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Thread: 2017 Hunting Reports

  1. #11

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    Glad to see west-central living up to my preseason prediction. At least the few areas I've hunted so far that were good last year (with very good habitat) appear to have good numbers of birds. My lab Jack flushed about 25 on the opener in less than an hour! Shot a limit and was back at the truck by 9:10 am -- hate to complain, but way too short a hunt! Owed it to Jack to put in some more time, so since there were no other hunters nearby, I dropped off the gun and birds and took another swing though the cover. He put up about a dozen more. Lots of young (80% colored) roosters, and a few even smaller with very little color.
    Sunday I started later, waiting for that soaked grass to dry a bit, and got to hunt a bit longer due to deciding to pass on the young birds. After passing on 2 smaller roosters (easier said than done) and dropping a large and fully colored yearling, I drove a few miles to explore a new area, and soon finished my limit with a gorgeous 2-3 year old long-spurred rooster with a 22" tail. All birds were killed with my old (1983) Citori Superlight 20 ga. O/U bought new as a freshman in college. And all birds were killed dead with 1 oz Kent Bismuth #5 loads at ranges of 20-35 yds. I love that gun and bismuth loads. Bismuth kills like lead, is safe for fine double guns with fixed chokes, is not nearly as expensive as heavi-shot or other tungsten alloys, and won't break your teeth when you bite into it. Just wish Kent would make it in 2 3/4" #4 shot, (which would make a better duck and late season pheasant load).
    To top things off -- I even made to the local bar in time for the Vikes game...and they actually won...a perfect opener to say the least! Hunted the same area last year on the opener and I'd say the birds are slightly younger on average -- but numbers are definitely up a good bit. Can't wait to get back out there!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Lonsdale, Mn
    Posts
    213

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    Got out in SW MN this weekend, our group got 4 on sat and 9 on sunday. We saw a lot of birds both days just at the wrong time, I swear they have clocks that tell them when it's 8:45 and time to head to the corn. We watched tons of birds on both mornings fly to the corn right before shooting time. Was great to see all the birds and I am looking forward to late season as this is going to be the type of year that late season will be better than early season. All in all I would call it a good opening weekend and a good warm up for the dogs and myself for our SD trip next week. I can honestly say though I can't remember the last time on opener the weather was actually nice for the dogs! and not 75-80 degrees!

  3. #13

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    It's looking like the weather in SD will be in the 70's till Friday, then drop off into the lower to mid 60's for the start of the season on Saturday, which is still too warm, but, better than 75-80. Don't work your dogs too hard and give them plenty of breaks and water. I was hoping for 45-50 degree weather but that never happens on opener.

    Good Luck to Everyone heading to SD. I'll be there!!!!



    Quote Originally Posted by waterdog09 View Post
    Got out in SW MN this weekend, our group got 4 on sat and 9 on sunday. We saw a lot of birds both days just at the wrong time, I swear they have clocks that tell them when it's 8:45 and time to head to the corn. We watched tons of birds on both mornings fly to the corn right before shooting time. Was great to see all the birds and I am looking forward to late season as this is going to be the type of year that late season will be better than early season. All in all I would call it a good opening weekend and a good warm up for the dogs and myself for our SD trip next week. I can honestly say though I can't remember the last time on opener the weather was actually nice for the dogs! and not 75-80 degrees!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    137

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdog09 View Post
    . I can honestly say though I can't remember the last time on opener the weather was actually nice for the dogs! and not 75-80 degrees!
    Yeah, I was thinking the same. Very nice weather- not too hot, not too cold

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    137

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyB View Post
    You have me wondering...OCD?? Can you define this for those of us" not in the know"?

    Thanks
    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Just like to have things in their place bud.... I get twitchy when you throw lead shells in my steel shells pocket of my vest -haha

  6. #16

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    Took the day off yesterday and headed West. Got a late start and did not make it out to the Marshall area until about 12. First couple places we went did not produce any points and the dog never even got birdy. Took a break and went to a new area for the last 2 hours of the day. Had my plan of attack through the WMA all planned out and of course things did not go according to plan, dog went on point about 20 minutes into our walk and 3 hens got up. After calling her back for water 2 roosters get up from the same place. I swear they wait for you to be doing something else and then flush, both were young birds could only tell they were roosters by the white ring on the neck and cackling. Can't blame the dog for missing the scent they got up downwind from us. Re-grouped and pressed on in the direction the roosters flew. We ran into one of them again, dog pointed and held perfectly I flushed the bird and missed an easy shot...twice! That was the only bird that presented me a shot.

    Saw a few more as we continued that were flushing wild about 50-100 yards ahead of us. It was a good day but with the warmer weather and the wind it was tough on the dog, seemed to have a lot of trouble picking up the scent. All in all saw about 15 birds in those two hours and was presented only 1 shot, it is amazing how fast these birds learn. I'll be back out Saturday depending on the weather.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Minnetonka/Minneapolis
    Posts
    1,825

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    Quote Originally Posted by epagneulbrit View Post
    Took the day off yesterday and headed West. Got a late start and did not make it out to the Marshall area until about 12. First couple places we went did not produce any points and the dog never even got birdy. Took a break and went to a new area for the last 2 hours of the day. Had my plan of attack through the WMA all planned out and of course things did not go according to plan, dog went on point about 20 minutes into our walk and 3 hens got up. After calling her back for water 2 roosters get up from the same place. I swear they wait for you to be doing something else and then flush, both were young birds could only tell they were roosters by the white ring on the neck and cackling. Can't blame the dog for missing the scent they got up downwind from us. Re-grouped and pressed on in the direction the roosters flew. We ran into one of them again, dog pointed and held perfectly I flushed the bird and missed an easy shot...twice! That was the only bird that presented me a shot.

    Saw a few more as we continued that were flushing wild about 50-100 yards ahead of us. It was a good day but with the warmer weather and the wind it was tough on the dog, seemed to have a lot of trouble picking up the scent. All in all saw about 15 birds in those two hours and was presented only 1 shot, it is amazing how fast these birds learn. I'll be back out Saturday depending on the weather.
    Were you hunting large parcels of land? Perhaps these birds have been shot (at) before, hence their tenancy to fly...

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyB View Post
    Were you hunting large parcels of land? Perhaps these birds have been shot (at) before, hence their tenancy to fly...
    Not huge, I tend to hunt the quarter to half sections. I find it easier to manage and figure out where there birds are, if there any in the first place. I'm sure the birds were shot at during opening weekend, when I was out on Sunday it seemed people were at this spot all day.

  9. #19

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    Any progress on getting the crops off? I was hoping that this warm weather would get the farmers going. Last Sunday it looked like 98% of the corn was still up.

  10. #20

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    I would say there has been a little progress on the corn, maybe down to 95% still up, but still a long way to go. Pretty much all the bean fields I drove past were being harvested, with quite a few already done.

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