BIRDSMITH BLOG — grouse RSS



Doodle Dandy---Timberdoodle! Book Review

  When you consider how many woodcock hunters there are from Minnesota to Maine, it is puzzling how few books are dedicated to the beloved little migrating bird.  Timberdoodle! by Frank Woolner was published in 1974 and there have only been a few others written in the 45 years since.   Often considered a How-To title, Woolner adds enough person anecdotes to his work that it is much more than what gun and size of shot to take into the woods.  Timberdoodle! takes you into the alder bottoms on their journey south and makes every bird hunter nostalgic for those banner days when the forest floor is covered in whitewash and dogs are in their glory.  While woodcock numbers may be off...

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Let Me Tell You About Range.......

  All Bird Dogs Should Work At About 125 Yards. Says your old roommate from college who hunts with spaniels. He also only hunts pheasants and only in fairly thick cover. Brad, the energetic, young gentleman you met in at the bar in Pierre, South Dakota feels that if his pointers aren’t out 800-1,200 yards in front, they are wasting the opportunity.  “Once the Tek 2.0 says he done lock up, then I load the pea-shooter and head that way.  Dexter held point for over 35 minutes last fall on some sharptail.” Plow-horse vs. race horse to some extent.   The discussion on how far a bird dog should range is similar to the best elk rifle caliber or the...

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The Hatch Is Everything - Almost

So, cross your fingers that the next two months are just what the doctor ordered. All upland species need some moisture, but not too much moisture or cold weather. Warm weather is good, but hopefully it isn't too hot and dry.  Insects are important for chick development, but West Nile can be transmitted by mosquitoes. So, there is a fine line.   And remember next fall, if the bird populations are strong, make plans to hunt more than ever. For many species, Mother Nature controls populations, not hunters.

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So You Want To Hunt Out West?

Many of us have been fixated on a dream hunt in the Rocky Mountain west to chase upland birds for years.  Stories of abundant public land, a multitude of wild bird species and little competition get our bird hunting juices flowing.  Most of those tales are true. But, whether you choose to hunt on the prairie of Montana, the Snake River Canyon of Idaho or in the desert of Nevada, one must be prepared and have expectations slightly tempered. There aren't simply birds behind every clump of sage brush. For starters, don't waste your time or your money on fuel unless you and your bird dogs are in shape.  If you can't see your toes or if you get out...

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