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Michigan grouse hunting

Discussion in 'Upland Game and Hunting Dogs' started by Harry1959, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. Harry1959

    Harry1959 Harry

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    Getting excited about grouse season. Always hunt SE ohio some and make 2 trips to Michigan Every year. Mostly hunt around Gladwin. Went to eastern UP last year. We didn't find any more birds there, but they did hold better(less pressured). They say the western UP is better, but I've never been there.
    I've probably averaged about 2 flushes/hr the last couple years and their cycle is on the upswing. much, much better than ohio where I probably get 1 flush every 3-4 hrs.
    gladwin area got record flooding in late June, I'm concerned that it was rough on all the young chicks.
    Am considering going back to UP or exploring the NW lower Penn. I plan to go October 13-16 and back again at the end of October. I would be interested in trading general info with others who grouse hunt Michigan.
     
  2. I'm getting a little excited also. Heading to the UP for the first time in October. Really looking forward to the trip. We will be there October 15-19.

    Last year I went with a buddy of mine and my son to the lower peninsula . We hunted south of Cadillac and also little east of that area. I used MIhunts website and printed off some maps and we got into birds at every location. We also went over and hunted the Lame Duck GEM location on the way home. We had the place to ourselves. Nice place and we moved several birds there also.

    Did some hunting in western PA for the first time last year. We moved a couple birds which surprised me a little because I didn't really have any info on where to go. I spent some time studying maps and got out a walked. We had a little luck on our side apparently.

    I got out one time late season here in Ohio. I hunted down in the norther part of what most would call SE Ohio. Walked some decent ground but didn't move any birds. Plan to get down that way more often this year early in the season. Maybe I will have better luck.
     

  3. Oct 7-14th for me. My wife and another couple going up. Women do there thing and us boys hunt as much as we want or can take! Lower Penn around Wolverine. Always seems to be around the right time for the bonus Timber doodle. The grouse are a little jumpy in that area. Good luck and stay safe guys!
     
  4. Harry 1959 1 flush every 3-4 hours is pretty good in Ohio anymore. I'm lucky for 1 flush every 6-8 hours where I hunt. I'm planning on hunting Michigan next year for the 1st time. I might hit PA a couple times this year for the fist time. Good luck
     
  5. Harry1959

    Harry1959 Harry

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    I'd definitely give Michigan a try. Sooo much public land about 5-6 hous from Dayton. We didn't flush a whole lot last year, but did find a couple birds almost any good cover we went to. If you can find the right spot it's much better.
     
  6. I will definitely give it a try. I miss jumping grouse. I know of a small pocket of birds I won't hunt just because I like seeing them while bowhunting. I miss the days of putting up 20-30 birds
     
  7. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    I'm going to the eastern UP oct 13-17. We will hunt the lower around grayling on the 17th on our way back. We go every year. Finding the right cover is key. I can tell before I get out of the truck whether we will flush them or not. Northwind mapping will save you so much time and put you in right areas without having to drive around and look for them. MiHunt is decent as well.
     
  8. Harry1959

    Harry1959 Harry

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    Were are heading up on Friday the 13th too, may leave on the 12th. Gonna start out in gladwin county and if not moving many birds going to go north. Great habitat all over the upper LP. I will look into northwinds maps. Thanks for the tip on that. In good years we find some birds about anywhere the cover is good. However, a couple years ago when the cycle was at the bottom, We hunted lots of great cover and most didn't produce.
     
  9. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    The lower is fine for birds, but there are definitely more numbers in the up when you find good cover. Obviously finding good cover is the key. The north winds maps are ridiculously good at eliminating time driving around looking for the right cover. Certainly worth the money. Right now they are running 35% off the scout n hunt maps for your computer/phone. Use promo code: SNHSAVE35
     
    captainshotgun likes this.
  10. Do any of you hunt with pointers? I have hunted grouse with labs but just got a gsp and was wondering how well the grouse hold. She's no where near fully trained yet, she's only 6 months old so I don't have high expectations for this year.
     
