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Thread: Heading North

  1. #11

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    Could consider calling FieldSport which is a high end gun store in Traverse City. Owner is Bryan Bilinski and he may know of some guides in our region.
    231-933-0767

    http://www.fieldsportltd.com/

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    41

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    Lots of good cover in the Pigeon River forest area. There is also a GEMS unit about 45 minutes north that might be worth taking a look at- especially during the week when traffic is down.

  3. #13

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    Hi Marsh-

    I have not hunted one of the GEMS areas as of yet so if you have looking for a "IMHO" here.
    What are they like compared to just going on regular state land? Guess I have been skeptical of their value given how much land we have available here to hunt pats/woodcock. Or is the state trying to design what they do in MN? I have never hunted there but based on what I have read they create "lanes" for joes to walk down
    Myself I am finishing up Army and anxious to get the dogs out for some warm-ups.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Mid Missouri
    Posts
    794

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    The guy I talked to that's taking me up there said that the trails are carved through the aspen groves but everything else is young forest. He said the grouse populations on the areas depend on how long the areas have been established. Some have had more work poured into them than others I guess. He said we probably wont be hunting any of those areas while we are there.
    Some people talk about it, some people live it!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    41

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlf3882 View Post
    Hi Marsh-

    I have not hunted one of the GEMS areas as of yet so if you have looking for a "IMHO" here.
    What are they like compared to just going on regular state land? Guess I have been skeptical of their value given how much land we have available here to hunt pats/woodcock. Or is the state trying to design what they do in MN? I have never hunted there but based on what I have read they create "lanes" for joes to walk down
    Myself I am finishing up Army and anxious to get the dogs out for some warm-ups.
    Well- if you know covers in regular state and federal forests you probably would be able to add the GEMS units to check out. But the advertising they receive will make them a bit busier in general. I have hunted the Lame duck foot area (I think that is what it was called) one afternoon during the week. We hit a good woodcock flight and put up 34 WC. We also moved 14 grouse. I also walked the one near Indian River, MI and it had some great cover. I was not hunting just taking the dog for a fun run in the AM during a camping trip. Basically they are trying to do similar things as MN in these areas from my understanding. So if you are not familiar with the areas at least you can check these out. It might also provide some insight for people that are new to Grouse and Woodcock hunting to see the type of cover that they are managing for so they can target in other areas.

    Hope that answers your questions.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    869

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    The difference between GEMS and regular state or federal land is the GEMS are managed specifically and restricted to foot traffic. They are generally large tracts of habitat suitable for grouse and woodcock. They are heavily advertised much like pheasant walk-in areas out west. I have never hunted a GEM but friends who have said it looks like a herd of elephants have walked thru the stands. That being said these areas do hold birds and if hunting mid week can provide a great experience. Do a search for MI Hunt and this will provide you several different types of maps for hunting. They show forest types, focus on the yellow colors as these are aspen stands, I believe they also have a number next to the letter "A"=aspen, number is stem size, 1-3 would small stem diameter but dense stem numbers, 4-6 is pole sized stand 5-8" in diameter and 7-9 mature stand. The numbering system works for all forest types. You can also stop by the local DNR office and ask for recommended areas to hunt grouse and or maps. Some offices are only open from 8-9am if you stop by the Operation Service Centers they are open all day and just as helpful, locations would be Cadillac, Roscommon and Gaylord for the NLP, UP would be Newberry, Marquette and I'm not sure for Western UP. If you do you home work you can hunt and never see another hunter, roughly 2 million state ownered acres in both UP and NLP. Any other questions shoot me a pm.
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