Late October is great for hunting grouse. Not only are the temperatures nice and cool, great for exerting yourself nearly to cardiac arrest in the woods, but there are no leaves blocking us from actually seeing the objects of our desires. The good hunting continued with Harry, Matt and Pete, a father and two sons that have lots of upland hunting experience. They're geographically spread out, but they still get together for waterfowl excursions on occasion. The upland hunts are tougher to schedule now, so I was glad that we could get out together. Now they've been up here before several times but had devoted themselves to hunting for woodcock mostly, so our first day of hunting revolved around seeking grouse. We didn't see a lot of grouse that day (12), but both Matt and Pete had many good chances at birds, which is not always the case as we all know.
We had some excellent dog work from Pete's shorthair Shane, while Rudy and Greta both had moments of bird dawg bliss. The points were impressive, and the boys hooked up on four of their shots. The next day we got more into the flight woodcock and in a mere four hours we put up 15 timberdoodles and two more grouse. One of those grouse came very close to meeting his maker after an incredible point from Rudy, but he sailed away to safety - the culprit of the errant shot will remain nameless ... Four of the woodcock made it to the rear vest pocket, so Matt and Pete had four grouse and four woodcock to show for their two hunts. Harry did a great job of keeping up with all of us, but made the crucial upland bird hunting mistake when he had a woodcock fly right in front of him down the trail. You see, Harry was midway through the telling of a hunting tale to me, and was essentially unprepared when that bird got up. By the time I nudged him to let him know there was a bird begging for his attention, it was too late. I'm sure the woodcock is appreciative of Harry's generosity, and is probably slurping down an earthworm in Harry's honor as I type this. Just kidding Harry! The grouse and woodcock gods smiled upon this group and granted our intrepid hunters some momentary success, and we give a heartfelt "thank you" to them for this.