Northwoods Grouse 2022

Happy Camper

6 pointer
Oct 26, 2013
180
It's that time of year again, chomping at the bit to head north and follow the dog through the grouse woods. I've seen the drum counts up in some areas, down in others. I know there will be grouse regardless of the drum counts and that's enough for me. I have laid on three trips to the U.P., that's one more than the usual two trips I make annually.

Take my setter to the vet this week to get him checked out and meds for stiffness and get him some bravecto for ticks. We have done some yard training but plan on some pretty good shape training starting next week. This dog has always shined like a new penny up north, I would expect he won't let me down this season either.

The fever hit me last week when I got a couple of shotguns out of the safe. Yesterday I hit a few places buying shells, didn't really need any, probably have ten years worth of 28/16/ and 20 ga.

I will be hunting alone this season, my buddy's dog tore his ACL and has to have it operated on, he won't hunt without his dog. My bride was finally going to go this year but we had to save her vacation days for a trip later in the year. I really like hunting with just me and my dog, its really peaceful.

I have no reports to offer from the Northwoods, its been a very busy summer and I haven't had any contact with those in the know up north. All I do know is there will be grouse!

Look forward to everyone's reports, and I know I'm not alone in anticipation of grouse season. Good luck to all and be safe out there.
 

grouseguy

12 pointer
Dec 9, 2001
6,298
Phillips, WI / Grayson, KY
Glad to see you posting HC.

I’ve been in WI since 8/8. Drew a bear tag … season starts 9/7. Running 4 baits on 3 different private properties.

Plan on staying thru October to bird hunt. Been seeing several birds and broods while driving to bait. They had very good hatching weather here. Should be a good year.

Working a new pup that will be a year old tomorrow.

Speaking of that … a funny story … my pup was a stud fee puppy from my Deacon dog. One of the other pups in the litter was bought by a houndsmen acquaintance. He didn’t think his 9 month old setter could breed his Plott female … SURPRISE … he now has a litter of English Plotts.

Interested in one? I can bring it back to KY for you.:cool:o_O
 
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Happy Camper

6 pointer
Oct 26, 2013
180
Thanks GG, yes I have bounced back from the health issues I had the first half of the year. Walking 4 to 6 miles a day and working out, trying to get ready for the season.

Sounds like you pretty much have it whooped on the bear and birds up there, and living the life, that's good stuff.

Those dogs sound interesting, I wonder though would they point a bear or tree a grouse? I better pass on pups and dogs, the bride says we are done after the two we have are gone, too hard to travel owning dogs. I may slip another setter in on her anyway, we shall see.

My first trip this season will be the earliest I have ever been. I opted for an early trip because later trips can end in snow and really bad hunting conditions. I know it will be green still, and hot, with loads of ticks and many flushes without seeing birds due to leaves. Two of my top three coverts generally hold no water so I know I will more than likely be carrying water for the dog. I would stick to hunting mornings and evenings but two of my coverts to cover fully are 10 and 13 miles. I would stop midday for a couple of hours in the woods but the dog won't take a break for more than 5 or 10 minutes.

What is your strategy for early season hunts?
 

grouseguy

12 pointer
Dec 9, 2001
6,298
Phillips, WI / Grayson, KY
I like to hunt the first couple of hours until the gnats start swarming around my head, but my favorite time is the next to last hour before dusk. I try to be out of the woods an hour before dark to give birds time to feed and roost, but the hour before that is golden.

Also, until I get this Afib completely under control, I’m limited to 3-4 hours a day. Plus the meds have caused some water weight gain, which isn’t helping stamina. Hoping to improve on that over the next few months.
 

grouseguy

12 pointer
Dec 9, 2001
6,298
Phillips, WI / Grayson, KY
1661217366580.jpeg

Real time cell cam … happening right now.
 

grouseguy

12 pointer
Dec 9, 2001
6,298
Phillips, WI / Grayson, KY
My guide/buddy and most others judge it at 400+#, but we’re still 2 weeks from season. A lot can happen to change patterns, we’ll keep baiting as good as we can and hope for the best.

Still working 4 other baits on 3 other properties. Had a sow and 3 cubs just hit another bait I’ll post up next.
 

