Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Yup, that’s the kind of weather we’ve had up here the last couple of days, and, guess what, it’s raining right now as I write this. Still, that doesn’t deter the dogs from doing what they do best, and the birds were there after all ... but, not the most comfortable conditions for a stroll in the woods. The other good news is that all of this bad weather has dropped some of the foliage from the trees, so you should expect better shooting opportunites sooner than normal. Of course, this means one less excuse for you to explain your latest miss on a grouse, and you know that will happen!

Nevertheless, Randy and Leighton came along with me for two rain-shortened sessions in Vermont this week. Being veteran grouse hunters, they knew what we were up against due to the weather, but they were determined to find our brown feathered friends in any event. On Day One, we had some great dog work from Randy’s pointer Cocoa - she pointed and relocated beautifully on several grouse, only one of which offered a good shot (Randy is a catch & release bird hunter), with the others flying or running to safety. Randy’s GSP Nugget also worked well before the wind and rain reared it’s ugly head on the first afternoon, and we had a total of nine grouse contacts that first day.

Day Two brought first a light drizzle, then full fledged rain, with us being in the middle of it. Grouse made us forget our discomfort temporarily, as we started hearing and seeing them within ten minutes of leaving the trucks. Rudy did okay, but he was far from his best, as he pointed only three of the nine grouse that we encountered in the morning. Once again, a few grouse offered decent ballistic opportunities, but Randy and Leighton came up empty on those brown rockets. As you would expect, all of the birds were in the thick stuff, with plenty of spruce nearby for cover. By the end of the morning, the worst of both worlds had happened: we were wet and cold!
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