Friday, December 17, 2010

A Cold Quiet Day

Emma and I entered one of my southeastern covers around 10:00 with the temp hovering at 21 degrees. Many of the clearcuts on state forest land are surrounded by an 8 foot tall fence to keep the deer out while the young saplings have a chance to grow. The fence had recently been taken down around this cut and we hunted the edge following a trail that encircled the cut with Emma hunting in the thick saplings with occasional circles through laurel thickets and downed logs scattered in the open woods. One log begged to be a backdrop for an Elin photo. About an hour later we were back at the truck without seeing or hearing any sign of a grouse.We traveled down the forest road to another more mature cut where several springs ago my nephew and I had moved 6 grouse on a training run. An old stone wall along the lower edge of the cut made a nice trail to follow.

Emma stopping in to offer encouragement before continuing her quest.

Suddenly there they were. Sign that we were not alone on this mountainside.

The tracks led up into this tangle of rock and saplings and although we hunted with renewed vigor the bird had vanished.

A snow squall swept in as we struggled back up the mountain toward the truck. Soon Elin's barrels were covered with a coating of snow and I wondered how many times in the last 97 years in her native Swedish covers she had been carried through weather just like this and I had to smile at myself for having such thoughts as my mind wandered just as my feet wandered slowly back to the warmth of the truck.


Gary Thompson said...

I chase the little blue and gray missile tomorrow (scaled quail), probably with same result as your grouse outing. We got a dusting of snow today that should hold overnight. I hope that will give me an edge. I do know that my legs will be tired and my dog will sleep well tomorrow evening. I may give that whole only shoot over a pointed bird thing a whirl in your honor.

weather said...

weather maps from Global Forecast System

Anonymous said...

Nice GP,
Thanks for sharing and congrats on the new addition, Elin.

I'm in hopes of finding tracks in the snow myself, my daughter & I are heading out tomorrow.