If yesterday and today were any indication, grouse hunting for this year could be over. The high yesterday was about 18 and today it spit snow all day and just broke 20. There is anywhere from an inch to 3 inches of snow in most of our covers with more forecast for tonight. there is a chance that tonight’s storm will turn over to rain and we’ll be back on bare ground with temperatures for a few days in the 40s. We could also end up with a glaze of ice over the snow we have and then it will be too dangerous for the dogs.
Since our big day Monday bird counts have gone down rapidly. Tuesday we worked hard to flush 14 grouse. Wednesday and Thursday I didn’t go out but Tony had Thudd, trainer Bruce Schafer, Rafael Carberra with him in the afternoon and they moved 21 birds. Thursday they did ok. Then yesterday we moved 8. Today Thudd and I only heard two grouse flush in four runs. The birds have moved out of all of our regular covers and gone elsewhere. They may have moved into areas of where there are mature birch and popular so they can feed on buds. If it warms up and the snow cover disappears they may move back into our regular covers.
As far as the future breeding her at the kennel. Steve Forrest’s nice young bitch Belle is here to be bred to Jack. Thursday I took Veronica and Trip to the vet’s for Ovuplant implants. Trip basically came into heat on the way over and will be bred to Jack without the aid of the ovuplant. The vet did the Ovuplant for Veronica and if all goes as planned she should be ready to breed in about 2 weeks.