Woodcock in WI

Discussion in 'Upland Game Forum' started by bach_1006, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. bach_1006

    bach_1006 Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I'm entertaining the idea of hunting some other species this year, namely grouse and woodcock. Grouse are at the bottom of their cycle this year (hopefully) so I thought I might try chasing woodcock as well. Any tips for how or where to get started? General "wheres" are fine, unless you want to PM :) I've done a bit of reading on the subject, but haven't talked to anyone who has even shot at a woodcock. I do have a young flushing lab who is a decent, though inexerienced, hunter who hasn't been exposed to upland birds outside of pheasants and quail. Any tips for getting him ready as well?

    Thanks! :tu
     
  2. Auto5er

    Auto5er Guest

    I went last year in October to the Chequamegon National Forest in northern Wisconsin on a guided grouse / woodcock hunt. We saw plenty of woodcock:tu . The area is something like 850,000 acres...plenty of room to get lost:h ...
     
  3. Spartan

    Spartan Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Morley, Michigan
    Used to hunt them a bunch as a kid in the UP of Michigan. We always seemed to have the best luck in young poplar stands. We always hunted them with labs. The birds sit tight, about fly up your pants leg, and fly wild. It was a blast. It may take a bit to get your young dog to retreive them. Some don't like to pick them up. Have fun! :tu

    Spartan
     
  4. Greybeard

    Greybeard Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Springfield,Illinois
    Down thru the years I've had the extreme pleasure of putting up a few Timberdoodles here in Illinois.
    Our problem is that we can't "stockpile" them like the folks up in Minn., Wisc., or Michigan (their breeding areas). We have to watch the weather very closely to predict a migration arrival and that's pretty much hit and miss.
    Many years ago I had a Brittiany pup that was a real cracker on them. When we got a good push of them thru here it was an absolute ball to hunt them.
    Aside from them being a "true gentleman" for setting tight for the dog they are very, very good eating when roasted in a bed of wild rice.
    A light little 20 Ga. S x S and a good mannered pup.......damn, I wish I could still walk the thickets where they hang out.
     
  5. Gun4ensic

    Gun4ensic Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Jefferson, WI
    We used to kick them up going in and out of our duck hunting spot. They hung out in the edges of the young poplar stands next to the marshes. That was outside Stevens Point.
     
  6. Shredhead

    Shredhead Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    CT
    Think worms. If the ground is moist (but not wet/swampy) and there's some cover, they might be there. I managed to bag one last season in VT, but I think it was more or less dumb luck. We were hunting with two GSP's for grouse and stumbled in some timberdoodles. We were about halfway up a hill where there was a 200 yard wide shelf that had soft ground. We mostly wild flushed a bunch of birds and I got a quick shot off at one. I saw it "go down" but I thought it was just sitting back down after a short flight like they usually do. We found one of the dogs "pointing" the dead bird on the ground -- she had no interest in picking it up. I think I got lucky and had one pellet go through the heart. Very good eating, although only a few bites from one bird (no, we didn't get any grouse).

    I was back up in the same area in VT a few weeks ago and wild flushed about 4 '****. Again, moist earth, alders, ferns. My guess is that there's a good crop of birds spending the season there, although I'm not sure if the bunch we ran into last October were residents or migrants.
     
  7. Burm

    Burm Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Marion, IA
    I used to shoot a fair amount of woodcock when I lived in WI and went to school in Stevens Point. Would usually get em incidentally while grouse hunting, but mostly stumbled across them in wetter, damper areas next to marshes. Basically, think about wet, damp, marshy grouse habitat and you should find some woodcock.

    And my dog never liked to pick em up either, something about em, I guess.

    --Burm
     
  8. Woodduck31

    Woodduck31 Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Location:
    Idaho
    Creek bottoms, wormy areas like everyone has pointed out. Like Greybeard I've only been able to hunt the migration in Illinois and Kansas, but they are fun and delicious. All this talk about ruffers and doodles make me hungry. I still can't figure out why they are so hard for me to hit when they only fly about 4 mph:)

    My lab would find them, but not retrieve them, never thought about it that much. The doodles I've shot were very hard to find, a good dog is still advised even if they only show you the way.
     
  9. bach_1006

    bach_1006 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Thanks! Even if I don't see one, I can't wait to walk some new ground in search of something tasty. We'll see what the dog thinks about it if I do manage to get a few...
     

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