18 October 2009
Is it possible to change from one style of hunting to another, almost entirely different, type of hunting? I'm not sure, but we made a valiant attempt at it for two days with Warren and Yvonne. In all honesty, Warren had pursued upland birds prior to this, but Yvonne was a true novice to grouse and woodcock hunting. A duck and goose hunting enthusiast, Yvonne may have been used to the sudden explosion of wings from incoming waterfowl. In grouse hunting, we have explosions too - of a different kind, and they take some getting used to if you've never done it before. She learned quickly that things happen very fast in hunting upland style. Good numbers of pa'tridges and timberdoodles went up, and four of the woodcock made it to the game bag. Only time will tell if Warren can convince Yvonne to slog through the north country uplands again in pursuit of our favorite quarry!
Chris and Frank from Denver were my victims for grouse and woodcock chasing for these three days. We hunted together last year as well and they must have been gluttons for punishment, because they agreed to contract my services again this year.
Now, not only did I have to endure their constant taunting about how the Broncos beat my beloved Pats the week before, but I also had to listen to them taunt each other on their shooting abilities. Truth be told, Chris and Frank are two of the best shots that I've seen - those easy swinging 28 gauges have sent many a grouse and woodcock to the great covert in the sky. Let me tell you, we had a great time together - all told, we had sixty (yes, that's 6 - 0) flushes for three days of traipsing over hill and dale. Chris was a great sport, as he continually slogged through the slash to leave Frank on the trail to take all of those "easy" shots. Frank held up his end of the bargain most times in connecting with most of his attempts. There was one day however, where the birds just weren't flying his way, and Chris had to pick up the slack in limiting out on woodcock. Four grouse and five
woodcock made it to the game pouch for them over the three hunts.
We also had the good fortune of hunting behind Chris's gordon setter Watson over the three days. If you've never hunted behind a gordon, do so if you can - Watson was very thorough in his searches for birds and his desire was second to none. Hunting behind a gordon also takes you back 150 years or so when this great breed was a fixture for upland hunting. With Rudy on the IR from a foot injury the week before, Greta helped out mightily and was very tough on the birds. She's the consummate pro and I never get tired of watching her work.
Both Chris and Frank earned their scotch and cigars at the end of each day - nice job guys and I look forward to doing it again next year!