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Thread: point mackenzie grouse

  1. #1
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    Default point mackenzie grouse

    I spent this morning out at point mackenzie with my lab hopeing to wonder into some spruce hens. It is Archery Moose season so there were a lot of road hunters out there. Everyone I talked to driving by told me they killed their share of them out there but I could not find any. Ironic to them when I got off the road and back in a ways I could not quit seeing moose. Anyhow, the only upland bird hunting Ive ever done is quail.. I was hopeing that someone could tell me what kind of terrain to look for to find grouse. I was sticking to the tall grass and edges of the woods along the power lines like I used to do quail hunting in California. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I did see about half a dozen rabbits out there, they just all decided to run outside of shotgun range. I am thinking about taking my .17 Mach II out there tomorrow morning and trying to bag a few of them. Happy Hunting!!!

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    Default Grit

    That's what they'll be picking up in the early morning and evening. Look for them on the sides of sandy/gravel washes or on old logging roads and trails. There's ruffed Grouse out there too. I find most of them doing the same thing but also near berry patches and wild rose patches. The Spruce Hens will also perch up during the day in some of the bigger Spruce stands. The Ruffs I find mainly by hardwoods or a mix. Sometimes you'll find the Spruce Hens in the berry patches as well.

    Anyway, hope that helps.

    OH...Almost forgot...be ready for the odd Ringneck Pheasant. I shot one out there to years ago! Escapee from the guy who runs canned hunts for them out there I guess.

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    Thanks for the info. I was out there again last night and still no grouse. I wish it was not going to cost me 200 dollars for a moose tag this year! I saw a nice bull out there last night. I have not judged many moose but I used the "ear to ear distance on either side of the head to measure the rack and this one passed the test. Im sure next year when I can moose hunt out there all I'll see is grouse. Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it.

  4. #4
    Member aksportsmen's Avatar
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    Default they are there but hard to find

    i have been hunting the area going on 10 years now. i have pulled grouse out of there before but it is pretty hit and miss. u will have to go in further off the main road now. they have really started to tear the area up the last couple years. With moose season fast approaching the traffic on the road will only increase. have not seen much in the way of hare. once the snow flies and the water freezes the palmer hay flats are the place to go.

  5. #5

    Default Where to go at Point Mckenzie

    Howdy ya'll! Question - where are you seeing grouse at Point McKenzie? Is this close to Falconridge? Not looking for moose - just want to let my 16 month old GSP have a try on some wild birds.

    Thanks in advance!

    John in Anchorage

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    Member aksportsmen's Avatar
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    Default towards the port

    have to go a ways down take a left at where the road T's and goes from pavmeant to gravel then just drive till u find a trail to your liking. there are atv trails all over the place. Not to mention lots of new logging roads. they have been clear cutting huge sections and putting new roads in all over. So any where along there would be good. the main road see a fair amount of traffic with the port and modulur houseing plant out there. have always done better off the beaten path. lots of small ponds and lakes out there to is pretty good for ducks. not willing to get to specific but u should have no trouble finding side trails. but bring your water boots cause it is pretty boggy and muddy in spots. happy hunting and good luck.

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    The birds aren't like quail at all.

    They feed on berries, spruce needles, willow buds, clover, etc...

    Step away from the grass and into more young forest areas....

    You should be watching for any dirt/gravel area. They dust bathe and can create a nice little pocket where they flop around. They also like gravel since it helps them "chew" their foods.

    Also, look for watering holes! They do drink, and enjoy a good puddle.

    You can watch for their poopings around the base of trees and on the trails... especially around water holes and berry bushes. Poop looks like rabbit food (pellets) that has been elongated.

    Finally, listen for them. If I walk up on a mudpuddle that has a few small rocks around it, and some sign of bird action (tracks, poop, dust bath), it is worth a slow walk 20 yards into the trees in all directions. If a bird flushes, you'll hear it...and hopefully see where it went. They might also cackle or flutter their tails when they sense you.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Sometimes you can trick them into clucking to give away their position if you know a bird is close. I use this technique a lot when multiple birds flush and I know the general area they went. If you get within 20-30 yards of the bird and just stand still for a minute or two many times they will get nervous and sound off, then start moving around in their tree. Also, if you softly cluck like a chicken (a childhood talent that never fully developed for me...), sometimes you can get them to respond vocally.
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Not to po po this post or change the subject but.... The grouse are on the bottom end of there population cycle and with last years floods grouse hunting is going to be slow this year!

