Prior to the season I took a break from working dogs and went up to New Brunswick salmon fishing with Jack Harang. We caught two super fish along with some smaller ones. Jack’s was a 45 incher mine was 42 both fish probably tipped the scales over 30 pounds. Pretty exciting on a fly rod. As you can see from the picture Andrew Anthony (my guide) had his hands full holding up my fish for the camera.
Today we are having torrential rains and we have stayed inside where its warm and dry. So far the bird season has been good here in Northern New Hampshire and yesterday we ran into what seemed like the first of the woodcock flights. Mariah was down and we moved about 10 birds in 30 minutes she managed to point some and we killed one for her. Unlike some dogs who don’t really like picking up woodcock, Mariah has mouthed and played with the birds we have shot for her this fall. Everybody out of the truck has had a chance at birds in almost every cover we’ve hunted. Tony hurt his back just before the season started and has been the “weakest link” in the team. Yesterday afternoon I wanted to try a new cover that Tom Parker had found birds in when running his bear dogs. Tony was less then enthusiastic and although he got out of the truck with his shotgun he did not follow me up into the cut when I turned Jack loose. In the first large clump of poplars, Jack’s bell stopped. I went in by myself and all hell broke loose as grouse started coming up in front of me in bunches of two and three. There was probably a dozen birds there. I stood in one spot and reloaded twice. I could hear Tony shooting back on the landing. Tony’s a very good shot in the woods standing out in the open trying to hit what amounted to high flying driven grouse he came up empty. I ended up with two birds and it was interesting to note that their crops were filled with different food although the flushed out what must have been the same brood. One bird was full of clover and other greens, the other was full of catkins. Go figure.
The weather’s supposed to improve tomorrow and Tim Perske is coming to up from Pennsylvania to hunt with us for a few days. That will mean more shags on the truck. When we hunt with three people, the guy running the dog leaves his gun in the truck, I’ll try to remember the camera tomorrow and get some good shots to post here.