Upland Game Hunting in Minnesota

Come adventure with the Wildman

October Special: Come to Orr, Minnesota for “Hook” (fishing), “Trigger” (hunting), or “Hook & Trigger (combine fishing and hunting on the same day). Orr is home to beautiful Pelican Lake, which is teaming with multiple species of fish, as well as about a bazillion acres of public land for us to hunt ruffed grouse and woodcock – where numbers are much higher than other areas of the state. Two people: $850 for a full day. Inquire with Tim on the “Contact” page.

Autumn is the season when I can do both of my favorite outdoor activities – hunting and fishing.

My favorite upland game to pursue in Minnesota is the ruffed grouse. It moves through the timber like a streak, and makes for the most challenging target. The cryptic feather patterns are beautiful, and when it comes to wild game – there’s not much better tablefare. People come from all over to try their hand at hunting them.

The American Woodcock is a bonus bird that we often get in September, with the best peak numbers of this migratory bird happening in mid-October. Ringneck pheasant, sharptail grouse, hungarian partridge, quail, ducks, and geese round out the birds that I hunt – and although I pursue these much less often – we don’t pass up an opportunity to get them if that is what the client wants. Make sure and ask me if you would like to do a trophy hunt of some kind – such as for a rooster pheasant or a drake wood duck for mounting purposes.

Grouse Guide Minnesota

As with fishing, I hunt through the seasons.

Upland game season opens around the middle of September, but opportunities are limited because of heavy foliage. Still, you should go when you have the time – so as long as the season is open, I am always trying. Opportunities abound when in early to mid-October, the leaves begin to fall and the canopy opens up. By mid-October, the woodcock migration is in full swing, visibility in the woods is much better, and pheasant season is open too. Many agree that a fun way to spend the day is jump shooting potholes while spending most of the day grouse and woodcock hunting. A bonus drake wood duck makes a nice addition to a mixed bag – and wood ducks are very plentiful in Minnesota.

I am careful about upland game hunting in Minnesota throughout November.

The deer season is in full swing throughout the month; half a million “redcoats” are out in the woods trying to get their buck. Not only is it more dangerous for the dogs, but upland game hunting tends to disrupt deer hunters and causes conflict. If I do hunt upland game in November, it will typically be during the week or on private land.

December hunting for grouse and pheasant can be fantastic in Minnesota. Birds tend to group up again – as they were before the broods broke up. At the same time, they can be much more wary. The snow can be deep and the weather can be frigid. This is the time for the most hardy of upland game hunters – but the rewards can be fantastic.

Stay tuned to my site, as “when I get all my ducks in a row” – I plan to be guiding for quail in Southern Arizona during the months of January and February. I’m hoping this will be the case by the season of 2024/2025.


Carl H, Minnesota

I’ve known Tim for a few years now. Tim is a top-notch guide and human being. Spend a morning or afternoon in the woods with him and you will most likely bag some birds. You’ll learn many hunting tips including what cover the birds are in, what foods they are eating, and how to approach and shoot. At the same time, you’ll leave the day knowing that you shared a few laughs, had some great conversation, and made a good quality friend. My guess is you’ll want to come back.

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