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    • Brad Eden

      WELCOME NEW UJ MEMBERS   06/25/2017

      It seems the word is out and UJ is enjoying a steady stream of newly Registered Members. Welcome to all of you, and we are all looking forward to your positive participation. I strongly suggest you review the Board Guidelines that have been in place since 2002. The most significant thing being that UJ is a NO POLITICS BOARD. LInk:  UJ BOARD GUIDELINES   Also UJ stays afloat mainly through Member Donations. Once a Donation is made you are placed in the Contributing Member Group with extra Priviliges. I am getting very few new Donations so hopefully this will spur that on a bit. Link:  New Members/Donations/Priviliges
scottbu

Blow down grouse

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scottbu

Is there a bigger challenge than trying to shoot grouse from blow downs? Weather the last week has been drizzle rain crap so almost all my grouse flushes have been from blow downs.

 

so far for the week I’m 0-22 on flushes. It’s a challenge for the dogs to work big piles of blow downs and it seems like I’m always on the wrong end.

 

ok I’m done crying now

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gunsrus

Been there , done that . I feel your pain !

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Brad Eden

Admitting a painful slump is the first step in getting back on track. Ruffed grouse are hard to hit if they flush at your boot. 

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dogrunner

Its worse when your dog goes into a blow down, yelps and then comes out shaking its head and has just grown a big beard of Quills.   

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obuerkle

I would have to agree with you, one of my favourite covers has a little section with a couple apples, a couple of seemingly strategically placed blow-downs, and some heavy brush.   I've had countless flushes and never got a bird there.  I've approached from every conceivable angle but like you say it's always wrong.   Some covers are just really tough.  

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scottspec2

Well, trying to shoot a grouse with your off-hand behind your back might be harder.

 

In all seriousness, a blowdown offers ample ground cover for safety, food and water pockets, and they can see/hear you coming from eons away. If I was a grouse I don't think I'd ever leave one. The times I have successfully harvested grouse from them I have approached from the standing trees and worked 'inside the edge' of the standing trees. You won't find all the birds this way, but the ones you do find will typically be panicked as their normal escape route would be into the tree line, which you will be in and the dog working near to, or in and out of. This tends to cause them to flush parallel with the tree line or out-and-away, each of which presenting pretty favorable shots. You are kind of choosing your demons by walking in the rough woods though, as that can be as tricky as the blowdown, just in a different way. It's what I do though as I like the shot presentations better.

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Randy S

The private timber I hunted in Iowa had wind rows of trees grubbed by the farmer about every ten years. They tended to not like them encroaching into their fields. They were much easier to hunt with two guys, one on each side but if hunting alone I stayed as far out on the timber side as I could and still see to shoot. Hunting parallel to a flusher. The closer you walk to the downed trees the less you can see. Kinda like hunting along standing corn or a full fence line. Stay 15 or 20 yards out from the edge cover and you can see to shoot just about any flush. Of course this doesn't work so good with a pointer. 

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Hub

I am the other way.  Most times if a grouse is dumb enough to hold up in a blow down I am going to kill it.  I will take a holder over a runner any day.  Grouse who keep space keep breathing.  Grouse who let me inside 30 yards and whose location I am pretty sure of are in trouble.

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WI Outdoor Nut

I have also had issues when hunting alone in a blowdown situation.  It always seems I am on the wrong side.  With two of us, almost always a dead bird. 

 

Hub - want to share your success?

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MNice

Exit stage left...or is it right?

 

They'll usually run through and parallel to the cover before flushing so hopefully the hound and you are on opposite ends. If you're patient enough, the bird will usually run away from the hound and towards you before flushing (at the end of the windfall) if you don't crowd it too much. Otherwise, it's going to blow out the middle on the "other' side and not present a shot. Well, that's my humbling experience anyway.

 

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duluthUPLAND

While these blow downs can often lead to sneaky flushes and challenging shots, they can also lead to near perfect shot opportunities given the proper conditions. 

The last time the pup and I got out this year before deer season we were following up on a bird the dog had pointed but it ultimately flushed early from some alders giving me no visual. As we moved ahead, sure enough I heard the bell go silent again and I hustled my way in that direction. When I had a visual on the dog I saw him locked up on one side of a large deadfall at which point I quickly circled wide and made my way to the opposite side. Once the deadfall was between the dog and me, I moved in for a hopeful flush. Just about the time the tension was so thick you could feel it, is when I spotted him, on my side of the deadfall. I locked eyes with the ruff that decided to hole up under there as it was the best cover around relative to the open woods surrounding us. A moment later he took to wing rising quickly and moving down the length of the tree away from both the dog and me providing a wide open, head high shot at relatively close range. 

In this scenario everything worked out splendidly. Perhaps the most important take away for me is to, whenever possible, try to get the bird between yourself and the dog. More often than not this leads to the best shot opportunities. WAAAYYY easier said than done!

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PartridgeCartridge

When you stick a bird in a blowdown...stop and think... where is the next security cover that bird is gonna go for. Reposition. Grouse are,  in many ways, like whitetails. You really can't drive them as they will always scoot out the back door to their security areas.

 

JMO

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Hub
2 hours ago, WI Outdoor Nut said:

I have also had issues when hunting alone in a blowdown situation.  It always seems I am on the wrong side.  With two of us, almost always a dead bird. 

 

Hub - want to share your success?

Most blow downs aren't tall enough that a guy can't make a shot to the other side.  I approach them quickly and directly and when I do that a vast majority of times the bird blows out the other side directly away from me.  Timidly walking  or sneaking into a point makes dogs creep and gives birds too much time to think and make good decisions for their survival.  Since I am deciding where the 'other side' is on my approach I try and take advantage of that and make it a direction that affords me a good shot.  If the blow down is too large or thick to shoot over, I stop well short after approaching at a good clip.  That hard stop flushes a lot of birds too.  All that aside....at the 40 second mark of this video you can see a big bomber handcuff me around a root ball.  I put two shots on him, but didn't draw feather.  That is one of those misses that I still think about from time to time and wish I had the approach back.  Initially I was thinking it was a porky.  It was a surprise.

 

 

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PartridgeCartridge

Rock solid vid there Hub.

 

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JCJ
20 hours ago, Hub said:

I am the other way.  Most times if a grouse is dumb enough to hold up in a blow down I am going to kill it.  I will take a holder over a runner any day.  Grouse who keep space keep breathing.  Grouse who let me inside 30 yards and whose location I am pretty sure of are in trouble.

Now that is confidence. 

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