The Folly of Filming a Grouse Hunt

Every now and then we have to try something different so that non - grouse hunters can try to understand the obsession with our chosen sport. While trying to film the moment when a good dog goes on point, leading in to hunters moving in, to the flush of a fast escaping grouse, seems like a good idea, it seems to me that this is nearly impossible to accomplish, for several reasons.

  1. Grouse are unpredictable - the dog may do his job to perfection, but if the bird runs away on the point before the hunters get there, all is for not ...
  2. Dogs are unpredictable - they don't always have a solid point, or end up busting the bird ahead of schedule.
  3. Hunters are unpredictable - we miss quite often, so filming the point / flush / shot of a grouse hunt where everything goes as it should is rare.
  4. The director / cameraman falls down - nothing needs to be said here.

Anyway, here is my feeble attempt at
filming a grouse hunt last week in Vermont. This is actually a conglomeration of four hunts, three of which were on the same day. All involved the same dog, Monty, my two year old GSP. He had some great moments last week, but unfortunately, the cameraman (me) missed some of those moments. Enjoy ...

September 24 Update

Beautiful day out there today - the leaves are changing as you read this, insuring some brilliant outings in the days ahead. Not much leaf drop yet, so we’re hearing the grouse as they escape, and rarely viewing them in the act. Still seeing broods now and then, so the fall dispersal is still probably a couple weeks away. We did encounter a few grouse in old apple tree cover, so if you have spots like these you go to, there could be some birds there already.

We have continued our schedule of four days a week hitting the woods in search of birds in areas old and new, with varying results. Seems like our tried and true covers have been producing as usual, but the new spots have yielded fewer sightings of grouse and woodcock. Sometimes they’re not there at all, and sometimes we’re just in the wrong part of the cover at the wrong time. Rudy and Monty have certainly done their part in our scouting searches.

As one of the best grouse hunters I know says,
“A grouse cover is like a house - we just have to find out what room they’re in.”

Vermont opening day is this Saturday, and New Hampshire opens a week from today - hope you’re ready!