Monday, December 26, 2011

A Grouse for Copper and Elin

My second season has been a quiet one with only several wild flushes to show for my wanderings. Today I headed to a southern covert close to the Maryland border with Copper to try our luck. Multiflora rose, blackberry briers and autumn olive cover much of the mountain side.

With the wet weather we've had this fall the springs and seeps were running full.

This covert has some stone fence rows that would rival New England covers.

Coppers beeper suddenly switches to point mode and I see her "cat walking" after a running grouse. I move to circle around her as fast as I can manage in the steep and rocky terrain and she locks up on point with a multiflora rose bush between us. As I take a step toward the bush a grouse flushes straight for my head. I duck, turn and fire the right barrel and then the left as the grouse sails down the mountainside and see the bird cartwheel down with a broken wing. Copper sees the grouse fall and catches it as it flutters down the steep slope.

Elin, my 16 ga. Husqvarna hammergun with the first bird I've taken with her.

Copper poses happily with her bird.

We had several wild flushes and one more point that I couldn't reach in time for a shot, but the day goes down as a success with a burning memory of Coppers point and my killing shot.