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Unproductive covers/areas that you love to hunt


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Does anyone else have any unproductive covers that year after year you keep hitting. 

Maybe its  because you hope you're eventually find birds there... or maybe the area just makes you happy. 

 

There's some privately owned land that's open to the public to hunt about 25 minutes from my house. At around 1000 acres it's pretty big hunt able area for Western Ma. 

It has various different habits and the RGS has even done some land management there in recent years. 

I've never shot anything there and really only flushed a couple of  woodcock and one grouse over the years

But for some reason.. every Spring and every Fall, I have to spend at least one day up there hunting. 

It's an absolute beautiful area, I never see anyone else up there besides me and my dog. 

 

I went this morning with Emmit for almost 4 hours... place still always puts me in a better mood... even without a single flush. 

On a sunny clear say, the views are awesome. Today was a bit too cloudy/overcast. 

 

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Don Steese

YES!!! The definition of insanity!

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Skybuster

Yes ...even though these special spots are prime cover they have been barren in recent years!

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I had several public spots in SD with very good memories from 15 or so years ago with my male lab.  Many are nowhere near as productive anymore but have loved going their with the Cockers overs the years to retrace the steps.  Extra special when we do bag a rooster....

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nobirdshere

I take a couple of nostalgia walks a season in a couple of spots that have some special memories, but that's all they are, nostalgia walks and the gun stays in the car. I don't hunt covers that aren't likely to produce and these are long past their prime, but when they were prime, they were really great. I spread some of two dog's ashes in one of those old favorites.  

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Brad Eden

Yes, all the time. When someone lives in a relatively good ruffed grouse and woodcock area, they see covers go through stages. 

1 hour ago, RDG said:

Does anyone else have any unproductive covers that year after year you keep hitting. 

Maybe its  because you hope you're eventually find birds there... or maybe the area just makes you happy. 

 

 

 

Yes, quite a bit actually. Birds are few and sometimes extinct in some old haunts, but the memories of past dogs and past hunts never die. I’m not as keen for the kill like I once was. 

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Yes, the places where I hunted growing up are well past prime but I go back to them anyhow.  Just to walk the ground and see how huge the trees have grown is a pleasant trip and when I've put a grouse out it's just the icing on those cakes.  Have had to find out who owns them now and get permission, hasn't been a problem after describing who I am and what I'd like to do.  

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Zkight89

 The nearest public land to my house is around 20 minutes away. We never take much game from it, but hunt there at least once each season anyway. Great place to get out and stretch our legs, and despite never killing a deer it’s my wife’s favorite spot to bow hunt. 

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WMassGriff

Ha, especially the last few turkey seasons! Deer too!

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OutlawTorn

Yes, memories can bring me back to places I know aren't my best chance to get a bird, particularly the last field I hunted with Sadie before she retired - she's now passed.  If you've seen "We Were Soldiers", there's the scenes of the main characters boot coming off/on the helicopter at the bookends of the movie.  When I lifted her paws off the ground into the truck, I knew it was the last time and every time I go back there I think of that scene at the end of the movie - boots off the ground, never to return.

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doodlecrazy

My heart drops a beat everytime one of my woodcock covers turns just a little bit too old. Always a sad day.

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Windrider

Most of the state of Texas.

 

However, there is one area 12 minutes from the house on Corps of Engineers land that looks like a designer woodcock cover. Has a very small intermittent steam running through it, a pond on one side, and a larger stream that always has water on the other.  High stem density of short trees interlaced with brambles.  Showed a couple of pictures of it to a fella from Minnesota and he thought it was perfection. 
 

Never seen one bit of chalk in 7 years. Turns out it’s in the middle of a clay upwelling.  Probably not a worm for 1/2 mile or more in any direction.  The ground is so hard most of the year the brambles barely grow.  It hasn’t changed much in over 1/2 a decade except where I’ve gone through it over the years because it’s very slow to grow back.  Probably looked much the same way 20 years ago.


Never even flushed a rabbit out of it.

 

Still… I just can’t accept that it’s as barren as a dessert. 

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34 minutes ago, doodlecrazy said:

My heart drops a beat everytime one of my woodcock covers turns just a little bit too old. Always a sad day.

 

I had one area in Michigan that for 4 years was flat out amazing.  Off the beaten path a good bit.   Mike C. took his pup gunner there and Gunner pointed his first Woodcock there.  I took another UJ guy there with his brand new pup and Bingo, he killed the first Woodcock his pup pointed.  Both of those pups were in their first season and this was sort of the first foray into the world of wild birds.   

 

Last year I went back and the cover just looked suddenly a good bit older.  I was by myself and I think I moved 3 Woodcock and an area where we were getting 20 flushes in a morning.   Birds just weren't there.   Will go back again and try it out this year, but the reality is it may no longer a great Woodcock cover because its past the "Woodcock Prime".   That said, it might be better for Grouse and there are some Grouse there.  I believe my last visit with Mike he shot his Woodcock limit and also a Grouse in that cover.   What this truly means is you have to always keep young covers in mind.  One day they are too young and then blink they are perfect.   

 

Above has zero to do with Virginia birds.  All the covers that used to hold birds hold zero and there are basically no new covers because clearcutting in the National Forest is basically a shell of what it was 20 years ago.  Imagine a  Walmart Parking lots with 50 to 70 year old trees scattered around here and there and you pretty much have it. 

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Craig Doherty

It takes constant work to maintain a cover.  The 100 acres here at the kennel was one of my favorite covers long before we bought it.  It's part of an old dairy farm and had been clear cut in the early 90s.  We keep pecking away at it to keep the cover varied and viable.  Guy started today clearing 4.4 acres that a state fish and game grant will pay for.  I do have other covers that have gone by that I just can't seem to give up on for one reason or another.

 

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