10 December 2017
11/12/17 Filed in: 2017 Bird Hunting
A couple more grouse hunting excursions last week for the pups and myself, with good results for Rosie on Thursday, and for both Rosie and Monty last Friday. Unfortunately, I neglected to hold up my end of the bargain either day, and there was at least one grouse on Thursday that should have been coming home with us. No excuses, just a flat out miss after a staunch point from Rosie. The grouse held surprisingly well for Rosie, but it perhaps had settled in to some sense of security after probably not being bothered too much through the deer hunting season. A little later on that session Rosie once again went on point on another tight holding grouse. This one was standing there under a spruce tree looking at me, and a less cultivated hunter may have been tempted to ground swat it, but I chose to move in and when it flushed I succeeded in reducing a maple sapling to ribbons. The bird sailed away, unharmed by his brush with us, and unappreciative of my lack of marksmanship.
On Friday, we spent two hours in one of our autumn haunts, hitting all of the thicker spruce cover in the hopes of catching up to some grouse. It took a while, but Rosie established point off the edge of the logging road we were working and Monty whoaed to a stop at the edge of a bunch of blowdowns. The grouse rocketed out of the patch of cover before I could get there unfortunately. A little later on, Monty's beeper started going off in another patch of small spruces, and this time Rosie whoaed to a stop. Instead of focusing on the bird, I decided to first take a picture of Monty's staunch point for posterity (you never know, that could be our last point of the season!). Just as I was taking the picture, the grouse flushed out and it would have offered a good chance. At least I didn't have the opportunity to miss that one.
Total, we were in the woods for about 5 hours those two afternoons, moving 7 grouse in our travels, and certainly working hard for the birds we contacted. There was about 3-4" of snow on the ground then, but we have gotten a few more inches of snow in the last few days.
Oh, and we're supposed to get 5-8" more tomorrow. Looks like snowshoes might be the only way to get after them now, and while it's still fun to be bird hunting, showshoes add another challenge to a sport that is difficult enough already. The NH and Vermont grouse seasons go until 12/31.