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. Un-pressured birds will loaf in sparse grasslands, with just enough cover to conceal them from avian predators.
Where to Hunt Prairie grouse can be found in many parts of Nebraska. 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. For over thirty years, the Sandhills Sharptail Shootout has offered the opportunity to hunt grouse in Open grasslands, natural or agricultural, particularly the short-grassed prairie of the central Plains. Prior to European settlement, wildfires helped create suitable mosaics of open habitat where the birds were able to thrive. Your donation is tax deductible under the fullest extent of the law. 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. Sometimes sharp-tailed grouse will become so wary that it’s virtually impossible to approach them within shotgun distance. Prairie grouse, sharptail, sharpy. Edibility Very little during snow-free conditions besides piles of droppings. Common throughout Canada, Alaska and some areas in the middle of the United States. Females are slightly smaller. The 2020 Hunt application forms are now available, and we are now accepting applications. 5 States 5 Programs, One Mission - Ep. The head is slightly crested. As with other grouse, the usual season lasts from September until January, with longer seasons in Alaska. 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. The Sandhills Sharptail Shootout is a competitive, one box grouse hunt held annually the third weekend of September in Mullen, Nebraska. The Nebraska Sandhills is known to every serious upland hunter as a bucket list type of hunt. The spring breeding season isn’t the only time when sharp-tailed grouse will gather into large flocks. In this way, sharp-tailed grouse are much different than their solitary ruffed grouse cousins who occupy forested terrain. Of those birds that hatch, most die within a year. It’s time: Prairie grouse seasons are just around the corner. Undersides are lighter than upper portions, with small, dark V-shaped patterns. Watch for the yellow WINGS! Females nest on the ground and will lay 9 -12 eggs. If you hear that, get ready to shoot.
This hunt has, and continues to; attract hunters from all walks of life. The species will not usually tolerate areas where more than 50% of the land is forested. The Sandhills Sharptail Shootout is a competitive, one box grouse hunt held annually the third weekend of September in Mullen, Nebraska. Breeding and Reproduction The birds tend to hold a little tighter the second time around, perhaps because they are tired from flying and are thus more reluctant to get back up again. In winter, look for tracks. sign. We offer DIY and guided 1/2 day to 3 …
Stop at 24/7 Travel Stores and Support the PF/QF Mission, WATCH: OnX Hunt Map Tools for Upland Hunters with Pheasants Forever. Here’s what you can expect out in the Big Wide Open, plus insights for planning your hunt. In deep snow, the birds will roost beneath the snow. 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. 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. 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. This immense, wide-open region of north-central Nebraska is one of the world’s great grassland ecosystems and a true ecological treasure.
Telltale Sign Extreme winter weather also kills many. some of the best natural habitat in the country. You should keep quiet and avoid talking and yelling. Also, sharp-tailed grouse will often make an urgent sounding kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk call upon flushing. As long as it’s open season for sharp-tailed grouse in your hunting area, of course. This page provides tools and tips to help you plan your next upland hunting adventure. A.K.A. Habitat During the late season, it’s not a bad idea bump up to a full choke and #4 or #5 shot if the birds are flushing way out ahead of you. 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. Quite good. Avian predators such as hawks are a leading killer of sharp-tailed grouse. Predation on sharp-tailed eggs is very common. Mark their locations and then try to re-flush them. 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. Hunting permits may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org. Nebraska has a couple of unique game animals to offer hunters. 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. NOTICE! 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. Hunting Methods Sharp-tailed grouse are mottled brown, beige, and white, and appear to be spotted. The Sandhills are an endless expanse of native prairie habitat that represent a stronghold for populations of both greater prairie- chickens and sharp-tailed grouse. Pheasant hunters often miss opportunities on sharp-tailed grouse because they mistakenly think that the birds are hen pheasants and then pass them up. Private land and CRP provide great habitat and provide a challenging, natural hunting experience. Barroom Banter Flushing Sharp-Tailed Grouse Wetland edges also provided superb habitat.
Polygamous. Males have an eye comb and reach 2 ½ pounds.
Hunting Opportunities In the centuries since European contact, a combination of factors including fire suppression, development, high-intensity agriculture, and wetlands destruction have resulted in the disappearance of the birds across much of their historic range. 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. The Nebraska Sandhills is known to every serious upland hunter as a bucket list type of hunt.
When you do flush a flock of sharp-tailed grouse, watch where they go, especially if the flock breaks up into several smaller flocks. Grouse hunters can look toward Nebraska National Forest (Bessey Ranger District), Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest, and Valentine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) for excellent prairie grouse hunting opportunities. For whatever reason, they often hold tighter in the morning.
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. The tail is short, much shorter than that of a hen pheasant and on a flying bird it appears to be sharply pointed. Between feeding sessions, sharp-tailed grouse will move to loafing areas.
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 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. The best way to locate sharp-tailed grouse is to hunt within a couple of miles of a known lek.