Sage Grouse

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mnmtranching

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Sage Grouse
Spent a week out in Montana, shed hunting and covered a lot of ground.
One of the things I wanted to see during the trip was a Sage Grouse Lek.
I was hiking up 1 long ravine nearing the top. Thought I heard a boom, boom, boom way off. Stopped to listen, my heart was pounding somewhat from the climb couldn't tell what I thought I was hearing. My plan was to cross this sage flat to the head of the next ravine then down to where the truck was parked on the 2 track. Anyway I came across this small prairie dog town and there they were, the area was alive with male grouse. I stayed back and watched the show through the binos. I counted 36 males and more showing up from everywhere. These two came right out in front of me.
Wish I had a better camera.

P1010143.jpg


Some of the countryside.
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P1010118.jpg
 
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mnmtranching

mnmtranching

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That really is some neat country, nothing like it in NC or MN either. Very dry country most of the time.
I have never gone to Montana unarmed until this time. Next trip is early Sept. Probably be a couple yotes bite the dust then and enough grouse for camp meat. The yotes I'll just hang on a fence post. 8) :cowboy:
 

rattler

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mnmtranching":27zst8tb said:
That really is some neat country, nothing like it in NC or MN either. Very dry country most of the time.
I have never gone to Montana unarmed until this time. Next trip is early Sept. Probably be a couple yotes bite the dust then and enough grouse for camp meat. The yotes I'll just hang on a fence post. 8) :cowboy:

Someday i would like to go see it first hand mnm i would like to go see the milk river country. :nod:

rattler
 

angie1

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Thanks for sharing the pics of your trip! I was wondering what your grouse population is like up north where you and BL are? Used to be more than enough here, but it has been a long time since I have heard a grouse drumming.
 
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mnmtranching

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We have grouse, but not plentiful. I think just to many wild critters that love to eat grouse. :(
 

dun

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mnmtranching":267ysc7h said:
We have grouse, but not plentiful. I think just to many wild critters that love to eat grouse. :(

Proably ruffed grouse in MN but nay have spruce and blue grouse also. Sage grouse are more of a semi-desert/desert bird. Spruce and blues we hunted in the mountains and timber, ruffs in the lower woodlot type areas. Don;t know about sharptails and the other grouse species since I've never been around them. For some reason I think of them as prairie birds.
 

dun

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angie":k915rmmd said:
dun":k915rmmd said:
Proably ruffed grouse in MN.
That is right ~ around here for as far away as I know about, it is ruffed grouse.

Did a bit of a search, apparantly you have sharptails there also
 
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mnmtranching

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Ruffed Grouse are the ones common to Minnesota Woodlands, and South where habitat is suitable.
Shartail grouse are very close to the Prairie Chicken in appearance. And are open country and brushy coulee habitat.
Sage Grouse REQUIRE Sage Brush and otherwise open country and are by far the largest of all grouse.
Spuce Grouse are a forest grouse preferring coniferous forests.
Range is far North MN and Canada.
Blue Grouse [Dusky] are in the coniferous high elevations from Northern Colorado North into Canada. As are the Franklin Grouse.
Ptarmigan are in the very high elevation in the Northern Us Rockies and more common in Canada and Alaska in lower elevations.

I think that's about it. Unless I missed something?
 

angie1

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dun":3kl2yefz said:
angie":3kl2yefz said:
dun":3kl2yefz said:
Proably ruffed grouse in MN.
That is right ~ around here for as far away as I know about, it is ruffed grouse.
Did a bit of a search, apparantly you have sharptails there also
I have never seen them, but that doesn't mean anything. I just know that grouse are not near as plentiful as they used to be. For every grouse that has disappeared though, a wild turkey seems to have taken its place ~ that is a good thing.
 

dun

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mnmtranching":1nnucetr said:
I think that's about it. Unless I missed something?
For eating I always prefered Ruffed then Sage then spruce/blues.
 
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mnmtranching

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Minnesota has a huntable population of Sharptails in the Northwest part of the State. Also a limited amount of Prairie Chicken hunting in the West Central part of the state. I'm in the North Central and there are a few Prairie Chickens and Sharptails here. Still by far the most common is the Ruffed. Getting to be LOTS of turkeys.

Dun, for sure the Ruffed is by far the best eating, Blue aren't bad. Young of the year Shartail are good until they go into their Fall feeding. Sage Grouse are hard to get used to if that's possible. :roll:

The Sage Grouse will be put on the endangered list soon. Still plentiful out there in Central Montana, but most of it's former range for whatever reason it is disappearing.

I don't know nothing, but I think it's because so many of the Sage Grouses natural predators aren't being kept in check anymore. Hunters in fact take very few Sage Grouse.
 

dun

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mnmtranching":1ba2pvqc said:
Minnesota has a huntable population of Sharptails in the Northwest part of the State. Also a limited amount of Prairie Chicken hunting in the West Central part of the state. I'm in the North Central and there are a few Prairie Chickens and Sharptails here. Still by far the most common is the Ruffed. Getting to be LOTS of turkeys.

Dun, for sure the Ruffed is by far the best eating, Blue aren't bad. Young of the year Shartail are good until they go into their Fall feeding. Sage Grouse are hard to get used to if that's possible. :roll:

The Sage Grouse will be put on the endangered list soon. Still plentiful out there in Central Montana, but most of it's former range for whatever reason it is disappearing.

I don't know nothing, but I think it's because so many of the Sage Grouses natural predators aren't being kept in check anymore. Hunters in fact take very few Sage Grouse.
In CA where I hunted sage grouse the limit is/was one per season. You had to cover so much really rough country that they didn;t get hunted very much
 

MistyMorning

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The first grouse I shot was a sharp tail. Shot it just south of Leech Lake which is not know for being an area they thrive in as it is heavily forested. When we lived in the NW part of the state we would see a few sharp tails, hunted them some, but they were much more difficult to hit out in the open, well at least they were for me anyway. :lol2:

The ruffed grouse around here were drumming to beat the band the past couple of weeks. Even in the middle of the night during the last full moon. The numbers go up and down, on I think a 7 year cycle. I don't hunt them much cause when they flush they scare the bejesus out of me!
 
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