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Thread: UP grouse/woodcock hunt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    101

    Default UP grouse/woodcock hunt

    Gents,

    Much like the post previous to this, I am scheduled for my first experience with grouse as well. Our trip will run from October 17-October 21 on a GEMS site in Luce County. We will probably hit other areas near there, bit that will be our focus point. As stated in the previous post, I will be planning for wet and cold up to warm and dry. We will have eight V breed dogs from across Ohio, but I don't think many will have been on grouse yet (I know mine hasn't been) My questions are more along the following lines:

    What brand/model of shell do you find works best this time if year? I'm looking for shot size, velocity, etc. I plan on taking 12ga and 16ga double guns. Any information related to this would be helpful, as many other sources publish as " I shoot 7.5s cuz that's what my pap did in the 50s." I'm looking for true blue experience with exactly what works, and what doesn't.

    Also, if anyone is from this area or can provide on-site about it: are bird numbers in this area comparable to the rest of the UP, higher, or lower? Of course the publications currently listed on the Michigan DNR pages don't give numbers for flushed/birds seen per hour in Luce County.

    Also during this trip is a plan for some duck hunting. Any spots in particular to avoid/focus on? I would just like to avoid an area that would be known for getting overwhelmed with hunters. Again, any information about this area would be beneficial.

    Thanks all for taking the time to provide help. I'm excited to see what the UP holds.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Glenview, Illinois
    Posts
    348

    Default

    Trip,
    Go on michigansportsman.com and you will have much more replies in the upland forum. This is more for pheasants.

    Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    856

    Default

    You are right to plan for all kinds of weather, leaves should be mostly off the trees so that will help as well. I'm sure the GEM will have been hunted hard prior to your arrival, I would suggest do a search for MI Hunt (www.michigan.gov/mihunt) 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. I would also suggest stopping in at the Newberry office, many of the staff there would be hunters and would be able to help you out. Luce and surrounding counties have plenty of state and federal lands to hunt, I wouldn't get to locked in on the GEM as they get hunting pretty heavily. Depending on hunting pressure in the areas you hunt the shots would be fairly typical of other upland shooting minus the trees you have to dodge, but grouse and even woodcock have started to do more running on the ground as they are pointed or being stalked. If you catch a good flight of woodcock you can easily flush 30-40 woodcock in a short amount of time. Our soft mast trees have a bumper crop of fruit so you might focus on areas with fruiting shrubs as they will hold birds. Typically the thicker the cover the better. Duck hunting you are on your own as i have never hunted ducks up there.

    Regarding shells and shot size I would stay with 7.5 to 8's in low brass. Depending on the migration you may encounter more woodcock then grouse, if you wanted you could have your second shot be hi brass 7.5. Manufacture IMO doesn't matter I use all brands and sometimes my target loads. I hunt with a 20 double, but many of my buddies use 12's with same shot sizes, I would stay away from anything larger than 7.5.

    Here is a report from 2015 https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...JOWlygHQfCv0qQ The UP would be Hunting Zone 1, Northern Lower is Zone 3 and southern Michigan is zone 3. You should have a good hunt with a lot of shooting best of luck.
    River - 3 yr old English Setter
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Bella - 5 yr old Brittany
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Ellie - 6 yr old Yellow Lab
    Jazi - 12/30/2005 -- 10/13/2017
    Kaci - 3/23/01 - -10/8/15

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hockeybob View Post
    Trip,
    Go on michigansportsman.com and you will have much more replies in the upland forum. This is more for pheasants.

    Bob
    Already on that as well! I posted here too, as there areany people who hunt every game bird Michigan -and several other states- have to offer. I'm one who tries to absorb information from as many sources as possible. Thanks for the suggestion though! Very much appreciated.

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