Monday, October 24, 2011

Lake Winnibigoshish ( Winnie ) MN Grouse Hunt

Saturday October 3  2011

Tony and Quetico with Lake Winnie Grouse and Woodcock

We had been having decent luck with the Hunter Walking Trails so we decided to try a larger one just a little ways from Lake Winnibigoshish ( Winnie ).  I thought that since this area is even a little bit farther from the Mpls area that we would see even fewer hunters.  After seeing trucks at the first two areas that we had planned to hunt it was clear that I wasn’t even close to being right.  
We decided to just drive while the Garmin pointed us to where it said that there were some clear cuts to hunt.  (  I purchased the maps and data files from ).  

The first spot Tony decided to hunt it with his two dogs.  He wanted them to get a chance to focus on birds and not other hunters and dogs.  He ended up taking two birds from this spot.  The first trail that Mark and I tried ended at a beaver pond so we made a quick trip farther up the road to another trail.  After about 5 minutes on this trail Tina got birdy.  Two birds got up from the left side of the trails.  Mark shot left and I shot right.  Neither one of us connected.  We worked the trail a bit longer and then made our way back to meet up with Tony.

The next area Mark went with Tony as he had had some luck and we had hunted together earlier in the week before Tony arrived.  Marge and I went down another trail that looked promising.  We made it all the way through and area of good looking cover without any action.  I was starting to daydream as we went through and area of older habitat when Marge locked up in the middle of the trail.  I started to scan the area for the most likely location and settled on some scruffy looking cover to the right when out of the more open older area to the left a bird came up.  I was able to connect on a straight up shot and as I fired a second bird launched and I was able to bring that bird down also.  A third bird also flushed but I was making sure I had the first two marked so I didn’t take another shot.  We continued on the trail and didn’t see any other birds.  When I connected with Mark and Tony I found out that they had not any any more success.

The third area we decided to work it together.  A short distance down the trail Quetico went on point and Tony connected on a woodcock.  Quetico had to chase down the bird as it wasn’t too well hit.  He made short work of the chase and soon the bird was in Tony’s game bag.  This woodcock proved to be the trickiest woodcock we’d ever come across as he got out Tony’s game bag two times before Tony decided to finish it off.

A short while later the dogs started to get birdy as we approached a grassy area.  Two birds took off.  The first went up the trail and then banked left no one connected on this bird.  The second bird went to the right and back towards us.  Tony and I both emptied our guns and I saw the bird go down after my third shot.  We marked the bird down and made our way towards it.  I called Tina over and Tony brought Quetico and Stone over.  We looked for a good period of time and I couldn’t find it but Quetico kept working the area and finally found it buried underneath some brush.  Tony said the bird was hard to pull from the brush as it was biting on a stick at the bottom of the pile.  We decided that it was Quetico’s bird since we wouldn’t have recovered it without him.  We worked our way back to the truck without any more action.

Once back at the cabin I prepared a shore lunch style dinner of crappies and walleye that my dad had caught earlier this summer.

15 yr old Marge and I With Her Winnie Grouse Double

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mixed Bag Hunting Tips For Grouse & Woodcock

by Brad Eden

During the overlap of the ruffed grouse and woodcock seasons, upland hunters get a unique opportunity to hunt both game birds at the same time. Here are some hunting tips for grouse and woodcock and how you can prepare yourself for a mixed-bag hunt.

Grouse and woodcock prefer young woods in regrowth — what is known as successional habitat — to woods that are middle age or approaching senior citizenship. Successional habitats are thick with aspens,  birches, maples, hemlock, spruce and brushy scrub.

During the early season it’s the feeding areas that hunters need to key on. Opening a grouse crop reveals they aren’t picky, but during the fall they are likely feasting mainly on berries and fruit such as high bush cranberry, feral apples, and wild grapes.

Woodcock, on the other hand, feed almost exclusively on earthworms in the soft soil of young clearcuts, abandoned farmland and areas near or in wetlands.

The overlap of areas that appeal to both grouse and woodcock — or what I call combo cover — is so prevalent that the chances of encountering both species in one hunt is a forgone conclusion.
With that said, grouse and woodcock are “where you find them.” I have flushed grouse from the middle of open fields and woodcock on dry hillsides under towering white pines. You need to be ready for anything.

