We’ve hit the hard part of the season. The woodcock are all but gone, although we still found four yesterday and a couple on Monday, deer rifle season started this morning, and the grouse are really getting tough. This time of year grouse seem to bunch up in food patches. You’ll hunt a cover that you know has grouse and instead of five single finds you’ll have one find with five birds. All the dumb grouse have been eliminated from the gene pool or have smartened up. In cover that looked like a jungle on October first, you can now see a dog a 100 yards away. When you do find birds the shots are much longer as the birds seem to move well out from the dog and flush early. Many of us switch to hi-brass one ounce loads in our 20s this time of the year and will often put a 7.5 in the first barrel a an ounce of 6s in the second barrel. Yesterday we hunted in snow with temperatures hovering in the mid-20s most of the day with a good stiff wind. Brrrrrr!!
Last week I didn’t get a chance to blog because Scott Chaffee and Bernie Bauman were staying at the house for the Grand National Grouse Championship that started November 5th with 41 dogs entered. Scott brought along six dogs and won the championship with Moss Meadow Traveler. Traveler ran on the Pancake Course and was always to the front often on the edge of bell range, dug out a grouse find in the middle of the hour and finished with a big cast at the end to give a true championship worthy performance.
|Moss Meadow Traveler|
After a day off on Friday it was back to guiding for four days. Tim K. was in with Bob Little and we had good days both Saturday and Sunday. Then Bob Friedl and Joe Faux joined us for a two day hunt that Tim had donated to Woodcock Limited to help them raise money for their woodcock management and education initiatives. Joe had been up earlier in the season with Tim and made the trip to Canada with us. Bob Friedl is a long time friend from the grouse and woodcock trial circuit where he was very successful for many years.