|Booker Groy and the three grouse he shot over Wild Apple Jack this morning.|
Tom and one of his buddies got bird flu last Thursday and we had a good day despite strong winds. We shot a couple grouse and a few woodcock over Jack, LJ, and Veronica. Then the real flu or a really bad cold masquerading as the flu knocked me down for three days. So, I didn’t get out Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Today I joined up with Tony and Booker and headed out at 7:30.
Things got off to a slow start with Booker’s Shiner dog only able to find one grouse in the first cover and that one flushed well out of range. Jack was the second dog out of the truck with Tony and Booker as wingmen we headed up the hill. At our furthest and highest point we were 900 yards from the truck but it was well worth it. We moved about 15 grouse and 2 woodcock and most of the grouse took one or more relocations before we got them in the air. There were only three that really gave anybody a decent shot and they all flew Booker’s way. Two of them did something I have never had happen before on New Hampshire grouse. After running out on the dog a couple of times Jack finally had them pointed and the birds were trying to hide on the ground in small depressions on small hummocks in the woods. I saw them both on the ground before they flushed. He killed all three that went his way with a total of five shots. An exceptionally good outing on some really tough birds. Tony wanted me to remind everyone that when Booker was here last October, Tony shot 4 grouse in one cover with 5 shots. I didn’t see it but Booker claims he’s telling the truth. Limiting out in New Hampshire on pointed grouse is a rare thing to do in a day. To do it in one cover is pretty impressive. Tommy and I combined for two limits in two hunts once last fall and I would be really surprised to do it again.
The third hunt was Trash whose still on the tail end of her heat cycle — and it showed — she bumped five grouse and a woodcock before finally pointing a woodcock that flew my way. I was a little behind it on the first shot but caught up with it on the second and she got to get her mouth on it.
After that I was pretty much done in for the day and decided the next uphill hunt was going to be too much for me. I had Trip and Lj in the truck and didn’t want to wait for their turns. I threw Trip in a spot where we had seen a road bird fly into a cut we’d never explored. I only lasted for about 20 minutes and decided this cut was not ideal. I ran LJ in the Secret Cover and he did well. He pointed five grouse on three finds and a woodcock in about a 30 minute run. I saluted a couple of the grouse but got no real shots. Then I headed for the bunkhouse and the chance to get some rest.
A COUPLE OF ALPHA UPDATES
For those of you who have been following my reviews on the new Garmin ALPHA I have a few more things to report. I lent it to Tommy to use on one of his bear hounds when I was in Canada for the trials and he seemed quite impressed. He said he never lost signal and the dogs were well over a mile away in heavy cover treeing bears. He also reported that he used the e-collar feature on a dog that was over a mile away and it worked fine.
I noticed when I had it hooked to my computer to download some more BirdsEye satellite images that they are now up to software version 2.4. If you don’t have that version you should update as the software is always evolving.
One feature that I have become rather fond of is the “Screen Lock.” This allows you to lock the screen so that it stays on the compass when you stick the unit in your pocket. you do this by taping the power button then touching the “lock” in the lower right corner of the screen. Th e-collar feature stays active although you can’t change levels without unlocking the screen by following the sames steps that locked it.