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Unproductive covers/areas that you love to hunt


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Here's one that I like to hit. I've taken pheasant, sharptails and huns while hunting there. But every bird is earned. The pheasants run thru the sage like crazy. It is seldom that I see sharptails there...sage grouse are far more common. Those I give a pass. It is the chance at huns that draws me back. Some years nothing, other years maybe three coveys in an hours walk.

 

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I have several spots I go atleast once every season in hopes of finding birds. Some of the places my g pa used to take me.  They have really changed but up until the last couple years held a covey.  I also have a few spots that I go to atleast once a year in hopes of finding wc.  Years ago these spots held birds but the last several years little to no birds.  I don’t see the changes but something has changed 

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I’m at an age where I’ll walk into what I think is new cover, realize I’ve hunted it before and there are still no birds. 

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This pond in East TX. Saw a river otter playing in it the first time I went and I keep going back in the hopes to watch it again. 

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VizslavsBird

There is one place where I see quail every summer.  I will hunt it opening day this year for the 26 consecutive year.  There will be a bird there during hunting season eventually, I am positive.

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Greg Hartman

Yep.  Anyone following my 2021 western trip travelogue knows that I spend a lot of time exploring new and likely unproductive covers, instead of simply going to spots I know hold lots of birds and taking a limit.  I think the lure of beautiful natural places and exploring new places is part of what makes us bird hunters.  Let's face it - hunting wild upland birds is not a rational activity.

 

9-19-21 - Sweet Grass Hills hunt - 6

 

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Now that I think about it there is one chunk of cover that fits this. Every year it looks good. I hunt it a couple times but never see a rooster pheasant there. I often get a good point or two on hens but never a rooster. It's a nice flat piece of land with a mix of grasses and cattail patches. A very pretty place to be so it's lways worth the walk. Maybe it's too easy to walk so everyone else goes in there.

 

What is really strange though is that less than half a mile away is a strip of cover along a creek that is a rooster magnet. I've walked in there and shot 3 roosters in 30 minutes several times. I almost always get at least 1 in there. 

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quailguy
22 hours 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. 

 

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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No, not at all. If I KNOW there are no birds there I give it a pass. There are so many places that could have birds why “hunt” places you know there is no bird?  That is not hunting; it’s sightseeing or meandering through some mental processes.   

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Brad Eden
4 hours ago, quailguy said:

No, not at all. If I KNOW there are no birds there I give it a pass. There are so many places that could have birds why “hunt” places you know there is no bird?  That is not hunting; it’s sightseeing or meandering through some mental processes.   

If nothing else Eastern ruffed grouse hunters can be a sentimental lot. Thats the case for a whole lot of reasons. 

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vabirddog

Yes. I hunt at our cabin opening day. Not a stick cut anywhere around since 90s. About every third year now I will see a grouse to know they are still around. Even then it is mostly a new attempt to find some lost pocket of unknown cover. 

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walt lister

I go back to less productive places sometimes just because I enjoy the terrain. I like to stop occasionally and just sit and take it in. 

 

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There's a couple spots in PA I hit when I go back to see the family that are often just a chance to relive a memory or two. 

 

Nostalgia is a tough feeling to suppress. It needs to be fed once in a while. 

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CptSydor

In a similar vein, where I hunt there is a lot of steep terrain. There are places that look very productive, but I know that practically they will be challenging to hunt, as scrambling up/down the side of a hill, 3 points of contact, through at times thick cover is not exactly conducive to getting shots. Or if it's an unproductive point, or the bird is running (my dog isn't the best with running birds), I can gain/lose a lot of elevation (I mean a lot), only to be left without even a flush. 

 

On the other hand, especially when scouting, I might get fed up and just pick what looks to be a rather unproductive cover cause its sort of flat and I know moving around in the woods will be dramatically easier, and at that point, the dog just needs to run. 

 

The mountains are great for many of my adventures (biking/skiing), but I can say, at times, I miss grouse hunting back east where it's flat and easier to navigate around points. 

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