The Final Trip
Yes, all good things must someday come to an end, and so it was with my grouse guiding season in 2009. Coming along for the ride out this time were Dean and Paul, repeat customers from my 2008 season. Now, last year we had what I would call a "Bataan death march" of a grouse hunt - we only put up a mere 10 grouse in two days last year - numbers that just don't add up if you've been a frequent visitor to
this page. It was very tough and I felt sorry for the guys. Needless to say, the pressure was on to produce results this year, and it thankfully worked out very well. We hunted in the NEK of Vermont for this last hunt - not only had the black powder deer season began in northern NH, but, more importantly, the deer season had not yet begun in the Green Mountain state. Greta and Rudy were fired up and ready to go
after a few days lounging on my couch, so all systems were "GO". Our first morning alone in Vermont produced 8 grouse, nearly equal to our two day total last year. We would chase around 8 more in the afternoon for a one day total of 16 grouse. Chasing grouse is one thing - actually getting a good shot at and hopefully hitting them is another matter. Dean managed to scratch down one bird kicked out from the
spruce beside a trail, but that would be all that day. Still, there were some good chances and great dog work, so everyone was pretty happy with the day's events. The next day would be even better - 20 grouse flushed, seen, heard and otherwise disrupted from
their normal routine. Once again, there was great work from both hounds and some good chances came Dean and Paul's way, but none fell on this day. We had a great time over the two days together and thoroughly reveled in our scotch and cigars at the end of the hunt. I look forward to doing it again in 2010 ...