Sept 19 MN Grouse Opener - Ely MN
Sunday looked to be another day of nice hunting conditions. It wasn’t quite as sunny as Saturday but still looked good.
I went straight to the newer spot to give it a shot right off the bat. I lucked out and no one was parked on the way in yet. Tina and I started out down the main trail. Tina went on a nice point within a few minutes and the grouse presented me with an easy shot but I choked and blew it. Not too far up the trail I has another chance. This time the point was along the edge of a clear cut. Three birds got up together and I connected on one that swung to my right. It took me two shots to bring it down. I focused on making sure where it went down so I didn’t get any shots off at the other birds. On the rest of the way out on the trail we didn’t see any other birds but on the way back we were fortunate enough to get another point along some younger cover and I was able to connect through the leaves.
Back at the truck I put Marge on the ground and we set out to try a smaller trail in the area that we hadn’t hunted yet. The trail wasn’t as well defined so I was hoping that not as many people had hit it yet. About 15 minutes into the hunt Marge went on point towards a drop off and as I walked in two birds got up and one fell to the shot. It took a while to find it as it had dropped into a low area that was still well covered by leaves. Three more birds got up while we found the hit bird. We continued along the trail and didn’t see any more birds but did push up a nice looking buck.
After a Dew and some Mini-Snickers it was time to get Fergie out and let her stretch her legs. Being blind and 12 she often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to hunting time. Another nice feature of this trail is that she will walk on the gravel portion and if she starts to go off course and hit the heavier cover on the side she will move back to the middle. One of the nice thing about early hunts is that there are still birds around that haven’t been pressured yet and this time it worked well for Fergie. About 10 minutes into her walk we went around a corner and she locked up and there was one about 5 yards off the trail. The grouse gods smiled on us and I was able to reward her efforts with a bird. After heading back to the truck we drove around the area scouting some some and found a spot that looked good but already had two trucks at it so we moved on. After driving around for a bit more we swung by the new honey hole and there was a truck there so he decided to call it a weekend and head back into town for a late lunch before driving back to St. Paul.