Thursday, October 28, 2010

Emma did her Part........but I Didn't

After a couple of hours of searching for woodcock with no luck, I decided to head for higher ground and look for grouse.
We finally found the grouse. The first 4 were wild flushes but the 5th one held for Emma and I moved in for the flush.
The grouse sailed down the ridge through this cover evading my two shots.

A Hercules Club after taking a load of #8 shot.

Back at the truck Emma asked for her share of the sandwich, which she had rightfully earned.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Day with Copper

The birds continue to elude me. Today Copper and I hunted the Doll Head cover. We moved 3 woodcock with 2 productive points and had 2 grouse wild flush out ahead of us. I had a shot at the second woodcock but Olga and I were "out of step" and it lived to flush another day. I seem to be shooting behind the birds, I think its a combination of those 29 1/2 inch barrels that I'm not getting moving fast enough and being to quick with the trigger or maybe it's just a regular shooting slump that every hunter encounters every now and again :). Spent an hour in a new cover that looked wonderful for both grouse and woodcock but came up empty there. By then it was mid afternoon and the temps were in the upper 60's so we called it a day. Here's a pic of Copper after the hunt.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just Like Old Times

The problem with owning more than one dog is getting them equal time in the woods. I've spend the last several hunting seasons giving Emma most of the hunting time trying to get her experience at the expense of my other two setters Copper and Hattie. I could take a couple out at a time but with my hearing loss and the fact that I enjoy hunting with one dog at a time somebody is always sitting at home while I hunt someone else. Today I had a couple of hours to hunt so I took Hattie to a local woodcock covert in the hopes that a couple would be home. Hattie was my first setter and my yardstick to measure my other dogs, so far no one has measured up to her. At 9 years old age she has a hearing loss that makes it some what difficult to keep track of her in some covers. Today she handled like a champ and it felt like old times with her.
I've hunted this covert for 15 years or more and it still produces birds.

A wet but happy Hattie taking a little break.

The first woodcock she pointed left me with two empty shells to show for the effort, but I was better on her second point and Olga and I were "in step" on this bird. I bumped a third bird on the way out of the cover and so ended a nice morning hunt.
Later in the afternoon I took Emma for a run in a nice looking cover. An old field lying in a steep hollow with patches of aspen.

She hunted her heart out but all she found was a small pond to cool off it.

The weather forecast is warm and windy tomorrow, but hope to get out with Copper. First I have to get a check in the mail for another gun. Yes another hammergun, a 16 ga, of course, with 30 inch damascus barrels, 6 lbs. 3 ozs. , made in the 1880's in Liege Belgium one of the oldest centers of gunsmithing in the world. You'll get to meet her as soon as she arrives :).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First Hunting Trip of the Season

First hunting trip of the season began with a trip to a reclaimed stripmine. Emma bumped a grouse 100 yards from the truck and a little later I almost stepped on a grouse that flushed from some old logs that I was climbing over. Last season I decided not to shoot wild flushes and I continued it this year as I watched the grouse sail away. We made the long climb to the top of the mountain where the stripmine was overgrown with locust, aspen, & alders growing in fields of goldenrod and briers. Emma went on point in some chest high goldenrod and locust trees. As I made my way to her a woodcock flushed off to the right. I threw two shots at it more to honor Emma's point than to hit it and it flew on to live another day. but Emma had held the point nicely and I was pleased with her. We hunted the area thoroughly but didn't find anymore woodcock so started back down the mountain. I had another wild flush while Emma was hunting below me and that was it for the day. Didn't get any nice shots of the cover we hunted so here's one of Olga my first Husky with her new sling.
Some kind of Lichen that I've noticed growing in several of my covers.
Some kind of weird puffball. It had a pretty neat pattern on it.

Back at the truck for a tick comb out. Have most of the next 4 weeks off and hope to get Emma into some birds. Stay tuned.