I’m in catch-up mode today after spending the better part of 10 days hunting ruffed grouse and hanging out with friends at our getaway in northwest Minnesota. Aside from a couple of days that were windier than I prefer, the weather was great, and we encountered enough birds to keep things interesting. Woodcock were scarce, at least where we hunted, but one of the guys in the crew managed to bag a bonus sharptail, and we likely could have gotten a few more if we’d put in the effort.
It’s hard to stay out of the woods on beautiful fall days, though, and so we spent the bulk of our time chasing ruffs.
From the second-hand reports I’ve gotten, pheasant hunting in North Dakota has been pretty good for the hunters who’ve made the trek farther west.
As for waterfowl, Mark Fisher, biologist for the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service in Devils Lake, left me a voice mail earlier this week saying snow geese had moved into the Lake Region. The biggest concentration was west of Leeds, N.D., Fisher said, and the Devils Lake area is seeing an influx of Canada geese and swans along with indications that migrant mallards are moving into the area.
Hunting success last weekend was mixed with the warm, windy weather, Fisher said, and the birds are scattered so scouting is crucial. Habitat and water conditions are favorable, so hunters who put in the scouting effort should be rewarded, Fisher said.
The great weather we’ve enjoyed the past couple of weeks can change in a heartbeat this time of year so get out and enjoy while it lasts.