opening weekend

Seve

Member
Went out on Sunday morning for a couple of hours on some public land about 90 min west of the Cities. Got there at about 7:45 and waited as my dog seemed like he was going to tear his kennel apart for an hour in anticipation. Didn't see anyone for an hour until a couple of cars of hunters drove by unsurprisingly ten minutes before the opening bell. In the first twenty minutes it started snowing hard and I worked a shelter bed with some trees...dog was birdy then out flushed maybe 15 hens and I think a very young rooster over 60 seconds or so. That was surprising and encouraging to see. Worked down by some water and flushed a rooster out pretty far out...took a long shot and managed to wing him on the second, knocking him down. One in the bag. Worked around the lake in between some corn and while I think there were birds there they had retired for lunch by the time we made our pass there. On the way back to the car we pushed a really nice, mature, rooster into a tree stand which he flushed, I missed, and he flew over the trees and on the other side of the lake. Went chasing after him. He flushed again on the other side of the lake while the dog was on point 30 yards away (95% sure it was the same bird). Shot twice as he flew low over a ridge toward my car. I figured if I shoot 4x and can't hit him he earned his freedom! All in all, a pretty good couple hours of hunting. Much better than I expected.

Were folks seeing any birds S-SW of the cities? (Jackson, Worthington, etc.)? Or was that area hit really hard by rain?
 

jmnhunter

New member
Seve, thats my biggest worry on opening morning, or atleast being able to talk to those last minute guys to make sure both parties are in understanding of each other on whos going where. atleast it sounds like it worked out for you!
 

JoshinMN

New member
We went out on Saturday from 9-12 and flushed a rooster with in 15 minutes. I was not even ready and missed bad. i called the dog back and she had a Hen in her mouth...she delivered to hand and i let it fly away. That was the only bird on touched for the day.

Saw many hens (some cackled but i let go) and i have hope for a little later in the season.
 

waterdog09

Member
Went out in SW MN, Saturday we hunted 2 pieces of public managed 7 should of had our limit of 8 but what can you do. Saw lots of birds and it seemed like the 2-3yr old birds knew the drill already and weren't sticking around. Sunday we woke up to 3 inches of fresh snow and it continued to snow till about 11. The 4 of us managed our limit of 8 on a nice piece of public in just over a hour with the fresh snow. We shot 6 and the dogs caught 2. All in told it was a great opener with plenty of birds and some poor shooting by one in our party but other than that looking forward to the rest of the season and Iowa in 2 weeks and SD in 4 weeks. On a side note we did see a lot of really young birds that you couldn't even tell what they were yet, guessing late August hatch so that will help come late season.
 

mutthunt

Member
Hunted Tuesday for 4 hours. Saw at least two dozen hens, probably 8-9 roosters. Lots of points. Should have had 5-6 birds for our group of 3, but shooting was poor.

I touched the trigger once, and the pooch delivered to hand. Good enough for me in Minnesota.

Corn was coming down as we hunted.

I definitely felt like bird numbers were up.
 

Woollybob

Member
Hunted one field Saturday morning, public ground. 2 guys, 4 roosters bagged fairly quickly.

Surprised (and encouraged) to hear all the reports of hens. We only saw 1 hen and 6 roosters.
 

Yellowdawg

New member
I took my kids out yesterday. Holly Hannah! I've never hunted pheasants in wind like that! Tough would be a mild word to use. I would not even gone out but it was the only day my kid could hunt this weekend. One bird and a couple misses. On a positive note, the harvest is in full swing.
 
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Byrdoglvr

Member
Hey guys--sounds like things are going well. Four guys and four limits opening weekend. Pockets of birds really. One spot held a lot of birds but was being heavily hunted by other groups. For sure the most hunters I've seen out on opening weekend in a long time. Our other spots held birds here and there and were also being hunted by other groups. Oh yeah public as I'm sure your figured out by now. I work four 10's so a lot of Friday day trips this year. Had 12 hens and three roosters up by 9:45. Limit by 11. The strong winds yesterday kept me home. My new 6 month old GSP has had two killer points both hens of course. Proud poppa! I've been hunting this area since I was 12 (now 51) and have a lot of special memories with one particular yellow lab. At 12 years old she powered through last year's season looking very healthy. About two weeks after the season she began having strokes and passed away. I took the time Friday to spread some of her ashes at few spots that her and I know well. I hope to visit her often. I hope she gets to hunt these places for eternity.
 

spoonbill82

Member
Hunted on Thursday and Friday in Western MN and the wind made hunting conditions tough. Friday my dog and my friend's dog chase a raccoon out of a little pothole.
All the little potholes are full of water from all the rain this fall. Hunting will be better when most of the corn is harvested.
 

epagneulbrit

New member
Went out Sunday afternoon around New Ulm, hunted from about 1200 to 5PM, not ideal times. Put up 2 hens and 3 roosters on 3 walks. Had a good opportunity at one rooster but missed, needless to say the dog and I are a little rusty still. Nice afternoon to be out, harvest is in full swing with crops coming out quick. The next couple weeks should be good!
 

TBIRD19

New member
Hunted Saturday and half day Sunday w/brother. Shot our limit Saturday, took until last few minutes of shooting to do it. Got 2 more Sunday morning before heading home. SW looked to dry out pretty well from their early season flooding in some areas. I'd say USDA report was most accurate in that area as far as crops harvested. Dog is in 4th year and really starting to dial in. Found a cripple about 70 yards from where it dropped and ran and many other nice flushes.
 

Seve

Member
TBIRD,

That last one on the right looks like it was run over by a car?! ;)

I went out the second Saturday of the season and made the mistake of going close to home, where I had success a week earlier. Big mistake. Hunters all over the place and they all showed up either right before 9 or would be driving around circling and staring at me in the field around 10am. As I was pulling out for the day, some guy in a suburban drove up and blocked the driveway to the parking spot and we made eye contact. I gave him a thumbs up and motioned that I was leaving. Instead, he pulled around and I watched him high tail it to another WMA just down the road (did he think I was going there?). Who knows. Tons of people and tons of pressure. This was the windy day and all we saw in a quick 90 min hunt was one hen.

That day annoyed me enough that I took last weekend off. I figured I would wait until November when the corn is out and all the morons go back to either deer hunting or watching football with their out of shape labs.

Might go down to Brown County this weekend. Pheasant Map claims it's a hot spot this season (as opposed to far SW), so thought I would check out a couple spots I like down there. Have a buddy coming in from Chicago to hunt next weekend, trying to decide if we do a trip to Brown County or go farther SW to Jackson/Worthington. Roadside reports were bleak down there but I keep seeing all these pictures online from folks hunting SW with roosters all over the place. Hard to get a finger on it.
 

mnydir

New member
Hunted St James, madelia area solo Friday. Saw a dozen birds of which 3 roosters. Hens held tight, roosters not so much. Still some standing corn up in the area.
 
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