My daughter and I spent our last day of the 2013-2014 grouse season together. We didn't see any birds, but the time together in the grouse woods is priceless. I believe she's ready for the North Woods in October.
My hunting partner and my son went today to the hollow that I fell and tore my ACL. Jumped 3 grouse total and had two pointed birds come home with them. Only got 2.5 hours of dog work. Lily hasn't been hunted since Jan 12 and she ran out of gas before they could get back were the birds usually have been. My son is going to hunt one more spot on Wednesday that had plenty of birds last year.
Our seven inch snow melted so today I hunted a clear cut that held several birds late last year. I have had a bad cold so I didn't know how I could climb. When I got to the very top of a mountain on a logging road my dog Gator pointed in a grapevine and greenbrier tangle below me. I started to him but it was so steep that I stopped and tried to figure out how I was going to get down to him. I decided it was too dangerous as I was two miles back in the mountains and by myself. I blew my whistle and heard one gingle of his bell. I blew it again and called come here. I heard the bell again as he circled and slowly joined me. I hated to call him to me but he is five year old broke dog that has been pointing grouse since he was six months old. We followed and at the very bottom of the mountain he pointed again. I didn't have a good look and didn't shoot. Beautiful day in the woods.
I got out for the last time this season. I had my pup in tow along with the older dog. We hit a trifecta, which may never happen again. We flushed 2 grouse, 3 quail, and 7 woodcock. I thought I was having a hallucination when the first quail got up. My dogs beeper went off again then 2 more quail got up and flew straight overhead. This was a unbelievable day, even without taking a bird. Nice to see this in the eastern part of the commonwealth.
Hunted 4 hours. Had 2 flushes on 1 grouse. Couldn't get close to the thing without it blowing out. Had a point on a woodcock. You guys with young dogs, get ready for some good training. The woodcock are moving back through.
I didn't get a chance to hunt as planned, work for in the way. I had since Xmas, 12 birds, 4 points, 5 shots fired, one dead bird. I'm spending some money on a O/U or semi auto. I'm also investing in a beeper for points.
Flushed 94 birds this year, personally killed only 14 and between the three of us we bagged a total of 22 birds. Compared to last year this was a rough year, it seems we flushed about half the numbers each trip, but the last two weeks birds started appearing in decent numbers. The last two hunts which were to hours a piece I moved 9 one day, and 6 the other which is really pretty good. The birds here were extremely jumpy and barely offered shots when they held for points, and we lost count of unproductive points which were birds that had left early.
Hoping for a warm dry spring to help fill the voids and begin to populate the large areas of habitat which have underwhelming numbers right now.
I'm broken down and beat up from 40+ days in the woods since Jan 1, ready for some rest