Upland bird hunting started off with a bang last week.
Hunters that went out and found a place to hunt also found plenty of birds waiting for them.
Jeff Smith from Missoula told me he went Huns hunting and saw as many Huns as he has seen in years. In fact, Smith thinks that they probably had a least two hatches from all the young birds.
While double hatches aren’t likely, Hungarian partridge do tend to thrive in dry conditions. These little birds also can produce some huge broods with more than a dozen young.
Reports varied from grouse hunters from fair to good. Some found great numbers of birds. Others found fewer.
Once the rains come and more land opens, I think the upland bird hunters will find hunting to be the best they have seen in years.
Hunters in Eastern Montana reported good numbers of sage grouse and sharptails. With the warm fall so far, good numbers of doves are also still in the area. Dove hunters typically battle the first cold nights of fall, which send doves quickly heading south.
The unofficial pheasant capital of Montana, in my opinion, is over in the northwest corner of the state between Glasgow and Wolf Point. A recent trip over to fish Fort Peck Reservoir found excellent prospect again for pheasant hunters.
The pheasant population is reported to be good and the access is also good. Pheasant season opens Saturday Oct. 11 this year for both residents and non-residents.
SHOTGUN SPORTS – The second annual Missoula Trap and Skeet Club Four Discipline Open will take place this Saturday, Sept. 13.
The four shooting disciplines will be trap, skeet, olympic bunker, and five stand sporting clays. A total of 25 birds will be shot at each discipline. You are invited to shoot any or all of them.
The entry fee of $20 for the four disciplines also includes lunch. For more information call Dave Koontz at 542-2338 or Bill Farrell at 549-8770.
WILD GAME – John Peterson, of H and H Meats, reminds bowhunters to take extra care during these warm days after bagging your game.
Take a can of PAM or pepper spray with you to keep the flies off. Spoilage can also be avoided by taking extra care when field dressing your animal.
“Make sure you get close to the bone when cutting especially in the leg pit area,” says Peterson.
Meat becoming sour usually begins where the meat is right by the bone; it tends to keep most of the heat in unless you cut it away from the bone.
SALMON DERBY – A Salmon Derby will be held at Fort Peck Lake Saturday Sept. 20 from 7am to 3pm.
The entry fee is $100 per team and there is a 50-team limit. Eighty percent of the entry fees goes into prize money. Call Jill at the Glasgow Chamber at 406-228-2222.
AREA FISHING – Reports out of Georgetown Lake say the trout fishing is picking up from shore. Anglers using Power Bait are having fair success. Later in fall trout come in closer to shore to spawn and limits after a couple hours of fishing are not uncommon.
Fishing in the local rivers has been excellent. Water temperatures are remaining cooler now and the fish are becoming more active. All three rivers have had reports of flyfishers doing well.
Contact your local sporting goods store or fly shop for more specific information on where you are headed to fish.