As I walked the edge of the stream I remembered to look for muskrat holes in the thick goldenrod. A good way to break a leg. Sure enough I found several.
Finally the stream steered us into a wall of impenetrable alders and we had to turn back to the truck.
As we approached the truck Emma suddenly went on point. I moved in for the flush but no bird materialized. Emma broke point and started working scent furiously and I knew we had a running bird. Ahead of her I saw the woodcock flush and it winged its way past me for an easy shot that I passed on, figuring that Emma would learn nothing by my shooting a bird that she hadn't pointed solidly. Just one bird in this nice looking cover but on the right day I'm sure it could be full of woodcock.
We moved to another spot that featured a beautiful hollow full of aspen saplings that cried out "Woodcock". Today they weren't there.
But it did lead us to a huge strip mine growing back in nice looking cover. Emma had two empty points and later I hear a grouse flush in the vicinity that she was hunting in.
The temperature was heating up so we headed back to the truck. Along side some standing water I saw movement in the grass that turned out to be this fellow, sunning itself before winter drove it underground.