It’s well known that a bird hunter can put a fair amount of ballast in his game pouch hunting ruffed grouse without a dog. But that hunter wont be spicing up many grouse dinners with woodcock appetizers. Like many grouse hunters I started out without a dog. I learned where they spent early mornings and mid days and where they went to roost in late afternoon –and, most important, the escape routes they used in a particular cover. On those dog-less grouse hunts I would occasionally kick up a woodcock by nearly stepping on them. One woodcock means there are likely more in the general area and you can wander around aimlessly, or even do a grid pattern and move birds.
Author Brad Eden with his springer spaniel Jake and a mixed bag of grouse and woodcock. Photo by Brad Eden.

But for mixed-bag grouse and woodcock hunting at its best, a close-working flushing dog or a staunch pointing dog is the ticket in the thicket.

I can tell when my flushing spaniel is tracking woodcock scent. Woodcock bop and weave around the forest floor like a wind up toy while feeding or moving about a cover. A flushing dog will twist and turn  itself into a pretzel when on that ground scent. When I see this I get ready because a flush is imminent.

Not all dogs will share exactly the same body language, but you can become good at reading your dog. My current springer spaniel has a unique behavior that gives me an extra second or two to prepare for the  flush. When approaching the feathered source of that scent trail he will suddenly stop and look up into the air to watch the bird flush — as it inevitably does. Although under most hunting situations a hard flush is expected of a spaniel, I have come to rather appreciate this unique “heads up” for woodcock.

Pointing dogs and woodcock go together like birds and flying. The woodcock often sits patiently under the pointing dog’s nose, allowing ample opportunity for the gunner to approach, look around for shooting lanes, and close in for the flush. That’s the perfect scenario and happens enough to be typical.

But woodcock aren’t slouches and will sometimes walk out from a point and flush wild like a grouse. Be  prepared to be surprised.

Read The Rest Of The Game & Fish Article

Grouse Hunting With The Boys Bigfork and Deer River MN

Friday October 7th 2011

Tina With Deer River, Mn Grouse and Woodcock

We got a bit of a late start as we decided to make breakfast and eat at the cabin.  We decided to start with an area near Bigfork, MN.  When we arrived at the location there was a pop-up camper parked by the forest road.  This area receives a fair number of hunters but has been decent in the past even when there were other hunters.  Tony unloaded his two GSPs.  Quetico was starting his second hunting season and Stone is now 12 years old.  I started out with Tina.  As we worked down the trail a little Brit came shooting out of the woods.  It’s owner wasn’t too far down the trail, in shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  We guessed he wasn’t doing too much off trail hunting...  He told us that his buddy was by a beaver pond working a one year old GSP.  We later heard a dog yelping quite loudly.  It sounded like the owner had just figured out how to work an ecollar.  From the dog’s response he was creating a future client for an actual dog trainer...

We hit the turnaround with only moving one bird.  This same weekend last year we were moving 20+ birds in the same amount of time on the same trail.  We started to hear some rumbling off in the distance.  We picked up the pace on the way back to the trucks and didn’t move any birds.  We made it to the vehicles just as the rain started.  After lunch and rest at a bar/grill in Big Fork we started to work to the west and south.

We ended up just north of Deer River at an area that I had tried a few times in the past.  With three hunters and three dogs it was clear that we weren’t going to sneak up on any birds.  A short way down the trail Tina started to get birdy and locked up.  I swung up the trail and moved in towards her.  She stayed staunch.  I could see her eyes looking just off to her left and I moved that way.  Up came a woodcock and I decided to try take it as a reward for her hard work.  I missed, but saw where it landed and released Tina and made our way in that direction.  She made another nice point and I didn’t miss this time.

We made it to an area with some younger pine trees and Tina started to work off the trail so I decided to bushwhack it a bit.  Tina was working to the trail and then off to my side.  She started to slow and was getting ready to point when I heard a flush at the same time Mark called out.  The grouse came my way and I was able to connect on a going away shot.  Tina made a nice retrieve.

We ended up back at the truck without moving any more birds.  We decided a totally new area ( new to us anyway ) was in order for the following day.

On the way back Tina either bit her tongue or it got poked by a stick and was bleeding all over her front.  She looked a mess but I think was mostly tired.

Tina All Bloody

After riding home and getting washed up in the lake she was all set for her dinner and some sleep before the next day.

Open Season: Tough to beat a Minnesota ruffed grouse hunt

By: Tyler Shoberg, West Fargo Pioneer

 As my dog and I rounded the bend, the birch-laded woods appeared to part like intricately painted cardboard props in a Shakespearian play. A stick- and leaf-strewn path popped into view that almost looked too perfect; too serene.

