Tall Timber Lodge

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The lighter of the two crops - mostly green leaves, buds, and even a slug!
Last weekend's clients sent me the following pictures of the two crops from the grouse we harvested on Sunday, and the pictures are amazing. Grouse have been known to eat many different things, depending on their location. If they're near old apple orchards, you can expect apples to be a major food source at this time of year, and we all know that high bush cranberries, hawthorn berries and mountain ash berries are also highly sought after by feeding grouse.


This grouse really strapped the feed bag on, for the incoming bad weather!
But what if none of these food sources are readily present for some of those "deep woods" grouse? Well, their large menu selection just seems to get larger, as they also incorporate the green leaves of raspberry plants and fern tips (what is termed "salad" by grouse hunters), mushrooms, and the buds and seeds of many different types of trees (yellow and white birch, maple, and beech are most prevalent in northern New Hampshire and Vermont). As you can see, these birds had plenty of salad, but the one bird with the "all you can eat buffet" crop also had lots of those maple seeds (whirligigs) - it was undoubtedly loading up for the weather that we had last night and are currently experiencing today.

There have been no hard frosts as of yet, so there is still plenty of salad out there in the woods - if you're hunting in the next week or so up here, you might want to pay attention to some of those thicker "green" areas. There might just be a grouse in there getting its next meal.
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NH Grouse & Woodcock Hunting Update: 10/29

Monty's tough on grouse, and Art and Craig have seen it firsthand.
Sometimes, it all comes together. Good conditions for us and the dogs, clients with unending (well, nearly unending) energy and solid shooting ability, and more than a few grouse and woodcock that hold and occasionally fly the wrong way for them. That's how the last two days went with long time clients of mine, Art and Craig, as we moved 49 birds (22 grouse, 27 woodcock) over this weekend.

All three dogs
(Monty, Bode, and Rosie) worked well this weekend, providing Art and Craig with chance after chance on unsuspecting grouse and woodcock. Monty got the morning duties the last two days, and he didn't disappoint. He pointed and held close the majority of the birds that he saw (9 grouse and 8 woodcock in his two sessions of work) and he really seems to have hit his stride as a grouse dog. He attacks the cover with a mix of energy and patience, and everyone was spellbound at times as he seemed to slink in to his points, whether it was on a grouse or a woodcock - it was beautiful to watch.
Another grouse taken over one of Monty's beautiful points.


On both Saturday and Sunday, Rosie was the second dog out of the truck, as we tried to exploit some of the covers where woodcock are more prevalent. Rosie needs a few birds shot over her right now, and she's been a bit unlucky to be honest - some of her points have gone unrewarded lately. She did very well on Saturday, pointing four of the seven woodcock that she encountered
(she also bumped a grouse), but none of the woodcock were taken on her points. While she was a bit wild yesterday, she hunted closer for us today, pointing both of the woodcock that she encountered - one did not offer a shot, but the other was a clean miss. Better luck next time, Rosie.

Bode nailed a grouse on Saturday
The best work of both days may have been turned in by Bode, as he worked close and pointed a bundle of birds, especially on Sunday. We moved 8 grouse and 6 woodcock this afternoon, and Bode pointed 5 of the grouse and 4 of the woodcock. Some of his points were spectacular, and both Art and Craig had good chances on these birds. They took four grouse and four woodcock over their two days in the grouse woods, but we all know it could have been more - both of them will be seeing and hearing birds flush in their dreams I think. We had a great time and we're all looking forward to next year already …

Bode also pointed a bunch of grouse on Sunday as well.
Tomorrow appears to be a washout up here, but we'll be back at it on Tuesday in Vermont. One week left in our guiding season (two days left in New Hampshire and four days in Vermont), and it looks like Bode and Rosie may have to carry the load. We heard Monty yelp when returning to us on one of his casts, so he may get a couple days off this week. He looked okay tonight at feeding time, so hopefully it is nothing too serious.

Stay safe everybody, and more updates to come!
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