Saturday, January 3, 2015
A New Covert, An Old Covert, and a Tease
Emma and I hunted a new covert last week. Christened the Keal Run covert it consists of a ridgeside clearcut, a hollow with a stream, and another ridge covered with grapetangles and downed treetops. We hunted the clearcut first. The deer fence had been recently removed making a nice path around the perimeter to walk.
Although the cover looked nice we didn't move any grouse this day, but will be hunting it again next season.
We next hunted up the hollow along the stream.
This area also proved to be void of grouse.
We finally started up the opposite ridge with it's tangles of grapes.
A ridge like this should have held grouse in numbers, but we managed only one wild flush.
Back at the truck I decided to try Porcupine Ridge which was nearby. It's just a short hunt with thick autumn olive and grape tangles but today the grouse were there. In the space of 20 minutes we had 1 wild flush, and two points neither of which gave me a shot, but it was nice to end the day moving some birds.
The next day Thicket and I headed north for her 1st hunt away from home. I decided on the Church Hill covert as I usually found a few grouse there although I've yet to carry one out of this covert. I didn't take many pics as I had left the hammerguns at home and was carrying my Grulla in hopes of getting a shot at a wild flushed grouse to get some feathers in Thickets mouth.
Thicket hunted nicely and pushed out a single grouse off the ridge above me as I walked an old logging road. I caught a glimpse of the bird flushing and could see Thicket standing watching the bird sail away. Later as we worked our way along the logging road I saw Thicket suddenly run off the downhill side of the road and a pair a grouse flushed.
We found this den. It looked too big for a groundhog, maybe a fox or coyote??
The sun was in the wrong position in this pic, but I added a sepia tone to make it more viewable.
We ended the day with no shots fired, but I still considered it a successful hunt with Thicket showing me that she was getting the idea of what these "walks in the woods" were all about.
With the weather forecast looking dismal for the weekend and bitter cold for next week Emma and I headed out for what could be our last trip to my northern coverts.
I decided on the Brady Ridge-Pheasant Road coverts as I had moved a number of grouse there last time. We left the truck at 9:00 with the temp. at 27 degrees and a stiff wind blowing. We tried the windy side of the ridge first with no luck then moved over the top to the sheltered side. It felt much warmer there but we only found one bird who didn't hold for Emma to point as it flushed out of a downed treetop.
With no more bird contacts we moved on to the Pheasant Road covert.
After a big circle of weaving our way through the tree tops and briers we got back to the truck with only one wild flush.
On the drive back to the paved road and civilization a small grouse ran across in front of the truck. As I slowed to watch it flush down through the open timber, movement just off the road caught my eye and I saw what had attracted her to this place.
Just feet off the road this boy strutted his stuff as if to tease me before sailing away after his lady friend. To me it was a nice way to end the day.