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Thread: Lake Sakakawea - Grouse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    165

    Default Lake Sakakawea - Grouse

    Is anyone else doing grouse opener around Lake Sakakawea? I'm thinking of renting a campsite on the NE side of the lake, and trying my luck for grouse and huns. Never hunted this far west, or for sharpies specifically, but I'm getting restless and wanna hunt!

    Biggest worry is heat and snakes. Figure I'll bring the boat out so I have something to do during the worst of the day. Might bring goose spread as well, just in case I find a honker feed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    572

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    Where you coming from? I probably wonít venture that far unless fishing. The area around Parshall used to be good for grouse. Iíve never seen a snake in ND while bird hunting, when I lived in MT it was a viable threat and I hear about them in SD as well, bring your jigging raps with, have fun, been seeing Huns around and about.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Coming from Minneapolis, about a 7 hour drive, but I'd probably stop and see family in hankinson to split up the drive.

    It's a long drive, but any open game is going to be that far a drive anyway.

    Thanks for the information, just itching to get out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    38

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    You might want to check and see when early goose closes where you are going to hunt. It may close earlier than most of the state.

    Some land around the western 2/3 of the lake may be under control of the Three Affiliated Tribes out of New Town. Don't know much for details but you would need their license.
    Last edited by Lazy Ike; 08-28-2018 at 06:42 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    SW NoDak
    Posts
    228

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    Unlikely you will see snakes on the north side of the river/lake.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazy Ike View Post
    You might want to check and see when early goose closes where you are going to hunt. It may close earlier than most of the state.

    Some land around the western 2/3 of the lake may be under control of the Three Affiliated Tribes out of New Town. Don't know much for details but you would need their license.
    Thanks for the advice. If I have my zones correct, as long as I stay north of the river, I should be good. I've heard it's still dry out there, so I'm not even sure if there's much for geese.

    I hear ya on the native land. Onx does a good job of highlighting it, so I think I can stay legal. Looks to be lots of state/fed land around. And I'm never shy about knocking on doors.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Altillathedak View Post
    Unlikely you will see snakes on the north side of the river/lake.
    That's what I've heard, hope it's true!

  8. #8

    Default

    Sharptail population is down significantly in ND. Hun population is even more depressed. Huns have never rebounded from their big plunge in the early 90s. They are really not a CRP bird.

    McLean County is a decent sharptail area. Generally speaking the land right along the lake is really pheasant country and sharptails are much more prevalent if you get some distance from the lake edge.

    It will likely take a lot of walking, luck and / or good windshield time ... many NDers road hunt and only chase after birds are seen along the road or flying into cover. Prairie grouse are much like pheasants. They move to road edges to gravel and dry out if the grass is dewy.

    If it is cool or windy they will likely be in the thin grass. If it is really hot the birds will seek shade in bushes and tree belts.

    Early morning they may be sitting in tall trees, they congregate and then fly out to a field to feed. Prairie chickens often do the same thing in western MN.

    Snakes are only an issue SW of the Missouri River.

    If you flush a flock get up to where they are taking off from quickly and keep a shell or two in your gun (don't empty your gun at 50 yard+ birds). There is always (and I mean always) a bird or two that hang tight and leave late.

    Good Luck

  9. #9

    Default

    The Big Lake is Greater (Giant) Canada Goose country. Plenty of geese in this area. You will be surprised at the number of wetlands... this is not the ultra dry western ND ... you will be on the west side of the PPR.

    The late, cold spring reduced Canada goose reproduction to near zero in much of ND (similar to much of MN). Tough spring on Canada geese.

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