kossuth county

rugardave

New member
Does anyone know what to expect from around Kossuth county? We'll be heading up there in Dec. some time. What about the public land? This will be out first time there. There is nothing south of I-80. Thanks.
 

birdlady

New member
Heading there this Thursday

My dad and I are heading up there this week, will post results. Hopefully it will be great.
 

blackcloud27

New member
hi. i grew up near bancroft. there are birds in the area. warm weather has them out in the fields again. union slough will be open for hunting after waterfowl season ends. will have alot of birds in it but can be tough to hunt.
 

VZWman

New member
I was just on the very east edge of Kossuth county and saw a few birds. It was windy and the dog we had with us hadn't hunted in a year or so and was out of shape. There are birds there. Not sure about public. I only hunted private grounds.
 

birdlady

New member
kossuth, osceola, spirit lake etc.

Well, saw some birds, but overall very little in comparison. Public hunting has a lot of marsh areas, HARD walking. Dog did get one. Spoke to a conservationist up in South Dakota, he said there are 100's of birds in the fields but as soon as you shut a car door or crunch grass they all take off in a swarm. Good Luck to all.
 

rugardave

New member
birds

Hi, Birdlady, We had the same experience up is SD. We hunted w/ friend that farmed 640 acers and knew all the people around his farm. Any cover we found held birds. no matter how small or big. Even a 5x5 ft. patch held at least one hen. Our problem like yours was you couldn't get close to the cover without flushing the birds. You had to do the pinch. Drop one or 2 guys off at least 100 yds. fromthe cover and then drive past another 100 or so yds. get our as quietly as possible, leash the dog or dogs and slowly work toward the cover so not to scare anything. Because once they started to flush they all went. It didn't matter 4 or 5 all the way up to hundreds, like a cloud. And all that before you could close enugh for a shot. With the dogs finally going nuts. I guess we'll have to wait until everything freezes before we get into the marshes. That where they end up when it gets real cold. As long as the ice can support both you and the dog. We are still planning to go up to Kossuth Co. in Dec. I'll let youknow what happens.
 

wispringer

New member
I grew up north of Kossuth Co in Minnesota. About 12 years ago I realized how much better hunting was in Iowa compared to southern Minnesota. Unfortunately over the past five years bird numbers have been on a steady decline in that area. The winters and springs over the past few years have really taken their toll on the birds. A couple years ago we walked a large piece of public land and saw more birds than I had ever seen in the area. There were birds everywhere. A large ice storm hit shortly after our hunt. We went back a couple days later and didn't see a single bird. It seems like the birds just can't get a break in that area. See the roadside counts at the Iowa DNR web site. Lowest numbers since they started counting. With all the doom and gloom said you can still find birds. You have to be smart and understand whats going on from day to day. If its windy (most days are) look for areas with some sort of shelter. Get out shortly after sun up and do some scouting, you will see the birds moving. Don't be afraid to ask some land owners to hunt. You aren't in SD and won't be asked to give up your first born to walk through their grass. And the very most important thing I can tell you is this, when you have an opportunity, SHOOT STRAIGHT! Bottom line is you will have fun. Any rooster taken in December is a trophy. The area is beautiful. You will see a ton of wildlife and few other hunters. I would rather hunt a day and shoot a single rooster than deal with a bazillion grumpy hunters. I will be down for Christmas and will be hunting. If you see a Ford Escape from WI with a black and white springer stop and say hi. Have a great hunt and holiday.
 