  11. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

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    The best pointer I've owned, a Braques Francais, I hunted Woodcock and Grouse in Michigan when she was about the same age. While she did outstanding on the Woodcock she just could not get the hang of the Grouse, and never really did. She could always show you where the bird had just been, but had a tough time figuring out where they are right now due to the birds perpensity to run and their amazing stealth. I had trained her on birds that she could head off and get to sit tight for a flush, like Pheasant and Woodcock, and the Grouse just confounded her. As great a hunter as she became, she just never could adjust to a Grouse behavior and when I would hunt her on them they would frustrate the hell out of her, and me.
     
  12. I was a little concerned about that, and almost expected it. How far did your pup range? I am planning on training her as a close working dog. But only time will tell. Me and my son are going to set up a ground blind in a couple hours and I'm going to try to work the pup on a couple woodcock today before the season starts
     
  13. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

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    She hunted pretty close, they way I like it, she would seldom range beyond 30-40 yards unless she was strong on a bird. When she got out she seemed aware of it and if she had a bird she was great at hold so we could get caught up. If there were 4 or 5 of us behind her she would still keep close but range left and right to cover all of the ground, which was great and effective. A lot of her habits, like the wide range for a group, were not taught by me but instead just how she hunted because she loved to hunt as much or more than any of us out there with her. I hope you end up with the very same dog, hard to beat a day in the field with an animal like that.
     
    Yakeyes likes this.
  14. Harry1959

    Harry1959 Harry

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    I've owned two GSP. One was a well bred female from rugerhimers kennels. She ranged about 100 yards and was a brush busting hunt till she dropped, ball of fire.
    The others was a male pup out of the fore mentioned female. He pretty much stayed within 30-40 yards, avoided briar patches. If I walked the trail, he wanted to walk the trail. However if I got in the aspen or thicker cover, he'd get in it and hunt. He hunted slowly and methodically. He was much easier to train than his mother. Although he didn't find as many birds, I killed a lot of birds over him and enjoyed his slow pace. When there were plenty of birds, the closer hunting dog was nice to hunt with. However overall I prefer the bigger running female to find birds when they are sparse.
    Kind of odd odd how a high powered female can produce such a calm, close working pup. I don't know how common that is?
    Both were wonderful, affectionate pets as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
    Yakeyes likes this.
  15. I've had 3 close working Brits and they've all done good on Grouse. I've seen them go on point from 25yds away, with the right wind, and the grouse just bust with nobody moving. Grouse are going to do what a grouse wants to do. Depends on how much they've been pressured.
     
    Harry1959 likes this.
  16. buckeyebowman

    buckeyebowman On the back 9 and loving it!

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    My buddy and I have found grouse in NW PA nearly every time we've gone. He had a trailer near a state game land, and the PGC manages the habitat for grouse. Meaning that they sell timber rights. Grouse love successional habitat. Those thickets of saplings that are hell to walk through. Or, areas where wild grapes have dragged down trees to open up the woods a bit.
     
    Harry1959 likes this.
  17. Not trying to change the subject but looking for info on what guns you use. I recently started hunting the U.P.
     
  18. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman


    I have a 20ga ruger red label that I use. The gun really doesn't matter. Being able to shoot it matters 100% more than the make.
     
    Harry1959 likes this.
  19. Harry1959

    Harry1959 Harry

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    Franchi al48 20 gauge semi auto. 28 inch barrel Weighs right around 5.5 pounds.
    Agree with bassn, the brand don't matter, as long as it fits you. I am 5' 6" and have my shotgun stocks shortened, or put a thinner recoil pad on .
     
  20. I'm looking at getting a over and under but I have been using a Remington 1100 12 gauge and a mossburg 500 20 gauge. Agree with above comments both my guns are cheaper guns, you just gotta shoot straight
     
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