17/09/12 Filed in: 2012 Training
Fall’s in the air for sure now, folks. 38 degrees this morning, chilly enough to get the woodstove going and also to contemplate all of those great days ahead. Yes, we’re all getting excited for the Vermont and New Hampshire seasons now, and the wait is almost over. The leaves are slowly changing, a bit more rapidly in the uplands, but there’s still a lot of green out there right now. Hopefully we have some more cold nights soon to hasten the colors.
Nearly four hours in the woods of Vermont this morning yielded 14 grouse pointed / sighted. Most were singles at first, then Monty made a nice point on a pair in the shade. That started us off on an hour in which we ran into most of the grouse that we saw today - first Rudy made a nice point on a lone grouse, then he got in to a brood of probably four more that made their escape in waves. Did I mention that the woods are thick right now? That means we didn’t see too many, just heard the whirring of their wings on take off.
The majority of these birds were in an “old faithful” kind of spot, then we checked a few smaller covers prospecting for grouse, in which we only saw one more. No woodcock today, but there was some evidence that they had been there recently. The woods are dry again, but we’re expecting some weather to come in tomorrow and Wednesday, so that should help things out a bit.
More updates to come as we get closer to September 29 (VT opener) and October 1 (NH opener).
14/09/12 Filed in: 2012 Training
Another good scouting session this morning - approximately 10 woodcock pointed / moved in about 1.5 hours. Not too bad for Rudy and Monty, and they did a good job for the most part of helping each other out by honoring each other’s points. We still have some work to do there though, so that will be the focus of our efforts heading in to the season. My preference is to hunt them alone once the season arrives, but with the temperatures warming quickly lately, running them at the same time to get their work in has been the best option for them.
I was able to take a short video this morning of the dogs on point. It was actually Monty who was first on point, with Rudy dangerously close to busting the woodcock (that’s why I’m yelling “WHOA!” on the video), but thankfully they held their points and the bird fluttered away. Once again, sorry about the camera action, but these birds don’t hold too well for a hack like me, but you will hear the whistle of the woodcock if you listen hard. This video also illustrates why I use beeper collars - they are indispensible in finding your pup when he’s on point!
We checked out a couple new spots this week that looked like they had some potential on Google Earth, but unfortunately they turned out to be rather slow. So, we turned our attention to a couple of areas that we haven’t hunted in a year or two and they were surprisingly good - 13 grouse were pointed / moved by Rudy and Monty in merely two hours. I’ll take those numbers every time and this season is looking very good for our pursuit of grouse and woodcock.