Tall Timber Lodge

Flight Plan: Woodcock Are In

Greetings from the north country, where the grouse and woodcock play. It seems like a pretty good start so far to this year’s hunt. Grouse numbers appear to be the same, and maybe even a bit better than last year. It also looks like our resident woodcock fared very well this spring and summer, but the early flights have begun up here as well, so things are really cooking.

I had Art and Craig Stucchi with me the last few days, and while we had quite a few bird contacts our first day (13 grouse, 9 woodcock), we endured a tough day two (9 grouse flushed) in very windy conditions. This made for some jumpy grouse that didn’t want to play “the game”.

Our third day out saw near perfect conditions - high 50’s, sunny and light winds - and the birds were very cooperative. The conditions greatly helped the dog work - Greta (at left) was nothing short of amazing, pointing somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 - 25 woodcock and making excellent points on two of the three grouse that she encountered (one was in a tree!).

Rudy (at right) followed suit in the afternoon, with a couple of woodcock points, but he really excelled at finding and pinning several grouse that offered good chances for Art and Craig. They concluded their day with 1 grouse and 3 woodcock bagged for each of them, with nearly all of the birds being pointed by Rudy and Greta. We moved around 14 grouse and 25 woodcock on this amazing day.

It reminded me of some of the times I went bird hunting with my brother Chuck back in the 80’s - the hay day of upland hunting up here, and I heard several of our weekend guests say the same. Don’t worry, even I know that this is the exception and not the norm ...
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