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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Im a rookie hunter from essex county. Recently took hunters ed course, got my firearms id, and got my first shotgun. Im interested in upland bird hunting this coming fall in our fine state and was hoping you guys could give me some tips and pointers.

Things like which WMA's you would recommend, which WMA's to avoid, good time of day to hunt, strategies, etc. And any general advice would be greatly appreciated as I am pretty new to all this.

I dont have a hunting dog (except for a dachshund at home :D) so ill be hunting solo. In the mean time im going to try to shoot alot of trap and skeet over the summer.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Wear an orange vest and hat...if you hear other people through thick brush make your presence known. I also have no dog I try and meet up witha couple other guys and basically drive fields. It gets worse and worse every year in my opinion. A couple years ago I saw someone get shot in the face I think the guy lost an eye. This last year I saw a bird coming down to face level and a guy shoulderin his weapon and im screaming HOLD YOUR FIRE and the moron shoots anyway and almost shot someone. Just be careful and avoid saturdays..dont shoot birds on the ground unless your sure there is nobody elses dog around.
 

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Word of Advice...DON'T be like one of those rookie guys from Essex County!!![eyeroll] (Hey, I live at the shore...anyone NE of Perth Amboy is a BENNY to me!:D)

I don't know why, but IMO the closer they are to NY, the more they seem to be weekend warriors thinking they're the next great outdoorsman(thus what the previous guys wrote about near death weekends!) It's rude and dangerous! Respect the sport and you'll get a lot more out of it.

Birding is my favorite by far. If you're shooting trap & skeet, talk to the guys at your range. The ones who have been around alot know where to go. IMO real hunters won't mind taking you along on their next hunt. (And yes, there are some good guys from Essex!):)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow! Didnt realize it was that crowded and risky. Although it being a state as dense as NJ I guess im not surprised. Maybe I will go to a game farm instead for pheasant and quail.

What about early grouse season, before pheasant and quail season opens? Less crowded/safer? Are there any grouse in north east new jersey (sussex/warren/hunterdon areas)?
 

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for me and my hunting pals we try to stay clear of flatbrook and wittingham opening day and satdays.Other than that u can go anywhere IMO!! Goodluck this season might see you[up]
 

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all w.m.a are insane i stoped buying a stamp years ago try to find a club with a semi permit i dont belong to one but others on this site can tell you its the way to go and then you can hunt sundays
aswell i saw one bird get shot by ten hunters then they were fighting over it thats what made me quit
 

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Wear an orange vest and hat..
and safety glasses[up]
Go on opening day but don,t bring your gun. sit back in a safe area and watch the circus. All WMA's will be the same.Assunpink is easy to walk fields but Colliers Mills and Greenwood take a little bit of time to learn the terrain. Weekday hunting is a little better on WMA's. My daughter & I will be going out on Tuesdays & Wednesdays.
Good Luck
 

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Colliers Mills
I will NEVER hunt there again...I stopped counting at 60 people lined up to walk a field and then you had a bunch of other idiots trying to sneak to the other end of field...guys marching towards each other it sounds like a war zone a ton of guys shooting at the same bird....pheasant hunting isnt as much fun to me anymore...sometimes I would park walk in 30 feet and shoot two birds...then an hour drive back home lol
 

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That's why I show up at my spots at around 10am, Most guys are gone by then and the birds start to move around some. It takes longer to get your two birds though, but hay? it's better than fighting the crowds.
 

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i saw one bird get shot by ten hunters then they were fighting over it thats what made me quit
I quit years ago when the stamp was only $20 dollars. I quit cause a bird went up about 10 foot over my head, some guy shot it, and it landed at my feet.

The guy actually had the balls to come over to me and proceed to yell at me that it was his bird. Although I did not shoot, I still went home with the bird and never set foor in the "PUMPKIN PATCH" again.

Might go back to it this year, but like Ghostbear said, after most of the guys have already left for the day. I do miss it, and I did enjoy it, but on those opening mornings, and saturdays, it is a real battlefield.
 

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i agree with GhostBear,i go to stocked lands between 10 and 11,that way the army of orange left for the day,the birds are pretty much settled down and my dogs can actually work.i try to save some time from work to go to stocked lands during the week,a lot less folks.in the f&g regulation book and on the website they put out a stocking schedule,the website has the days.for first time out,go to a preserve,bentcreek is a good one.most preserves will help you out.they also have guides with dogs.
 

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Welcome aboard skyland. What town in Essex?

(And yes, there are some good guys from Essex!
Thank you kindly Pilgrim.[patcheye]

.I stopped counting at 60 people lined up to walk a field
I saw that at Colliers back in 78. The hunters were lined up shoulder to shoulder for over qtr mile. A bird jumped up and flew across all of them . By this time I had already said to hell with all those hunters and set up a half mile away.
I could see the action and the bird. They must have shot over 20 boxes of shells at this thing. I had a .410 and had a bead on it as it was comming right to me. it was within 15 yds and I took my gun and placed the stock on the ground holding the barrel and said to the bird, "you deserve to fly by you've earned it". This happened over 30 years ago and I remember it like it happened last season.

Like TU says Limit your Kill Don't Kill your limit. Hell I had just as much fun this morning in the woods doing a little ranging and prep work.[drinking][patcheye]
 

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You can still enjoy good upland hunting in NJ.Just go on the non stocking days or after the crowds have left.A good bird dog is priceless!Many PA. residents pay the out of state license fee to hunt our birds.There are grouse in the NW areas but you are going to have to do some homework to find them.There seems to be a good number of woodcock lately,and yes there are wild quail down south but they are very hard to hunt.Good luck.
 

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If you want to hit the WMA's, try getting there on Saturday's after 10:00AM or hunt the weekdays. Most of the armies have left by that time and you'll have a more pleasureable day walking around.
I don't know why, but IMO the closer they are to NY, the more they seem to be weekend warriors thinking they're the next great outdoorsman
[confused]

I don't judge people's outdoorsmanship or abilities by what exit number of the GSP they live close to. That's a poor stereotype. If you're in Essex County you'll be close to Black River which is stocked with pheasant and you'll find woodcock there as well in October.
 
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