First Ruffed Grouse Hunt 2008

This past weekend I was hunting by Ely, MN.
I've hunted up there at least one early weekend for the past 10 years.

On Saturday I saw / heard 8 birds, shot at 2 and got both.

I started with my new Setter Tina ( ) She has been used as a Guide Dog on hunts before. I was nervous that she would run way to big for me. She actually was about right. I think that if a few more of the leafs had been down we would have been a good match.

She got 1 of the two birds.

Marge and Fergie were hunted together. Marge is a 12 year old English setter and still can hunt far a good period of time. Fergie is a 10.5 yr old Pointer who is mostly blind. She seems to see somewhat when it is sunny outside and enjoys going down the trails and taking her time through the woods.

They did well and we got one bird on the hunt. Marge did end up running off, I'm guessing that she was chasing a deer. She got out to 700 yards. I ended up getting my truck and driving back to where she had taken off. She actually came back and was hunting the other side of the trail.
I was using the Garmin Astro on her for the first time and was really pleased with how well it worked.

Sunday wasn't as productive. We only saw one and heard 1 other bird. We ended up calling it a day around 2 pm so that I could make the drive back to St. Paul.

Coming Soon - Reviews of hunting gear that I am actually using.
Hunt over 6000 acres of private land in Minnesota
All wild game. Pheasant Duck Goose Deer Bear

Garmin Astro GPS Dog Tracker

My Garmin Astro arrived this weekend.
I wanted to get one last year but held off while hoping for an upgrade dunit this year.
The new dog collar portion looks way better than the unit they had last year.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to try it this coming weekend while chasing grouse.
Just hoping for good weather.

I'll post an update as soon as I have a chance to use it.

Shamelss Plug
Hunt over 6000 acres of private land in Minnesota
All wild game.

New Dog

Picked up a new dog last Sunday.
She is from Northwoods Bird Dogs.
I looked at a lot of options and she looked like a good fit for us.

Both of her parents are Coverdog Champions and she has been used guiding for grouse and quail.
I'll have to get her used to Pheasants as soon as possible.

Excited for hunting season to hit full stride.
Actually looks like it might be fairly warm this weekend so might skip hunting and get the house chores done.

Shamelss Plug
Hunt 1000's of acres in Minnesota

Another Game Fair

Hit Game Fair 2007 last weekend.
Some new stuff - lots of the same old.
Was hoping to see the Garmin Astro in live use but they weren't there.

A new training collar system was there. Their collars just do the vibrate and don't have the zap portion included. They say all you need to do is get their attention.

First Grouse Hunt Of 2006

This past weekend hunted in the Ely, MN area.
All predictions say more grouse which also means more grouse hunters.  There were more people out this weekend than I saw on the same weekend for the past two years combined.

I did see some decent numbers of birds.

Saturday was cloudy and about 45 degrees.  Hunting before lunch saw 10 shot at 4 and got 2.
The 2 that I missed were easy ones that I should have had.  The other 6 were in the thick leaves which haven't really started to come down yet.

Saturday evening went out to another spot but a bow hunter was heading to his stand which was in the area that I wanted to hunt so I went the other way which isn't as good. Ended up going to another spot and saw another hunter starting to pull out. Drove around the area a bit and then went back to that spot and tried to hunt it. Didn't get a flush and Marge, my setter, wasn't even that birdy.

Sunday was a nicer day. Sunny and 45- 50 degs. Returned to the same spot from the first day. Saw 4 and got 2. Another group was in the same area and got 6 birds out of the area that I got my two the day before. The joys of public land. Ended up just hunting until lunch.

The dogs did a good job and paid attention and worked hard. Fergie the pointer has come up lame. The odd part is that she was fine when I put her into the travel kennel for the trip home. Off to the vet tomorrow. Hopefully it isn't a big deal.