Saturday, November 27, 2010

Last Day

Today was the last day of our early grouse season and Emma and I headed north to hunt the strip mines. A slight wind, cold with a skiff of snow it seemed like a perfect day to grouse hunt. A few minutes after we left the truck Emma proved me right and went into a beautiful high headed point. As I moved in I heard but didn't see a grouse flush from grape tangles lower on the ridge. At the sound of the flush Emma moved several yards down the ridge and another grouse took off from the same area. Suddenly Emma goes on point again and I assume that she's pointing the scent of the second bird. I make my way down the ridge toward her and a third bird rises from the tangles and I throw a right barrel shot after it with no effect. A downed bird would have made a perfect scene but I was still very happy with Emma's bird work. We hunted the slippery, tangled ridge slope for several hours but were rewarded with only two wild flushes.

Emma checking in.
What every Allegheny Mountain grouse hunter seeks, a cluster of wild grapes. Grouse just have to be nearby.
A couple pics of the cover we hunted.

We then traveled several miles to the "old orange gate" cover. A place which we've hunted twice with birds moved both times. It didn't disappoint us this time either. After a slow start I heard Emma's beeper go on point mode near the end of the cover. As I worked my way toward her I saw a grouse flying straight at me. Since I didn't know if she had bumped it or if it had flushed on its own I stood and watched it glide by. A little while later as we worked our way toward the truck I saw Emma go on point in open birch woods. She slowly turned her head as she searched for stronger scent, then slowly started trailing down through the woods. Suddenly I saw the grouse take off silently 25 or 30 yards below her giving me no chance for a shot. By now the wind had increased, daylight was fading and the truck appeared around a bend in the road. So I end my early grouse season with no grouse kills for Emma, but with her making good progress today with her grouse contacts. I'm still hopeful that with more exposure to birds she'll mature into a grouse dog.
My late grouse season starts Dec 13. If deep snow doesn't keep us from our covers we'll continue Emma's education............stay tuned :) .


Seth Cassell said...

Looks like some great cover. I was sad to see the early season go. The golden days are over, but lots of winter hunting lies ahead.

Jack Wylie said...

Hey Rick,

Oh, you make this southern boy just long for a New England grouse hunt! Love the pictures and it is apparent that you have truly embraced upland hunting at its best. I look forward to following your hunting treks. Young Caleb seems to have followed in your footsteps as well. Youth hunting is something that we have close to our hearts.

A Free Range Family

Gary Thompson said...

Was Collett called in action for this special outing or another beauty from the gunsafe?

Greyphase said...

The long lean Collett was indeed along on this last outing.

Keep watching I'll soon be introducing.........Elin.