More Scouting, and an Indoctrination

Foliage is already beginning to change up here!
We've been out in the woods several times over the last week, looking for some evidence of grouse and woodcock, with mixed results. It's always tough to tell what's going on at this time of year, as the grouse are still in their family units and not widely distributed yet, but it's still great exercise for the dogs and myself regardless.

We've also started the low scale training of Bode, the newest addition to the guide lineup (who should be doing his thing next fall I hope) by running with the older dogs. This seems to be the best training, as Bode already is soaking in some of Monty and Rudy's lessons while we've been out there. Although the woods are extremely dry right now, it's still tough for a pup to get through, so we're taking our time with the little guy. At only 9 - 10 weeks old, his little legs can only carry him so far ...

Rudy, Bode and Monty, looking for grouse in August
While we've seen a few woodcock here and there, the grouse numbers have been low so far, except for last Friday evening. After a fruitless beginning to our scouting mission, Monty suddenly went on a beautiful point in a stand of mature yellow birch and spruce. After a short search, I rounded a small knoll and saw the outline of a grouse about 20 yards away - then everything broke loose and I lost count of how many grouse there were - 8 maybe, and of pretty good size. This is the first large brood that we've encountered this summer, and we hope there's a lot more of them out there this fall.