A FAN OF HUNTING. The first traditional upland season opens today, as grouse and partridge hunters take the to field. Despite lower numbers, the die-hards will be out in the field after these wiley upland birds, waiting for the first laughing or chattering covey to take flight, or the lone boom of a ruffie thundering off into the woods. We talk about this trio of just-opened upland opportunities in today’s Three Things.
Featured Photo: A pair of ruffed grouse fans – red phase and gray – on display at DEO headquarters.
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Sat 9/8 – Gusty. Hi 80, Lo 57, Wind S@26, G36
Tomorrow: Sun 9/9 – Fading Wind. Hi 80, Lo 59, Wind S@9.
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Moonrise Moonset Overhead Underfoot
5:34AM 7:58PM 12:52PM 12:23AM
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent (2% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 7:30-8:30PM – The shrinking new moon setting with the sun will provide a good Edge Hour on a windy day.
POINTED. While sharptailed grouse numbers are off nearly half of what they were last year, huntable populations remain in the grasslands of the east, and in the larger, sprawling prairie stretches of the west and southwest. Look to PLOTS and private lands with hills, grass and low cover like buffaloberry and chokecherry bushes with a water sources for a good start – get out and walk – you don’t know what you’ll find!
HUN-GRY. Hungarian partridge provide a bonus opportunity for hunters and are found, as pheasants, on the edges of habitat and agriculture. This year, brood sizes came in at over seven birds per group, a good anecdotal indicator that reproduction was solid over the spring.
THUNDER. The Turtle Mountains and Pembina hills provide hunting opportunities for ruffed grouse. Known for their surprising flush and thundering wingbeat, ruffies can startle even the most stoic hunter when they take flight. Work areas of woods off old logging roads to find these birds in the north and northeast corners of the state.