Good area in MT with hunting access?

Elliot1987

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Looking to hunt a bird I've been dreaming about for years, Blue/dusky grouse. My father and I are wanting to head out in mid September. I was recommended the Lincoln area. My dad is getting up there in age so I would like an area that has sharp tails too near by as the terrain will be a little easier for an afternoon or day. We will have fun no matter what, but if I could get some help on finding an area that has good access and not land locked public. This will be our first out of state hunt also. We want to stay in a hotel/motel as well.
If you have any tips on an accessible area, a hotel, has a mix bag of birds and such. I'm not looking for your honey hole just a town that has hunting access to grouse nearby.
This is my first post, but I have been lurking for a long time. Thank you all for your help!
 

mdunc8

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Not Virginia anymore!
One would have a tougher time finding a place without duskies than with. Most everywhere I've been in SW Montana has plenty of them especially if you can find a few cutovers. Haven't spent anytime around Lincoln and don't chase sharpies much. Sorry.
 

Hunts

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Virgo Supercluster
Early in the season they can be down low with the ruffies. Lots of times you will find family groups with very young birds. As the season progresses they generally move up higher.
 

JLS

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Where the Wild Things Are
Should be able to find blues around Rogers Pass. Plenty of sharpies in central Montana, and plenty of Block Management to hunt them on. Look for the habitat.
 

Coyotes-R-Us

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Snowy's by Lewistown.
All Forest land
But you gota do a lot of walking.
You will run in to turkeys...
 

Wally Dog

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Boise,Idaho
In SW ID in Sept. they are frequently still in the sagebrush uplands with chukar. They move to the ridges as fall wears on.
 

BuzzH

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Laramie, WY
Looking to hunt a bird I've been dreaming about for years, Blue/dusky grouse. My father and I are wanting to head out in mid September. I was recommended the Lincoln area. My dad is getting up there in age so I would like an area that has sharp tails too near by as the terrain will be a little easier for an afternoon or day. We will have fun no matter what, but if I could get some help on finding an area that has good access and not land locked public. This will be our first out of state hunt also. We want to stay in a hotel/motel as well.
If you have any tips on an accessible area, a hotel, has a mix bag of birds and such. I'm not looking for your honey hole just a town that has hunting access to grouse nearby.
This is my first post, but I have been lurking for a long time. Thank you all for your help!

Really depends on when you'll be hunting. If all you're interested in is blues and sharpies, I would do what JLS said. Main reason is because you could stay in either Lincoln or drop over the pass and stay in Choteau or Augusta. There are plenty of blue grouse in the Lincoln area, as well as ruffed grouse and you'll likely run into Franklins a well. I typically find blues on open ridges on the southern exposures...if there are huckleberries or snowberry around....even better. I think they also like to eat grasshoppers on those southern exposures as I've seen them chowing on them big-time. Franklins are usually in spruce/alpine fir country mid-slope.

For sharpies, you could try some of the areas around Freezeout. Once upon a time, 15 years ago when I lived in Montana I hunted Freezeout a lot. I usually hunted it in late-October to early November so that everything was open (pheasant, deer, elk, huns, sharpies, ducks, geese). That country is just awesome that time of year and a true mixed bag hunt is almost a daily thing. Even better is the country you'll see while hunting birds there, the Front is just spectacular.

Kind of a rough photo, but this is a weekend trip to Freezeou with a buddy of mine...pheasants, a couple sharpies, a couple huns, snow geese a few ducks, and 3 deer.

This was his first time ever hunting for anything and I'll never forget what he said, while looking in the back of the truck just before I snapped this picture: "just got to thinking about it, I didn't even own a gun at this time last year!"

fout.JPG


IME, there are probably better areas in the state for sharpies, but maybe not where you will have access to blue grouse AND sharpies...AND maybe a few other species that may be open at the time you're there.

Also, not sure if you're into fishing at all, but you'll be around some fishing as well (holter dam tailwater on the Missouri isn't far away, upper Blackfoot, Bynum Reservoir, Willow Creek Reservoir, etc.).

Not to scare you or anything, but just know that all the Front and Lincoln Country has grizzly bears...just something to be aware of.

There are hotels in Lincoln and Choteau...have stayed in a couple of them, but its been years and I cant remember which ones we even stayed in.

Good luck and have fun.
 

Elliot1987

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Thank you all for the help! Bought my license and booked my hotel! Now I am just waiting till the trip...
 

JLS

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Buzz,

You could do pretty good double duty for both out by Lewistown. I've seen blues in the Little Snowies, and there plenty of sharps towards Winifred.
 

1_pointer

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Indiana
Really depends on when you'll be hunting. If all you're interested in is blues and sharpies, I would do what JLS said. Main reason is because you could stay in either Lincoln or drop over the pass and stay in Choteau or Augusta. There are plenty of blue grouse in the Lincoln area, as well as ruffed grouse and you'll likely run into Franklins a well. I typically find blues on open ridges on the southern exposures...if there are huckleberries or snowberry around....even better. I think they also like to eat grasshoppers on those southern exposures as I've seen them chowing on them big-time. Franklins are usually in spruce/alpine fir country mid-slope.

For sharpies, you could try some of the areas around Freezeout. Once upon a time, 15 years ago when I lived in Montana I hunted Freezeout a lot. I usually hunted it in late-October to early November so that everything was open (pheasant, deer, elk, huns, sharpies, ducks, geese). That country is just awesome that time of year and a true mixed bag hunt is almost a daily thing. Even better is the country you'll see while hunting birds there, the Front is just spectacular.

Kind of a rough photo, but this is a weekend trip to Freezeou with a buddy of mine...pheasants, a couple sharpies, a couple huns, snow geese a few ducks, and 3 deer.

This was his first time ever hunting for anything and I'll never forget what he said, while looking in the back of the truck just before I snapped this picture: "just got to thinking about it, I didn't even own a gun at this time last year!"

fout.JPG


IME, there are probably better areas in the state for sharpies, but maybe not where you will have access to blue grouse AND sharpies...AND maybe a few other species that may be open at the time you're there.

Also, not sure if you're into fishing at all, but you'll be around some fishing as well (holter dam tailwater on the Missouri isn't far away, upper Blackfoot, Bynum Reservoir, Willow Creek Reservoir, etc.).

Not to scare you or anything, but just know that all the Front and Lincoln Country has grizzly bears...just something to be aware of.

There are hotels in Lincoln and Choteau...have stayed in a couple of them, but its been years and I cant remember which ones we even stayed in.

Good luck and have fun.
I could use a weekend like that. Good times!
 

Mthuntinfool

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Oct 7, 2014
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Noxon Mt
The Elkhorn mountains near Helena always had a fair number of blues, and there are sharpies and huns in the flats around Townsend. lots of BLM, forest service, and block management options. that would be my best bet in finding both those species within relatively close driving distance. plenty of lodging in both Helena and townsend. I grew up in Helena so if you have more questions, feel free to PM me. also, adding on to what BuzzH said, I lived in the Conrad Choteau area for several years as well, and that is some great country too.
 
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