Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Hunt in the Valley

The storied Canaan Valley made famous in George Bird Evans writings was my destination yesterday. At one time a near paradise of grouse and woodcock coverts it's now sadly home to a golf course, two ski lodges, and hundreds of summer homes. I traveled the 2 hour trip  south to try to find the magic that GBE found decades ago. The temperature started to drop as I climbed the Allegheny Front from the low 40's to the 30's as I reached the summit. A skiff of snow greeted Emma and I when we reached the end of our journey, a parking lot along side the Blackwater River.
We started out the old logging road with high hopes and visions of George and Kay walking this same road following their Old Hemlock setters.

The cover proved to be sparser than I had hoped. Consisting mostly of large hawthorn and goldenrod, but still cover that could hold woodcock.

The desolation that the Valley is famous for.

Perhaps the colder weather had pushed the birds southward for although Emma hunted hard we could not find any birds.
As I hunted my way back to the truck I encountered two hunters with a Brittney who told me that they had moved birds in this area other years, so it gave me hope that I had just picked a bad day to hunt this cover.
Tomorrow I'm meeting a friend from Parkersburg WV whom I've hunted with several times on the Dolly Sods.  We'll be hunting a different area and hopefully find some of the ancestors of the birds who made this place a paradise for birdhunters in years past.

No comments: