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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are you all seeing out there?

The turkey appear to have wintered well and populations seem up.

I'm wondering what you all are seeing out there for upland species? You folks in the SW corner of the province, are you seeing pheasants?

When do the Lek counts typically occur for sharpies? Damn coyotes killed a few in the field by my house that I usually train the dogs in.
 

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Generally was a mild winter thru the prairies, so pending no spring issues, the birds should be having a good year - altho that can change quickly
I haven't been out and about too much due to road conditions, but have gone to the range a fair lot - Huns and Sharpies are seen or heard almost every time - hope that s a good sign!
Interesting enough I did frequent a few areas last fall that had an overabundance of birds of prey, and not surprising, those areas were almost void of upland. Hopefully this year will e different!
Don't hold your breath on pheasants or Woodcock - they are sort of like unicorns in Manitoba.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've seen a couple grouse around the back end of my land where I've done some cutting. Pretty sure once they're in-season, I'll never find 'em (based on my last couple years anyway).
Ain't that the way it goes? LOL .... I actually had a pretty successful year last year with two green dogs. This year is going to be killer now that they have some wild bird experience under their belts.

Generally was a mild winter thru the prairies, so pending no spring issues, the birds should be having a good year - altho that can change quickly
I haven't been out and about too much due to road conditions, but have gone to the range a fair lot - Huns and Sharpies are seen or heard almost every time - hope that s a good sign!
Interesting enough I did frequent a few areas last fall that had an overabundance of birds of prey, and not surprising, those areas were almost void of upland. Hopefully this year will e different!
Don't hold your breath on pheasants or Woodcock - they are sort of like unicorns in Manitoba.
My concern is the coyote population .... I think the weather is going to be good for the birds, but the mild winter also helped the coyotes and everything else.

I'm going for a drive in a few weeks to see the pheasant situation. I'm waiting for migration to finish before looking at woodcocks - too early for them yet I think. I don't think we'll see much of any until May sometime.
 

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RGS had, maybe still does, a count and I think transmitter camp in NW Minnesota during the hatch. Roughly, if they need more volunteers, you let them know you are interested, they test your dog for steadiness, you get a bit bug bit and it helps with stuff like migration map below. Maybe something to consider next year.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RGS had, maybe still does, a count and I think transmitter camp in NW Minnesota during the hatch. Roughly, if they need more volunteers, you let them know you are interested, they test your dog for steadiness, you get a bit bug bit and it helps with stuff like migration map below. Maybe something to consider next year.
Thanks, Lars. I believe there's a fellow on here that's trying to get a RGS chapter started in MB.

I also know that Sharptails Plus is out there, but unsure on how active.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Seeing lots of grouse and huns out in the fields right now. Good sign. Hopefully this dry / somewhat mild spring helps the hatch. I could do without the cold north wind though.
 

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Seeing lots of grouse and huns out in the fields right now. Good sign. Hopefully this dry / somewhat mild spring helps the hatch. I could do without the cold north wind though.
Yes! On my morning adventures scouting turkeys I have seen a ton a grouse and in good numbers. Is brood the right term? Either way been seeing groups of 10-15 consistently. Is that a mating thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes! On my morning adventures scouting turkeys I have seen a ton a grouse and in good numbers. Is brood the right term? Either way been seeing groups of 10-15 consistently. Is that a mating thing?
The term you're looking for is "covey". Those groups you're seeing are the size of a typical "covey" of huns ... sharptail tend to be a little less but I do often see them in those size of groups. Ruffed grouse are more solitary.

When mating, you'll see the sharptails in the morning on high points in fields "dancing". It's pretty fun to watch.

This is good news indeed to hear that others are seeing them in these quantities.
 

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The term you're looking for is "covey". Those groups you're seeing are the size of a typical "covey" of huns ... sharptail tend to be a little less but I do often see them in those size of groups. Ruffed grouse are more solitary.

When mating, you'll see the sharptails in the morning on high points in fields "dancing". It's pretty fun to watch.

This is good news indeed to hear that others are seeing them in these quantities.
Ahh covey yes that was what I was looking for. These were definitely not Huns as I have hunted them lots in SK. I thought initially they were sharptail based on size and colour and it sounds like that’s what they were. Also I think I seen the “dancing” as you put it. Was fun to watch indeed. Pretty interesting to watch em for a few minutes.
 

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What are people seeing out there now that the season is open.? I’ve been out twice now at six different spots and only found grouse at one spot. 7 birds.... five singles and one double, so the grouse must be starting to disperse already from their family units. Even though the leaves haven’t dropped yet the understory is more open than usual. Likely because of the drought? Happy 2021 grouse hunting.
 

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In Upper AssiniboineWMA I've flushed 3-5 birds on a couple occasions in the same 100m area. Lots of walking everywhere else for nothing in multiple different spots. Took a shot at one sharptail but in hind site was out of range. Saw flocks of dozens of geese on the move after sunset as well. Good luck all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've flushed mostly huns since opener ... we bagged a couple of the little runners over the dogs last week. Good times!

I haven't seen many sharpies since opener, but I know they're in there, just haven't gone to their habitats yet this year as most of them still have cattle on them right now. I'll update in a few weeks once the cattle have been moved off those pastures.
 

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Just started hunting on Friday, birds seem to be in a real healthy cycle one province west...
Sadly my dog cant hunt anymore due to old age/health, so am being extra careful where I/we drop the birds - but we were fortunate to get our limits of Huns and Sharpies with a little effort.
Good times is an understatement!
Plant Natural landscape Land lot Tree Fence
 

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I know nobody will give there honey spots away but any recommendations for a decent area for a beginner to start out? Just and area or spot to park my truck and what to look for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know nobody will give there honey spots away but any recommendations for a decent area for a beginner to start out? Just and area or spot to park my truck and what to look for?
Riparian areas, wind rows & fence lines, recently harvested fields (alfalfa especially), look for lots of grasshoppers and hawthornes near water sources.

(assuming sharptail and huns)

Ruffed grouse like the bush / logging roads / gravel pits, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just a reminder folks ... don't be the person that wipes out an entire covey to limit out, it impacts all our hunting opportunities. Take a few and find a new covey.

If you wipe out a covey, they can't reproduce, none of us will have birds for future years in those locations, and can potentially collapse a bird population over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Damn, @ApolloRheaGSP - I've liked 3 of your posts today! That's an impressive roll!
🍻

Thanks! Just trying to be a good ambassador to the sport. It's important we continue good stewardship and promote through helping new / fellow hunters as much as we can.

I do have some trust issues as I've been burnt before, so I'm very careful in how I approach things now. :p
 
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