  10. #10

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    Thanks guys. I spend a fair amount of time out at Falconridge working my GSP pup - he's still a bit young for full bore hunting - just wanted to let him 'play' a bit at hunting wild birds - and let my 12 year attempt to wingshoot something wild.

    Not looking for anyone's honey-hole! UNLESS you want to share!

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I ran into a bunch out there today. Got one of them. Didn't see any moose though.

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    Member aksportsmen's Avatar
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    Default grouse 1, moose 0

    was out at point mack this last weekend hunting for moose. did not see any moose but saw a fair amount of small game. spooked up a covey of 6 grouse friday saturday evening. manged to pop one with my 22 revolver. spooked a hare off on the main road and, a couple more on the one of the trails. was cruisin around on a atv so they spooked before i wuold have a chance to see them till they ran. luckly one of the birds did not fly to far. wished i had been carrying my 12 gauge instead of my 06. will be heading up to the delta area this weekend for moose. plan on trying for smal game to let u guys know how i do

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I killed a mess of them one evening after walking a loging trail and not seeing anything all day I started heading back as it the sun was setting and in that hour or so when the forest gets dark and the sky is still light I started seeing them everywhere. They stand out against the sky when they roost. I shot six but could have easily shot twice that. Not the best time for wing shooting but almost too easy with a 22 or air gun.

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    Default Got one last weekend

    Was out hiking around with my daughter, a buddy and his son. There were a couple on the road on the way in so we stopped, flushed them into the thicket and hunted them up. Only took one out of that bunch. Later on a logging road we were standing there waiting for my buddy and his son. I was checkin out a moose trail that cut the road down to the swamp when a Ruffed Grouse about spooked the heck out of my daughter. He was feeding in a rose thicket and flushed but only a few feet in the air and then took to the ground.....but we didn't know that. I started in trying to flush him out of where I THOUGHT he went, when I heard the clucking. He was 4 ft away in the rose tangle. I tried to push him out but I was never able to get him to flush. Finally he put the shake on me and was gone. It was a blast goin toe to toe with that smart bird. My daughter had a blast and learned a lot too. Quite a few dust baths on the side of the trail. When we got back to the truck we talked to a moose hunter that said he saw a "young feller" shoot an entire flock of seven birds with a .22.
    I only take enough for supper and NEVER take a whole flock. Usually just a few of this year's birds if able. No need and always leaves a few for seed next year. plus they'll be in the same area.

    I'm actually seing more Ruffs out there than Spruce Hens lately. Didn't see any bunnies.
    Last edited by sal; 09-07-2007 at 18:39. Reason: typo

  15. #15
    Member TruBluTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aksportsmen View Post
    have to go a ways down take a left at where the road T's and goes from pavmeant to gravel then just drive till u find a trail to your liking. there are atv trails all over the place. Not to mention lots of new logging roads. they have been clear cutting huge sections and putting new roads in all over. So any where along there would be good. the main road see a fair amount of traffic with the port and modulur houseing plant out there. have always done better off the beaten path. lots of small ponds and lakes out there to is pretty good for ducks. not willing to get to specific but u should have no trouble finding side trails. but bring your water boots cause it is pretty boggy and muddy in spots. happy hunting and good luck.
    I've yet to hit Point Mackenzie and from my understanding it is a pretty big area. What is the best way to reach this area from Anchorage?

    Much obliged...

  16. #16
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Go down Knik Goose Bay road about 16 miles and take a right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post

    I'm actually seing more Ruffs out there than Spruce Hens lately. Didn't see any bunnies.
    How do you know they are hens??? ........Yeah right, like anyone can tell the difference. or are you guys that call them spruce hens that picky that you actually can tell the differnce when they are sitting on the side of the road or on a limb? I have shot 100's and iI care not whether or not it is male or female. To me they are all grouse, whether, blue, roughed, spruce, or sharpies.

  18. #18

    Default spruce hens

    A spruce hen is just another nickname for spruce grouse, it isn't referring specifically to the female bird haha...

  19. #19
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Default

    And with regard to the blues... there are some serious differences in color between hens and roosters.

  20. #20
    Member aksportsmen's Avatar
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    Default know the diffrence

    u should know the diffrence between ruffed grouse and spruce grouse. considering in most areas there is a restriction on your bag limit saying only x number may be ruffed out of your total bag limit. they even put a section in the regs about idetifying the 2 diffrent species.

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