|15 Year Old Marge and Her First Grouse Of 2011|
Saturday Sept 24th
We awoke to a foggy morning and started the drive to a new spot that I had found last year. ( ok, just to be clear that I have never found a “ secret spot” in MN. All of my grouse hunting is on public land ). We were lucky and no one else was there. I dropped my dad off at the turn and then Tina and I got out farther down the road. We started down the trail and for most of the way she wasn’t getting birdy at all. Finally in the last 100 yards before we got to the turnaround she started to work some scent. She went on point along a small strip of pines. As I moved in the grouse flushed from the back side of the pines and I lucked out as it decided to cut back over the trail and I was able to connect on a nice right to left shot. We worked the rest of the way back to the vehicle and didn’t move another bird. On the way back I did hear another shot and was hoping that it was my dad. I found out that it was in fact him but that he hadn’t connected.
We decided to just drive along the forest road to see if we could find another spot to try. After a few trails that weren’t long enough to make it worthwhile we did find one that looked like it could be a bit longer. I unloaded Marge and we made our way down the trail. As we came over a small rise I could see a beaver pond just to the right. Just then a grouse was flying up the trail towards us, it flared when it saw Marge and was just out of range. We looked for it in hopes of getting another opportunity but did not come across it. Another 10 minutes of walking and Marge started to go into her stealthy stalk mode. Not exactly classic pointing dog / grouse form but it proved effective as she slid into her point. As I moved in the bird flushed just behind and to my left. I made it two for two and the right to left shots. Not something that happens all that often for me.
After getting back to the truck we went to a spot that we first started hunting about ten years ago. The cover has gotten older and the new clear cuts haven’t grown up enough yet but last year it was still productive enough to make it worth a stop. After getting Fergie her exercise I put Tina back into her beeper and gps collars. We worked our standard areas for a good our and didn’t move a bird. I’m hoping that the clear cuts will start to produce some birds in the near future.
We ended up calling it a day around 2 pm as it was starting to warm up a bit and we still had tomorrow to hunt.