Tall Timber Lodge

Late Season Grouse Hunting

Dawkins, my client's red setter, had a couple of good days of finding grouse and holding staunchly on his points
Amazing weather lately here in northern New Hampshire, and all over the northeast - very mild, and perfect for grouse hunting. While our winter snowmobiling enthusiasts are justifiably worried about the start of the season for riding Pittsburg's trails (officially open on 12/15), we have been able to get out there this week to chase birds and the long range forecast looks favorable for doing so for at least the next week.

There is a smattering of snow in the higher elevations in Pittsburg, but really not too much (maybe 2" - 3"). We have been hunting lower elevations over the past three days and have seen little to no snow, but a fair amount of grouse. It is really not too much different from what we found earlier in the season - some of the birds have been holding well for points, while some have been running on us and getting out and away as fast as they can. In other words, it's grouse hunting …

While we have seen some of the birds in the same haunts where we found them earlier this season, there have been a couple of differences in these late season birds. We have been
finding more birds in thicker spruce cover in general, as they have mostly been avoiding the exclusive hardwood areas. We have also been seeing multiple birds as well - groups of two, three and four birds together have been common, with the high point being a cluster of six grouse that Monty and I discovered last weekend. Sorry that this is not earth shattering information - just make sure you're ready if you blunder in to one bird, because there just might be another one behind it …

Dawkins with one of his best grouse points from yesterday.
We've had some very good dog work these last few days. My client from the first two days had two good setters that worked ahead of us - an english setter named Maggie and a red setter named Dawkins. Both gave maximum effort and each had great points on our north country grouse, none of which fell to my client's gun. Monty also had a very good afternoon on Wednesday, where he pointed all four grouse that he encountered.

Monty's typical pose when he hunts - he's a good one and seems to be getting better.
Today was the warmest day of the week (nearly 50 degrees), and we found a fair amount of birds in the morning with the help of Monty. We moved nine grouse early on, and he pointed four of them - none of which offered great chances unfortunately. They're in the thick stuff after all, and the sight lines are mighty tough. The afternoon was slower for Bode, but he gave everything he had and managed to point two of the three grouse that we encountered. One of them was especially staunch, but the grouse gave us the slip, as we have come to expect at times this season.

Our guiding season ends tomorrow, but it's been a great season for us with lots of excitement - we have a bit over ten months until it all starts again …
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