Friday, November 13, 2009

This weeks wanderings

Here are some pictures from this weeks wanderings. I had high hopes in getting Emma into the woodcock flights on this the last week of Pa.'s woodcock season, but my woodcock covers have been bare. The native birds seem to have flown south even though the weather remains warm. The flight birds from up north are nowhere to be found. Have they already slipped through? Are they still holding up north waiting for colder weather to push them southward? Such is the mystery of the woodcock.

On Monday while hunting a woodcock cover Emma pushed out a pheasant with a broken-wing. After a chase through some thick pines she made a nice retrieve.

On Tuesday while hunting a cover in Centre co. I took a shot at a wild flushed grouse (the only bird of the day) and broke a wing. Emma did her part and make another nice retrieve.
The Grulla and the grouse. Emma was a little hard on the grouse's tail so no fan picture.

After the hunt Emma waits to have the ticks combed out.

On Wednesday while Emma was nursing a sore paw, I took Copper to northern Cambria co. to hunt some nice aspen cover I had discovered in the spring. Midway through the hunt she locked up on a nice high-headed point. As I walked in a grouse flushed some 30 feet above and behind her. She remained rock-solid on point so I circled around in front of her and moved in. I could see her eyes searching the ground for the bird she was so sure was there. Suddenly a woodcock flushed between us spirling up in the textbook corkscrew flight. I pulled the front trigger then the back and made a textbook miss with both barrels :( .

Copper after the hunt waiting to be combed out. The ticks this year have been horrible.

On Thursday I hunted Emma in a series of nice thick clearcuts in Blair co. I walked into a large woodcock at the start of the hunt and later Emma flash-pointed a grouse in a spruce tree that flushed without a shot and that was the only action we had there. We then drove to the top of Snake Spring mountain to a cover that I have memories of a wonderful hunt some years ago with Hattie that resulted in a nice point, shot, and retrieve on a grouse. I walked out a well used logging road for 1/2 hour and then took this faint logging trail up toward the top.

The cover is steep, rocky and littered with grape tangles and blown down tree tops.

Emma hunting the steep cover. We moved 3 grouse for no shots in the rocky terrain.

Emma drinking in scent from below.

A view from near the top of the mountain.

Today I'll spend my time in my local woodcock covers in a last minute attempt to find the elusive woodcock.

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