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wispringer

New member
I grew up north of Kossuth Co in Minnesota. About 12 years ago I realized how much better hunting was in Iowa compared to southern Minnesota. Unfortunately over the past five years bird numbers have been on a steady decline in that area. The winters and springs over the past few years have really taken their toll on the birds. A couple years ago we walked a large piece of public land and saw more birds than I had ever seen in the area. There were birds everywhere. A large ice storm hit shortly after our hunt. We went back a couple days later and didn't see a single bird. It seems like the birds just can't get a break in that area. See the roadside counts at the Iowa DNR web site. Lowest numbers since they started counting. With all the doom and gloom said you can still find birds. You have to be smart and understand whats going on from day to day. If its windy (most days are) look for areas with some sort of shelter. Get shortly after sun up and do some scouting, you will see the birds moving. Don't be afraid to ask some land owners to hunt. You aren't in SD and won't be asked to give up your first born to walk through their grass. And the very most important thing I can tell you is this, when you have an opportunity, SHOOT STRAIGHT! Bottom line is you will have fun. Any rooster taken in December is a trophy. The area is beautiful. You will see a ton of wildlife and few other hunters. I would rather hunt a day and shoot a single rooster than deal with a bazillion grumpy hunters. I will be down for Christmas and will be hunting. If you see a Ford Escape from WI with a black and white springer stop and say hi. Have a great hunt and holiday.
 
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Cackleburs

New member
I just got back from West Central Kossuth (Ringstead/Fenton/Armstrong) Conditions were some of the worst I ever hunted!:( They had a big wet snow about two weeks ago. (11+") 90% of the switch grass areas are done. Most of the worked croplands are snow free, but that's it. What snow that's left has flattened most of the cover. Now the snow is like concrete with the teen temps this week. To make it worse, we had rain/drizzle the day before TG and that coated the concrete snow and made walking treacherous, even for the dogs. It was like olive oil on teflon when the sun warmed it. We thought the cattail sloughs would be the ticket, but nadda. The wet snow even broke down the cattails and the tops are frozen in the ice. The birds are in the wind breaks next to the farmsteads already... and it's still November! My buddy and I managed to get four, but only because our host let us push the grove next to his home... something he rarely does. You need ice creepers on your boots... I am not kidding about that. Dog feet don't last long where I was.
 
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wispringer

New member
That's about the worse news we could get. I knew they had it bad, but I didn't know it was that bad. That's what it was like a couple years ago when the ice storm hit. I couldn't even get out of the ditch without getting on all fours and crawl. Like I said the birds in that area haven't had a break from bad weather in three years. Throw in declining CRP acres and there is little wonder why things are tough. We celebrate Christmas in the area and hunt birds each year. Might have to reconsider this year. I know Iowa is looking at how they can improve their pheasant numbers. They once were near the top for producing birds. Habitat and weather. We can't control the weather but we can control habitat. It seems like a lot of the family farms manage their land but how does the state of Iowa work with big agriculture to improve its habitat?
 

VZWman

New member
It might not be as bad as you think. It was 45 here today, and I believe it got close to 40 up there. Supposed to be even warmer tomorrow. Should be good ground with some not as heavy snow on it.
 
IT's not that good. 320 acres by me theres only my be 20 acres that is cover for birds. Rest is flat with snow and ice hard on dog just to get to the cattails. Hawks are having a hay day with the pheasant. I've never seen so many birds get killed by hawks and eagles:mad: More ice and snow on the way.
 

blackcloud27

New member
if the ground doesnt have willows or evergreens you wont see many birds on it after the snow. last week i watched over 50 birds get up out of a willow thicket after sunrise while in my tree stand. hawks were waiting for them also. actually had a hawk try to get a bird 20 feet away from me while i was standing by my truck. when hawk saw me it let the hen go.
 

blackcloud27

New member
IT's not that good. 320 acres by me theres only my be 20 acres that is cover for birds. Rest is flat with snow and ice hard on dog just to get to the cattails. Hawks are having a hay day with the pheasant. I've never seen so many birds get killed by hawks and eagles:mad: More ice and snow on the way.
hey cootie tell them about the eagle and the swan
 

VZWman

New member
IT's not that good. 320 acres by me theres only my be 20 acres that is cover for birds. Rest is flat with snow and ice hard on dog just to get to the cattails. Hawks are having a hay day with the pheasant. I've never seen so many birds get killed by hawks and eagles:mad: More ice and snow on the way.
Maybe the DNR will start letting us take hawks? How is the weather up there today?
 
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