Saturday was a typical day in the North Country, We moved bunches of birds with Little Thuddy, Jack, Frankie, Rigby, and LJ. Eight Grouse and double digit woodcock were found in some of our best covers. Big Thudd was up to drop Rigby at Camp Stokely and brought the usual great steaks and other fixings. But Thursday night we had 2.5 inches of rain, then 1.5 inches Friday night and another half last night and that seemed to change things up for our birds. We went to one cover where we had moved more than a dozen woodcock in one session at other times this summer and LJ and Bertha hunted all the right places and found only one bird. Then we went to a cover that had 8 birds in when Tony and Dave were out there Friday and Saturday and Dave’s dog Ginger (can’t those guys come up with new names? This is the third Ginger out of Tony’s breeding) went birdless. Then we went to a spot we had driven by a few times lately that looked just like some of our best training covers (at least it did from the road). Here in New Hampshire many of the hillsides are damp with seeps and other wet spots doting the hillsides. It is around these wet spots that we often find both grouse and woodcock. The spot we tried yesterday looked like the right age-class with open lanes where the shears and skidders had traveled to harvest the wood, but there was no water despite over 4 inches of rain in the last few days. Trip and Bee worked this cover over pretty well with Trip finally getting bored and pointing a chipmunk while Bee finally found a grouse a couple hundred yards down the road from the landing we had parked on. That was it. Five dogs run and we found 1 woodcock and one grouse.
There is a silver lining. When the woodcock start moving around in large numbers it means that fall is not far away.