The unsuspecting hunter who flushes one of the snow-roosted birds is likely to get so startled by the explosion of feathers and snow that they’ll miss their chance to take a shot.
Hunting headquarters are located about 11 miles south of Kimball, NE just on the east side of Hwy 71 and along CR 41– about 3.5 miles north of the Colorado border. In windy conditions, look for the birds to be concentrated on the lee side of hills. Sharp-tailed grouse are best known for their “leks,” or traditional breeding sites, whereas many 15 males will congregate on the wide open prairie to compete for female attention by strutting, cackling, and stomping their feet in a strangely synchronized dance. The gregariousness of the sharp-tailed grouse should put hunting them on the to-do list of any easterner who’s spent his or her life chasing ruffed grouse, as it’s possible that you could flush more sharp-tailed grouse in a single outing than all the ruffed grouse that you’ll flush in a decade of stomping brush at home. Don’t let this happen to you. When you do flush a flock of sharp-tailed grouse, watch where they go, especially if the flock breaks up into several smaller flocks. The birds will not typically tolerate an area where more than 50% of the landscape is forested. The spring breeding season isn’t the only time when sharp-tailed grouse will gather into large flocks.

Diet In deep snow, the birds will roost beneath the snow. Watch for the yellow WINGS! Rosehips, buffalo berry, berries, herbaceous plants, agricultural grain crops, catkins and buds from shrubs and trees, and grasshoppers. Nebraska Bird Hunting Seasons Span September 1 – January 31, 2021 Resident License Fees: $18 Non-Resident License Fees: $97 2-Day $67 Purchase License Online Females are slightly smaller. Also consider the possibility of pass-shooting as the birds travel from their roosting areas to feeding areas, or from feeding areas to loafing areas. The Sandhills Sharptail Shootout is a competitive, one box grouse hunt held annually the third weekend of September in Mullen, Nebraska. Prior to European settlement, wildfires helped create suitable mosaics of open habitat where the birds were able to thrive. Heavily hunted birds, on the other hand, will seek shelter in much denser grass or they’ll hide in areas that might be more readily recognized as pheasant cover. Those animals are the prairie chicken and sharp-tailed grouse. If you hear that, get ready to shoot. Your donation is tax deductible under the fullest extent of the law. During the early season, when the birds are likely to hold tighter, a modified choke with #6 pellets is a wise choice. Very little during snow-free conditions besides piles of droppings. Spotting the Wary Birds Extreme winter weather also kills many. Where to Hunt Prairie grouse can be found in many parts of Nebraska. As long as it’s open season for sharp-tailed grouse in your hunting area, of course.

It’s also smart to stay in the vicinity of active roosting areas, as sharp-tailed grouse will typically feed within a couple miles of their roost. The birds might hold well for a pointing dog in the early season, but heavily pressured birds will typically flush before you can catch up with your dog if he works far out.
The image of a hunter swinging an old side-by-side shotgun towards a ruffed grouse flushing over a... Our picks for the week’s best hunting, fishing, wild foods, and conservation content. In winter, look for tracks. 5 States 5 Programs, One Mission - Ep. Open grasslands, natural or agricultural, particularly the short-grassed prairie of the central Plains. During late season, it’s better to have a close-working dog that hunts within shotgun range. Physical Description The prairie grouse season is Sept. 1, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021. Between feeding sessions, sharp-tailed grouse will move to loafing areas. The head is slightly crested. A.K.A. Habitat must include brushy draws and coulees. The Nebraska Upland Slam, returning for its third year, challenges hunters to harvest a pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, greater prairie chicken and northern bobwhite in the state during a single season. Stop at 24/7 Travel Stores and Support the PF/QF Mission, WATCH: OnX Hunt Map Tools for Upland Hunters with Pheasants Forever. Habitat The Nebraska Sandhills is known to every serious upland hunter as a bucket list type of hunt. Undersides are lighter than upper portions, with small, dark V-shaped patterns. Adults often live to be 3 years old. This can work well, though it takes some scouting effort to identify the exact travel routes used by the birds as they go about their day. Edibility The best way to locate sharp-tailed grouse is to hunt within a couple of miles of a known lek. Un-pressured birds will loaf in sparse grasslands, with just enough cover to conceal them from avian predators. For over thirty years, the Sandhills Sharptail Shootout has offered the opportunity to hunt grouse in. Wetland edges also provided superb habitat. An added bonus of keeping quiet is that you might hear the birds, they make a host of sounds while feeding in the morning, including clucks and whines. Sometimes sharp-tailed grouse will become so wary that it’s virtually impossible to approach them within shotgun distance. Limits range from three to five and are often counted towards a combined limit total. In this way, sharp-tailed grouse are much different than their solitary ruffed grouse cousins who occupy forested terrain. Here’s what you can expect out in the Big Wide Open, plus insights for planning your hunt. The tail is short, much shorter than that of a hen pheasant and on a flying bird it appears to be sharply pointed. Hunting Methods We offer DIY and guided 1/2 day to 3 … Big bucks, land management, rut reports, and tips for the whitetail obsessed. sign. You might get lucky enough to flush a flock of one hundred, but you’ll still only get off one or two shots before they’re long gone. It’s time: Prairie grouse seasons are just around the corner. You should keep quiet and avoid talking and yelling. Sharp-tailed grouse are exceptionally wary, and the relative openness of their habitat allows them to see and hear you coming from a long way off. The quail division of our upland wildlife conservation org. Quite good. Quality pheasant, chukar, and sharptail grouse hunting near Kimball, Nebraska! As hunting season progresses and weather conditions deteriorate, sharp-tailed grouse will begin to spend more and more time in the vicinity of sheltering windbreaks such as clusters of brushy trees and stands of conifers. The 2020 Hunt application forms are now available, and we are now accepting applications.

Hunting Opportunities When hunting mornings and late afternoons, look for the birds around crop fields of grain or alfalfa, or else in the vicinity of preferred natural foods such as berries, rose hips, or seed-bearing wild plants that can be found along brushy fencerows, coulee bottoms, abandoned farmsteads, and stream channels. Sharp-tailed grouse were once common in the Great Lakes states of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, though their numbers and distribution have fallen greatly due to habitat loss. For over thirty years, the Sandhills Sharptail Shootout has offered the opportunity to hunt grouse in Polygamous. Common throughout Canada, Alaska and some areas in the middle of the United States. During the late fall and early winter, it’s not uncommon for hunters to flush flocks of over one hundred sharp-tailed grouse or to see that many birds feeding on buds while perched 20 feet up in a tree. This immense, wide-open region of north-central Nebraska is one of the world’s great grassland ecosystems and a true ecological treasure. - Until you’ve experienced it, you just won’t understand. A Guide to Hunting Sharp-Tailed Grouse Steven Rinella Apr 21, 2018 Sharp-tailed grouse are best known for their “leks,” or traditional breeding sites, whereas many 15 males will congregate on the wide open prairie to compete for female attention by strutting, cackling, and stomping their feet in a strangely synchronized dance. The flesh is dark, though it lacks the livery quality of ptarmigan. Bagging a limit of these extremely wary birds is a feat to be proud of.

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