The Windmills were partially obscured by the low grey sky.
Finally a perfect fall day for bird hunting. The temperature hovered in the mid-40s, the sky was angry gray clouds hanging on the mountain tops and it spit snow off and on. We pulled into our first cover followed by a game warden who did a quick license check. We told him we were grouse hunting as most of the woodcock were gone. We found a number of grouse but the late flights of male woodcock were around in pretty good numbers. G III ran in the first cover and didn’t get anything pointed but we did hear a couple of grouse flush.
Then we ran Jack. It was interesting as we ran him a rather dense clearcut where the new growth is only 8 to 10 feet tall and quite dense. The birds just wouldn’t fly and ran like devils. On a couple of the birds Jack pointed it took as many as five relocations to finally get them pinned and then they flushed low not really offering anything in the way of decent shots. The grouse kept taking us deeper and deeper into the cut and when we finally check the GPS to see where we were we had slipped over a ridge and were 989 yards from the truck. Along the way back we finally found a dumb grouse and killed it. We also found a couple of woodcock one of which Tony shot. By the time we got back to the truck Jack had 7 grouse finds and the 2 woodcock. Trash was next out of the truck and she had a couple more woodcock finds and I knocked one down for her. It was finally LJ turn and we put him down in what we have decided to call the dumb grouse cover. It’s the same place we ran Trash on Thursday and had that tight sitting grouse that Tommy shot for her. LJ started out with a nonproductive then went on to point five woodcock and we killed 3 of them. It really isn’t fair when they are laying in the pole timber on wet hillsides. LJ’s last find was really exciting as I saw him turn into the birds and stop. When we got to him a grouse blew out above and behind him, but he didn’t move. Then he put his head down into the raspberries and a grouse came boiling out. I rushed the first shot and without Tommy to back me up and Tony on the wrong side of me and the dog, I bore down and made the second shot count at about 30 yards. The picture below shows the day’s birds. Big Thudd and the elusive Kathy are on route as I write this. The woodcock have been filleted and will be pan seared then I’ll make a bourbon reduction sauce and serve them for appetizers.
I got disturbing word from the GM of the Stokely Grouse Camp. The Great Carnoski departed last week to prepare for the hurricane down in the flat lands of Massachusetts. Since the hurricane missed Massachusetts and he has not reported back to camp he is in jeopardy of being cut from the team for the rest of the season.
We shot two grouse and five woodcock today. All the woodcock were males which means they are the late flight birds.