! 2 legged and 4 legged....
 
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benelli-banger

Active member
Reminder that party hunting upland birds is illegal in ND. Party hunting in MT is illegal for most game ... not sure about upland birds.

Just looked at the MT upland regs...couldn't find any verbiage about party hunting. Has anyone ever been asked about that point when being queried by a warden in ND? Just curious...never been checked there.
 

benelli-banger

Active member
about 15+ years ago some NR hunters wearing camo only set up on buckets in ditches on 3 sides of my land in SD...pass shooting cock coming back from corn in to the CRP to roost. We were hunting. I walked to one of them and shouted at him to at least put on some blaze orange, as we were gonna be hunting for awhile, and those field edges obviously are where the birds tend to hold. They refused, and wouldn't you know it, cost me at least one bird later that evening. In my opinion, legal, unethical, and stupid! Oh, SD has no blaze orange requirement.
 

esetter

New member
We have been checked while waterfowl hunting there. They were pretty specific about who shot what and how many. We had our ducks laid out in a pile next to each of us and were still under our three man limit at that point. Ive not had many opportunities to go over my limit , party hunting or not. Id love to be faced with that decision more often.........
 

benelli-banger

Active member
I really don't ever worry about how many pheasants get shot out of a particular field/spot, but I am cognizant of how many sharpies are...there are groups of guys that can go into a field and shoot LOTS of birds legally, but I wonder about the impact of that...being that they cover lots of ground on the wing, maybe my concerns are misplaced...not sure...I prefer our harvest to be distributed fairly broadly geographically.
 
My wife and I seldom hunt the same piece of ground twice, even if it was a good producer the first time. And we hunt apart, one person with one dog. Maybe not the most efficient way to hunt, but we know how many each of has shot and our marriage is still intact. Often one of us has to sit in the vehicle and watch the other hunt through binocs. Somehow over the years the dog work and the walking has meant more than the number of birds at the end of the day. Good thing after last year.
 

PTM

Member
Benelli, you sure seem to get out quite often and shoot a fair number of birds, I for one think it’s awesome and I might be slightly jealous. Are you retired or have a good job that affords you the opportunity to work the tri-State area? You appear to be living the upland dream.:cheers:
 

benelli-banger

Active member
when I was 10 my dad and 10 others bought an incredible duck camp in SWMN on North Heron Lake; by the time I was 18, 5 of those 10 guys were dead! They mostly died in their 50's; these guys were pretty driven, successful guys...work hard, play hard. I vowed I was gonna hunt ALOT along the way. I am lucky enough to be able to work from the cellphone, and not need to go into my office too much. My work phone rolls to my cell phone, and when I was gone for 9 days earlier in the month hunting, I didn't get bothered much by the phone...maybe a call a day or something (lucky!). I make around 9 out of state trips annually bird hunting...don't do too much else, just take care of my 3 labs, follow my college sophomore around in the winter/spring and watch him play collegiate tennis. I live a pretty simple life...have been collecting double shotguns for the past decade or so, need to shoot them more! I bought land in SD 18 years ago, and that has become my 2nd home, but frankly, I LOVE hunting prairie grouse more than anything! Leave in the am again for a different part of ND that i have hunted a lot before, hope there are some birds...should be, it really wasn't hit by the drought of 2017. I make my living serving older rich people--manage their $--and I can tell you that saving and saving for your old age is overrated! You need to save and invest, but I live a simple life...still live in the first house I bought 25 years ago...don't drive fancy vehicles...rarely eat out...spend very little on clothes...if I put my guns in my best vehicle, they would out value that 2016 Silverado by a decent margin...they are my weakness! No one gun is worth all that much, my best gun is an AYA #2 side lock 20 gauge...that, and my AYA 4/53 20 gauge, will be my guns of choice as I leave in the am...I love to walk...so, with my best friends, my dogs, and my prized possessions, my guns...it is hard to beat a walk in the uplands of MT or ND or SD!!!!! I do work with folks that make a lot of $...they work hard at it, really put in their time...I approach work like I did college...how little do I have to do to be a B+ student???? I am not competitive in the workplace...I don't care where my production puts me vs. the others...I care about how many days afield I can hunt! I win that category in my office. And I don't neglect my clients, either...nobody EVER has to wait til the next day to hear back from me...EVER. I just don't allow it to happen...I can't control the stock market, interest rates, oil prices, etc, but I can control how quickly I return calls, and that is more important to my clients than their $ performance...they know I am doing what I can, and being attentive to them is how I demonstrate that. Sorry to digress...in fact, most of them love the fact that I hunt so much, they know it is "my thing", and they care about my sanity and don't want me to burnout....kind of cool when you make clients into friends...today I emailed my top client early in the am, as her husband died 6 years ago today in a plane crash; and I called another premier client who turned 88 today. That is what we all do who are in the service business, I trust, but I don't leave anything to chance if I can avoid it. now I must pack!
 
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tbob131

Member
Benelli, any chance you hunt extreme southwestern nodak? I have an opportunity to hunt some private ground out that way opening weekend of phez and wonder if it will be worth the drive. I will be in southeastern Montana that week shooting Prarie dogs. Just wondered if the bird hunting in that general area was decent this year.
 

benelli-banger

Active member
no, i don't, think it was hit hard by the drought last year...but still may be worth hunting if you are already kind of in the area...
 
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