By Joel Schnell
for Ruffed Grouse Minnesota
Last fall I had the honor of guiding a couple of hunters new to ruffed grouse hunting, in an event with the RGS and Her Wilderness. The key to a successful event like this is an orientation before we hit the woods. A little safety refresher, an overview of the gear and clothing required, and a description of what we will encounter in the hunt.
We had a great group of volunteer guides that allowed small groups of 3-4 to hunt together. Each guide knows the area so we could hit productive spots without a lot of guesswork. Everyone got to see some birds, and even a few bagged their first.
A few pointers to help make a great experience for the guided: we gave the gals a whistle on a lanyard. Everyone likes a little gift, and we instructed how we give one tweet to our fellow hunters when in thick cover for position. Another tip, provide lunch. Maybe just a sandwich from the grocery deli. Our guests both didn’t bring lunch in the hustle to pack up and drive North. We shared our lunch and that was fine. It just eliminates one more detail the guests don’t have to worry about.
Upon returning to base camp, the group provided dinner. I overheard much happy chatter from our new friends about their hunt. It’s a less stressful introduction to hunting if family or significant others are trying to teach and hunt at the same time.
Mentor a young person to hunt this fall. You will find it as rewarding to the guide, as it is to the guided.
By Joel Schnell
Posted August 2, 2020.
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