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Thread: Heading North

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Mid Missouri
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    783

    Default Heading North

    I've been invited to go on a grouse/woodcock hunt in Gaylord, Michigan. We are going to drive and probably pull a camper. Late September/Early october. Not an exact date but looking like first week of october. Never been. I heard that the grouse in the North run on cycles? So is the cycle down or up this fall. Is the population based more on this or weather? Im green to this area of upland hunting. If anyone wants to give me an explanation that would be awesome.
    Some people talk about it, some people live it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Rolla Mo
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    267

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    Too soon to tell, I grew up and still have property straight across the lake in WI. Last year was xtremely wet and there was a poor grouse hatch in my opinion. Half the birds that were there the year previous. Although the cycle is supposed to be on the upswing. It is a natural cycle that is affected by weather, but more of a trend, the peaks and valleys are varied. The last half or so of October is prime time due to the leaves being down and woodcock migration in full swing. It's different and fun hunting. I went to school at Uof M and stomped the lower quite abit but always had better hunting in the upper and grew up 14 miles from the border. The woodcock flight can be something to behold if you hit it right in the right spot. You;ll be in the right neck of the woods for the salmon run as well.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by PheasantWhisperer View Post
    I've been invited to go on a grouse/woodcock hunt in Gaylord, Michigan. We are going to drive and probably pull a camper. Late September/Early october. Not an exact date but looking like first week of october. Never been. I heard that the grouse in the North run on cycles? So is the cycle down or up this fall. Is the population based more on this or weather? Im green to this area of upland hunting. If anyone wants to give me an explanation that would be awesome.
    I would imagine your friends will probably have the logistics of hunting worked out for ya...first week OCT should be a good time for Gaylord area, woodcock flight prob just starting, kind of depends on when fall 'hits.'
    The grouse per the DNR are supposed to be trending upwards, went out with the griffon this spring before the quiet time started and the coverts I covet south of Gaylord near Traverse City (I am sure they are known to others) held good number of survivors from the fall/winter. Our winter was warmer then the last two and we had good amount of snow (lets the grouse hid from predators) so I am hopeful for this fall being good as well.
    Not sure how much free time you have but if you went home via the UP you could still hunt cause we have lots of public land here plus there is are two counties north of the bridge that have a sharptail season that starts about OCT 10 - 31. It is a new season for us being open only for the past 5 years?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Mid Missouri
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    I appreciate the responses. And Im sure the details are being taken care of by the others. They had mentioned the "cycle" and I just was afraid of being clueless when they start talking about how it works up there. I'm getting to go mostly because I have dogs. They've been on woodcock down here in Missouri but never been exposed to grouse. Be a bit of a learning curve Im sure. But an adventure none the less! The farthest Ive been in Michigan is Kalamazoo. I used to play against a minor league team there that was in our league. Never been north of there.
    Some people talk about it, some people live it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Mid Missouri
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlf3882 View Post
    I would imagine your friends will probably have the logistics of hunting worked out for ya...first week OCT should be a good time for Gaylord area, woodcock flight prob just starting, kind of depends on when fall 'hits.'
    The grouse per the DNR are supposed to be trending upwards, went out with the griffon this spring before the quiet time started and the coverts I covet south of Gaylord near Traverse City (I am sure they are known to others) held good number of survivors from the fall/winter. Our winter was warmer then the last two and we had good amount of snow (lets the grouse hid from predators) so I am hopeful for this fall being good as well.
    Not sure how much free time you have but if you went home via the UP you could still hunt cause we have lots of public land here plus there is are two counties north of the bridge that have a sharptail season that starts about OCT 10 - 31. It is a new season for us being open only for the past 5 years?

    The UP? Popular highway I take it? I was looking online, it looks like the seasons run by zone kind of how ducks work down here. Not just the migrators that go by zones? Looks like the maps pretty much cover where u can and cant go.
    Some people talk about it, some people live it!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by PheasantWhisperer View Post
    The UP? Popular highway I take it? I was looking online, it looks like the seasons run by zone kind of how ducks work down here. Not just the migrators that go by zones? Looks like the maps pretty much cover where u can and cant go.
    HWY2 goes across the UP from the Bridge it's a long ride but goes quick cause it is very scenic along the northern edge of Lake MI, and there is state land along there to hunt if desired.
    The zones for upland birds (grouse, woodcock, pheasants) is 3 and split just north of Grand Rapids for zone 2 and 3 and the UP is zone 1. Gaylord is in zone 2 and limit of 5 grouse (partridge or pats per the locals) daily and 3 woodcock (I think) and is the same as zone 1. Waterfowl have same 3 zones as well.
    The county of Chippewa and part of Mackinac are the ones open for sharptail. Have hunted them before and the chance of taking woodcock and pats in the same gamebag is very likely.
    Also there is no regs for non-toxic shot except for waterfowl.
    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Mid Missouri
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    Thanks. Yeah I like putting birds in the bag. But the dogs will like getting out early this year. I take em dove hunting down here but they're a retriever only during dove season. Hopefully the weather and everything works out. Think we will be up there for 5 days.
    Some people talk about it, some people live it!

  8. #8

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    Pack for cold and wet to warm and dry...snow that early in the season is not uncommon either

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Semi-related:

    I will be in Traverse in October and would love to squeeze in a grouse hunt. Is there a guide service anybody might recommend within and hour or so of Traverse?

    Feel free to PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Mid Missouri
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    Quote Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
    Semi-related:

    I will be in Traverse in October and would love to squeeze in a grouse hunt. Is there a guide service anybody might recommend within and hour or so of Traverse?

    Feel free to PM.
    MiForester does some guiding up there I believe. U may want to send him a private message.
    Some people talk about it, some people live it!

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