2020 Upland and Waterfowl Guide Trips – Book Now!
I know that it’s almost July, but the Fall hunting season is less than 90 days away! We have already started booking upland and waterfowl trips so don’t miss the opportunity to chase the King of Gamebirds (Grouse) or Timberdoodles (Woodcock) in the woods and ducks and geese in fields, marshes and the rivers of northern Michigan.
For those of us that chase birds all Fall, September kicks off our time to hit the woods and is somewhat of a religion in the North Woods. I’ve been guiding clients for grouse, woodcock and waterfowl for many years and have put together the following options for hunters and gundogs of all ages and stages.
First of all, I wanted to remind those itching to work their gundogs on wild birds, you can re-enter the woods with your dog on July 8th to scout for the upcoming Fall. I recommend that you start hydrating your dogs before the day you are working them. Dogs are closer to the ground where it is even hotter with less wind so scout early and late in the day and take plenty of water for you and your pup while in the field!
Regardless of your scouting, let’s look at what we offer at Hawkins for Fall in the woods and on the water.
NOTE: All wingshooting trips include dogs, decoys, watercraft etc. Clients need guns, appropriate shells (nontoxic for waterfowl), clothing (blaze orange for upland hunting), eye and ear protection.
Guided Hunts at Thundering Aspens
Sept 1st-December/January depending upon snow depth.
I have been a member at this private club for many years and can guide clients for the wildest pheasants this side of the West. This is NOT put and take. Birds that have had minimal to no human contact are released each year to supplement the wild reproduction that has existed on the Wright family’s properties for over 30 years. It is a great half day afield for groups of at least 2 hunters and you can use our dogs or your own. For young dogs, this is also a great way to continue the development of your gundogs as they transition to wild birds. Hunts are 4 hours in length and work well for a day of cast and blast with Hawkins as well. The season at Thundering Aspens (TA) opens on September 1st and is critical to book ASAP as these spaces fill fast on the calendar.
Pricing: $250 per hunter with a minimum of 2 hunters. 6 birds are included in the price and additional birds can be paid for as well.
Grouse and Woodcock Hunts
Grouse – September 15th-November 14th; Dec 1st-January 1st. Woodcock – September 19th-November 2nd
Chasing the King of the Gamebirds and Timberdoodles is a great way to spend a Fall day. With flushes that can make you jump out of your game vest, the grouse can be a ghost that is thrilling to chase. Last season was amazing with 25 flush days on many occasions. The season opens every year for grouse on September 15th. Woodcock opens a few days later. Broods are still together and many of these hunts are best done in the early or late of the day due to heat. By the first part of October, broods break up and the males are kicked out of the nest first, followed by the females. These first two weeks of October can be crazy as young birds are many times not in typical habitat as they disperse. By the middle of October, the birds are all back together for the eventual winter season and hunting continues to heat up through November 14th when the season closes for the two weeks of whitetail rifle season. Depending upon weather, the month of December gives us one last chance to hit the woods again. Don’t miss the opportunity to chase grouse this Fall!
Pricing: Full day $550 (7 hours)/ Half day $400 (4 hours). Price is for 2 hunters. Lunch on the full day is contingent on Covid procedures for 2020.
Waterfowl Hunting – Boat, kayak, field or layout boat
Seasons (subject to final Federal approval later this summer):
Early Teal/Goose: September 1-15th
Duck: Oct 3rd – December 1st. Second weekend of December for late season.
Goose: Oct 3rd – December 20th.
Michigan is blessed with an abundance of water, and therefore has some amazing waterfowl hunting due to the intense concentration of rivers and lakes in our state. Also, many ducks and geese follow the Great Lakes on their annual migration routes. This adds up to some great opportunities as the migration gets going in Fall.
We hunt out of boats in marshes and float our rivers for a more traditional experience of blind hunting with decoys. For a more unique experience, join us in our extremely stable sit on top kayaks for an “in your face” memorable day on the water. I have hunted out of kayaks for over 20 years and can tell you it is a great, active way to hunt ducks and geese. If field hunting is more your style, these hunts can be hot and heavy, depending upon the timing and migration. Finally, we use layout hunting on the larger lakes and Bays for mallards, as well as diving ducks!
No matter the way that you like to pursue waterfowl, we have you covered for a memorable morning on the water. These hunts, as well, can be joined with some Fall steelhead cast and blast action!
Pricing for (1-2 hunters. Additional hunters $100 each):
Boat/Kayak/Field: Morning or Evening $400;
Layout: Morning Hunt $500; Extended Day $650
As you can seek we have many different wingshooting opportunities for you each Fall. Remember that Cast and Blast opportunities exist as well. Please give Cherie a call at 231-228-7135 to book your trip while there’s still room!