Michigander

8 pointer
Dec 8, 2014
521
Radcliff
It's that time of year again, chomping at the bit to head north and follow the dog through the grouse woods. I've seen the drum counts up in some areas, down in others. I know there will be grouse regardless of the drum counts and that's enough for me. I have laid on three trips to the U.P., that's one more than the usual two trips I make annually.

Take my setter to the vet this week to get him checked out and meds for stiffness and get him some bravecto for ticks. We have done some yard training but plan on some pretty good shape training starting next week. This dog has always shined like a new penny up north, I would expect he won't let me down this season either.

The fever hit me last week when I got a couple of shotguns out of the safe. Yesterday I hit a few places buying shells, didn't really need any, probably have ten years worth of 28/16/ and 20 ga.

I will be hunting alone this season, my buddy's dog tore his ACL and has to have it operated on, he won't hunt without his dog. My bride was finally going to go this year but we had to save her vacation days for a trip later in the year. I really like hunting with just me and my dog, its really peaceful.

I have no reports to offer from the Northwoods, its been a very busy summer and I haven't had any contact with those in the know up north. All I do know is there will be grouse!

Look forward to everyone's reports, and I know I'm not alone in anticipation of grouse season. Good luck to all and be safe out there.
where at in the U.P. do you head to? Pickford area for me
 

Happy Camper

6 pointer
Oct 26, 2013
180
Back a couple of days early from the northwoods. I found about what I expected, just more of it. I knew the heat would be bad but it I found it unbearable to hunt in. I did not expect the mosquitoes to be as bad as they were and have as large an impact. The local weather stated that it was at least ten degrees above normal on the temps my entire trip. I carried water for myself and my setter and when it was half gone I would have to turn back toward the truck.

Some good news, on my last hunt last year I flushed 17 grouse, that same hunt I flushed 21 this year. All the leaves still on, no color change, and no frost to cut back the salad equalled some very challenging shooting. While this trip wasn't the most fruitful at least I have seen (or in most cases, heard) the birds and know they will be there for the next couple of adventures north. I did manage to knock down a couple of birds, their crops were full of clover, nothing else. I hunted a mixture of everything up there and found them in the normal places. I found nearly half sitting in trees, mainly popples.

The heat was just too much so I called the trip early for myself and the dog. I had thought after fully retiring to get an extra early trip in, lesson learned, it's just too dang early.

My recommendation for an early season hunt is dont!
 

Buzzy

8 pointer
Oct 15, 2013
848
Back a couple of days early from the northwoods. I found about what I expected, just more of it. I knew the heat would be bad but it I found it unbearable to hunt in. I did not expect the mosquitoes to be as bad as they were and have as large an impact. The local weather stated that it was at least ten degrees above normal on the temps my entire trip. I carried water for myself and my setter and when it was half gone I would have to turn back toward the truck.

Some good news, on my last hunt last year I flushed 17 grouse, that same hunt I flushed 21 this year. All the leaves still on, no color change, and no frost to cut back the salad equalled some very challenging shooting. While this trip wasn't the most fruitful at least I have seen (or in most cases, heard) the birds and know they will be there for the next couple of adventures north. I did manage to knock down a couple of birds, their crops were full of clover, nothing else. I hunted a mixture of everything up there and found them in the normal places. I found nearly half sitting in trees, mainly popples.

The heat was just too much so I called the trip early for myself and the dog. I had thought after fully retiring to get an extra early trip in, lesson learned, it's just too dang early.

My recommendation for an early season hunt is dont!
The U.P. is unforgiving. Too buggy, too marshy, not great access anymore. Lots of people think its a wonderland until they get there. Seen it too many times.
 

grouseguy

12 pointer
Dec 9, 2001
6,298
Phillips, WI / Grayson, KY
Understood HC … it’s been very hot sitting 6-7 hours a day in a bear blind. Luckily, I finally filled my tag Wednesday. I’ve spent the last couple of days getting meat worked up and some to processor for some snack sticks and summer sausage, and the pelt to taxidermist, plus squaring away all the bear gear and getting grouse stuff ready to go.

May go for a little walk or two this weekend, but my daughter and SIL have been visiting and she’s helping grousegal with my birthday dinner tomorrow.

Been seeing more and more grouse while driving and baiting … even watched a few from blind. Flew 5 WC one evening walking from blind to truck. Sightings are up as leaves fall and temps drop. I’ll start grousing seriously starting Monday.
 


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