Today was overcast and in the low 40s. All the snow was gone and Tony and the Great Carnoski picked me up at 9. We headed out to woods and some of our good late season covers with four dogs in the truck. The Little Thudster was first up and had to cover a lot of ground before he started connecting on some birds. On his first find he had a group of two — one we never saw and one that flushed way out in front of us and our shots were much more of a salute than a real attempt to knock down the bird. Then he moved up about 30 yards, pointed again, and there were two more in front of him. We didn’t get shots at either of those. On his next find, my Garmin said he was 343 yards when we started to him. Amazingly, two birds were still in the vicinity when we got to him and one of them died. When he got the bird, he ended up with so many feathers in his mouth that it looked like he had a beard. He stuck a seventh bird just off the road as we were going to the truck.
LJ was next out of the truck and started off pointing a bird that ran out on him and that we walked up before he could relocate it. He was down for quite awhile and and had two more single grouse both of which provided difficult shots that were missed. But anytime a dog his age goes out and handles three grouse you have to be pleased.
Frankie was next and ran in the Lost Frankie Cover. He ran well and had a really nice grouse find on a pair of birds and Carnoski knocked one of them down. He ran strong for the rest of his hunt but didn’t find any more birds.
Bee was last out of the truck (in part to prevent Carnoski from opting out of the last hunt in favor of a little nap) and she ran in a new cover that tony and Thudd found the other day. Bee’s had a couple of weeks off as Carnoski took her home for Thanksgiving and just came back up yesterday, but she didn’t miss a beat. She had three really nice grouse finds two of which required relocations. The last one she must have traveled a couple hundred yards obviously in tracking mode before she finally pinned the bird. Tony and I flushed and both shot when the bird got up. I knew it was still flying and then I couldn’t see it for a second shot. Tony finally fired again and knocked the bird down and thankfully Bee rounded up the cripple. So that gave us 11 finds for a total of 15 grouse with Bee the only dog over 2. Not bad.
|Tony wanted me to tell you that he shot the biggest of these three bucks. But the truth is, they were hanging from the pole next to one of the camps near where we were today. The picture was taken with my phone.|