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13 weeks in the Northeast kingdom


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braque du upstate

I accepted a traveling nurse job in the Northeast Kingdom,  starting 11 Oct . Not happy leaving the wife and kids for 13 weeks . Excited I get to bring the pooch,  and hunt Vermont.  Heard rumors of 20 bird per hr , I'm lucky to move 2 / hr in western NY.  Will work in Saint Johnsbury.  Any tips on hunting VT, or advice is greatly appreciated.  Watched a few YouTube videos,  really not sure what to expect.  Hopeful I can hunt at least a few months . Assignment ends Jan 8 th . 

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20 birds an hour now that is a good rumor, stock up on ammo for that hunt. 😉

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I dont know about 20 a hour more like 20 a day IF your in the right spot if your in the Saint J area your close to where I hunt I will PM you some places to try out later there is a lot of logging going on in that area of various stages.

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I haven't hunted the NEK for several years now, but I can assure you that you will not find 20 flushes per day. I had help with quality dogs too.  I just attended a lecture by the game bird biologist for the State of VT and, like elsewhere in their range, ruffed grouse are in a very significant decline over the past 20-30 years. Like on average, they are down 70%. In my home area, it is more than that. Efforts are underway to create more suitable habitat, early successional forest, including in the Green Mt. NF. The positive thing is that in the NEK you will probably find the best grouse numbers in the state. I also found that the prevalence of posted land is increasing in the NEK, with the most open lands in the more northern reaches of the area. I even strayed into Canada on one hunt, and don't be surprised if you get checked out by the border patrol.

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WMassGriff

My buddy hunts there extensively and doesn't get that many contacts an hour, but does pretty well in a days hunting. A lot better than around home (Massachusetts)! Lots of Federal and State lands, but pay attention to deer seasons.

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20 birds an hour… that would have to be in a field you planted them. I drift into that area a couple times a year, and the truth of it is it’s a huge area with pockets of excellent bird cover. The looking for those pockets is half the fun and when you find a gem the bird contacts can be about as good a you’ll find anywhere. With no wife or kids for 13 weeks during prime hunting season I suspect you could wear a set of boots out. Realistically, hunt hard out the gate as winter will hit way earlier than you may expect limiting your overall season. 

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Good Luck and enjoy the NEK. Typically average 3 flushes per hour. Which is better than NW Ct! So we typically find the habitat, knock on a door if posted, and go. Numerous state areas to hunt, along with Fed lands. Some areas do hold a few Spruce Grouse which are off limits to harvest!!! Again, good luck and enjoy the NEK! Have a good day, 627

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No comment other than....... 20 would have to include woodcock in the right spot on the right day. 

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Have been up that way only once, it is downright beautiful country.  This was more than a decade ago and even with really good dogs, didn't see close to a 20 ruff flushes that day.  WC were another story, had more than a few contacts.  What timing too!  You get to be there for the best time of the year for upland.  Nice.

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Absolutely gorgeous country in the NEK. Spent over a month there a few years ago. Great people as well. You'll work for the birds as there's a lot of ground to cover, but you should get your fair share of action. As others have said, not quite 20 flushes per hour action, but you'll get some. Enjoy!

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I would say you are one lucky SOB, other than being away from your family. Have fun. 

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Kansas Big Dog
11 hours ago, NH Jay said:

20 birds an hour… that would have to be in a field you planted them. I drift into that area a couple times a year, and the truth of it is it’s a huge area with pockets of excellent bird cover. The looking for those pockets is half the fun and when you find a gem the bird contacts can be about as good a you’ll find anywhere. With no wife or kids for 13 weeks during prime hunting season I suspect you could wear a set of boots out. Realistically, hunt hard out the gate as winter will hit way earlier than you may expect limiting your overall season. 

 

I agree, and hitting the local brew pubs. The best covers I have hunted in Vermont were wet and had greens. Have fun.

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braque du upstate

Covid and nursing.  Could go lots of ways . I went through hell last season.  Hoping to make the best out of small rural hospital.  Of course I bought a pheasant club membership in NY 1.5 miles from home .   Might get to go a few times . Look forward to trying something new. Handful of grouse flushes a day is a great day for me.  Maybe sneak some snowboarding in if the snow shuts my hunting off

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It’s a playground up there. Plenty of birds if you’re not afraid to pound the covers. Skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, beer drinking, etc. Best time of year to be up there. More than a handful of UJ’ers seem to be heading there this fall, myself included. I’ll look for the decals on your truck and stop and say hi.

 

Enjoy your stay and thank you for what you do in the health care field.

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BBlizzard18

A good time of year to be up there! I live a couple hours south of the NEK.  A good friend and myself hunt the NEK regularly.  He's up most weekends in the fall, and I try to get up as much as I can, but with three young kids it's difficult.  Our best day last fall was probably around 20 flushes, and 6 birds on the tailgate.  Half of those flushes were from putting on miles exploring most of the day, and the other half were in a random spot we saw from a backroad on the way back to camp, last minute hunt.  We're excited for this fall with our pups, both are in their 3rd season. My buddy has a GSP, I have a Vizsla.  Each year they seem to be getting better, it helps getting the bird contacts up there I can't get at home.  

 

I hunted yesterday afternoon and put up 5 grouse and 3 woodcock in 2 hours, which is great for the area I was hunting.  I'm looking forward to exploring the NEK to see what it's like this year.

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