Tall Timber Lodge

October 24 Upland Bird Hunting Update

paul-miracle-grouse
Sometimes we must sit back and realize what we witness out there in the grouse woods. Sometimes we have to take a little time out of the hunt and admit that we have just seen something amazing. That happened for my client Paul and I today as we hunted with Monty this morning.

After around an hour in the grouse woods this morning, Monty locked on point, and we moved in to try to catch an escaping grouse. Paul glimpsed the birds first, and took two shots at the first escape artist
(the second grouse would get away before Paul could load his gun again), obliterating a sapling with his first attempt, and apparently missing with his second attempt. The bird flew high and far, and seemed none the worse for wear.

paul-sapling
After taking a humorous picture of the sapling, we quickly moved on in the direction of the second grouse to get a follow up, and while Monty had another nice point on this grouse, it once again "got out of Dodge" before we could get in to position. We then resumed our search for new birds, in the best looking adjacent cover when Paul had a bird flush up in front of him, probably one hundred yards from Monty's original point on the pair of grouse. It flew on ahead of us, and we once again pursued.

paul-monty-miracle-grouse
Suddenly, Monty's beeper collar started sounding off again up ahead of us, in cover that, to be kind, no respectable grouse would ever let itself be caught in. He was staunch, even when we came in and walked around him. Thinking nothing there, we took a peak at the cover past the dog (a forbidding spruce/cedar swamp), and when I let Monty off his point, he fervently resumed his search. A few moments later, with Paul and I talking about our options regarding the swamp, Monty reappeared with the beautiful grouse in his mouth. He succeeded in retrieving a bird that we didn't think Paul had hit at least two hundred yards and fifteen minutes before.

He's had some good retrieves in his three plus years of experience in the grouse woods, but this one may take the prize, and proves what a tool of conservation a good dog can be when we go hunting.
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October 22 NH Upland Bird Hunting Update

paul-moves-through-cover
The weather's changing quickly in New Hampshire's north country tonight - getting much colder over the next few days, as well as blustery, and this should move some woodcock down to us in their migration southward. The weather also should have a positive effect for us grouse hunters as well, as the grouse should be on the move looking for the closest food sources in the cold temperatures.

grouse-guano-fresh
Though the conditions grew tougher today (windy, blustery, temps in the 40s, and raining steadily at times), the hunting was actually very good while we were out there. We moved / pointed / harassed approximately 23 grouse and 5 woodcock in our long trek (most of which were hunkered down in the heavy spruce cover), and though few of them offered good opportunities, we had some good work from Monty and Rudy.

However, the most exciting moment was when Paul shot a grouse fleeing from Rudy and his hunting partner Bode, making for the youngster's first score on a wild bird. He has lots to learn on grouse and hunting in general, but he's showing some good form and seems to be learning from his uncle Rudy.

More updates to come soon!!
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