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Hi everyone. I moved to NJ two years ago from upstate NY and am looking for some helpful info/advice on pheasant hunting in Northern NJ. I've heard some of the WMAs are almost like the shootout at the OK corral with everything from "mafia types to vaqueros and caballeros"...that's a real quote from a post. From the look of the posts, it seemed to be more common in the central/southern areas. Where are some nice WMAs in the north where I can hunt with my 15 year old son without worrying about ducking 6 shot at every turn? The further north the better. Some local folks in my town who hunt mentioned Old Mine Road, Walpack, Flatbrook are some spots to try but hadn't hunted them in years. Also...any info on grouse, woodcock, or quail would be appreciated. I completely respect everyones favorite spots (Lord knows I have had plenty of them in NY I guarded like state secrets) so I'm not asking for exact grid coordinates. Just general areas to go where I can explore and hopefully kick out a cockbird or two. Thanks much!
 

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Wild quail are off limits, but you can shoot stocked quail at Peaslee and Greenwood WMAs which (I believe) are fairly far south. Stocked pheasants on those WMAs that get stockings see tons of hunters regardless of north, south or central Jersey. If you want to avoid the crowds, go in the off days or the afternoons of stocking days. They are all like Vietnam in the mornings of any stocking days. Woodcock are where you find them and grouse have become so few and far between that I wouldn't tell my wife where to hunt for them and she doesn't even hunt. As for pheasants, there are a lot of stocked WMAs "up north". Black River, Berkshire Valley, Flatbrook Roy, Whittingham, etc., etc. all get a lot of birds stocked.
 

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any stocked WMA on a saturday morning is insane.if you can,go later in the morning or the afternoon.if possible go during a weekday when the state stocks,not too many folks out there then.the state will be posting the stocking schedule soon and make sure you have a phez/quail stamp.a stamp is also needed in the water gap where they stock.quail is closed everywhere except two areas in south jersey,greenwood and peaslee.Grouse,good luck with that! they are all but gone in this state.the state stocks phez in a lot of areas along old mine rd and around van kampen area.good luck.
 

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WMA in north Jersey are not as bad as people tell you. Well let me correct that. Stay away on Thanksgiving and on any stocking day at start time it can get a little uncomfortable. After the first 2 hours most guys go home. I have a dog and go in the afternoons , get my 2 birds no problem and run into few others. I go on non stocking days, have the whole place to myself and get birds. Tue. and Thu. are stocking days and I go 2 hours before dusk and there is nobody there and we get birds. But you need a dog and need to know were the birds get pushed to and hold up. Thats for pheasants.
Woodcock and Grouse, this is a much different story but every man has his price, whats it worth to ya. $$$$
I have been hunting for 42 years, I have and still do non-hunting scouting days, I do my work on google earth to find the right age growth and then scout it in the off season with my dogs. Most days are wasted but then...bingo....flush, droppings. Were you find one you will find 3, their parents.
There is no luck in finding wild birds, it takes hours and days and miles. Thats why no one hunts them, but for us that do, our grouse finds are the same as the deer hunter that has scouted all year for that big buck. He's not going to tell anyone about it ether.
 

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Walpack and Flatbrook advice: Skip opening week, go on weekday afternoons after that. Loaded with cidiots, I would say 50% don't even hunt over a dog, they will try to hunt over yours though. I have seen all kinds of interesting things go on there (fishing nets, climbing trees, pheasant drives, following the stocking truck, road shooting...). I like some of the areas that boarder state park land and NPS land down by Hainey's Mill, Mountain Road, you will be able to see the areas they stock but birds always get pushed up the mountain over there where you'll have less people. I have had better woodcock and grouse luck on State Park land.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to you all for the advice! I'll take a few rides and check some of these spots out over the next several weeks. Good luck to you all, this season.
 

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http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/2014/dighnt22-33.pdf

On the Youth Pheasant Day your son can hunt all day at Flatbrook or the afternoons at the other northern area WMA's (Whittingham, Black River & Clinton). Always a good opportunity for a youngster to get on some pheasant early in the year without worrying about too many other hunters. [up]
 

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i like the Flatbrook Trac the fields are like belonging to a private club. Just have to beaware of your surroundings.
 

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You'll have no problems in the later mornings or afternoons at Black River. I hunt solo and without a dog and haven't had any issues.
 

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Youth Day is a Great thing for the kids !!!! I volunteer as a dog handler every year even though my son is to old for it now …But just watch the area you hunt even on Saturday mornings during the season any where ….there is always someone to happy to pull the trigger without looking ahead !!
 
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