Late afternoon sunlight filtered through yellow leaves to cast a daylily glow under the pockmarked canopy. The ground mirrored that which hung overhead, as I crunched through a growing carpet of golden leaf litter.

Up ahead, my German wirehaired pointer, Remy, paused his search to sniff the base of a tree. Clad in a blaze-orange skid plate to protect his susceptible underside, the gray-ticked and roan dog perked up suddenly as if remembering what he was out in the woods to do, and raced back into the brush in pursuit of our prey.

I inhaled deeply, filling my lungs to capacity with the damp, piney, saturating scent of northern Minnesota. With each breath, it was as if I was cleansing myself with a cedar-lined, wood-stoked sauna for the soul.

This was why I was here – this was what fall was all about.

During a person’s lifetime, his or her brain processes, sorts and files seemingly countless moments; from the most finite and simplistic to the long-term and ornate.

Since returning from my most recent trip to Minnesota’s ruffed grouse capitol, I’ve tried desperately to mentally replay the four-day stretch in an effort to keep each and every memory, no matter how obscure, as crisp and clear as when it was made.

But even though it’s been just a few weeks, I can feel the edges blur; the colors fade. Little things, like what I ate for breakfast or how many trails we walked one morning, already are tough to recall.
Other aspects, however, remain crystal clear.

Like the first grouse of the trip; that was a surprise – which, come to think of it, really wasn’t all that surprising.

Read The Rest Of The West Fargo Pioneer Article

Friday, October 14, 2011

Average Grouse Hunting Expected Over Most Of Pennsylvania

Ruffed Grouse Hunting
Average Grouse Hunting Expected Over Most Of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Pennsylvania Game Commission
HARRISBURG, PA --( This year’s erratic weather patterns may have created a mixed bag for nesting and brood-rearing grouse, and Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists expect ruffed grouse hunting to be average to slightly below average for the nearly 100,000 hunters who annually pursue these challenging game birds.
“Cool wet springtime conditions tend to decrease early brood survival for grouse, while hot dry summer conditions are generally beneficial,” said Lisa Williams, Game Commission grouse and woodcock biologist.
“With Pennsylvania experiencing both of those extremes in 2011, it’s hard to predict how this year’s weather might impact grouse populations in your favorite coverts. While Game Commission field staff report fewer summer grouse sightings than last year at a statewide level, they saw fantastic grouse numbers in areas of good habitat.”
The opening day of the state’s three-part grouse season is Saturday, Oct. 15, and runs through Nov. 26. The season reopens Dec. 12 to 23, and then again from Dec. 26 to Jan. 28. Participating hunters must have a valid Pennsylvania hunting license and follow the regulations that govern this rugged sport of brush-busting and mountain-scampering. Wherever you hunt grouse, there is ample reason to carve out some time afield this season. Just be sure to take time to locate high-quality coverts that provide a good mix of food and cover.
“Losses of young forest habitat over the last several decades have been bad news for grouse, woodcock, and other species that rely on these habitats. Our forests are getting older, and that’s a negative for grouse,” said Ian Gregg, Game Commission Game Bird Section supervisor. “The good news is that the Game Commission is taking an active approach to improving the situation for grouse and other species that rely on young forests. We now have in place both Grouse and Woodcock Management Plans that call for aggressive management of young forest habitats. This work will benefit multiple species and the Plans have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public and our conservation partners. They will serve as the roadmaps as we set out to improve the situation for these popular game birds.”
Pennsylvania’s state bird is holding its own in areas of suitable habitat, and in some areas, thriving. Statewide, cooperating hunters flushed an average rate of 1.32 flushes per hour during the 2010-11 season. This was a decrease from the 2009-10 rate of 1.4 flushes per hour and the long term (45-year) average of 1.41 flushes per hour. Embedded in those statewide averages, however, are some truly-impressive hunting experiences. One hunter looking back on 2010-11 stated, “This is the season we’ll be talking about twenty years from now – 20 flushes in 61 minutes on one day!”
Williams noted that Pennsylvania consistently maintains the highest flush rates among nearby states such as Kentucky, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia.
“Grouse flush trends in 2010-11 in most of our neighboring states mirrored those in Pennsylvania; stable to slightly lower,” Williams said. “And, for the sixth year in a row, Pennsylvania flush rates have exceeded those of all neighboring states. This marks the 13th time in the last 16 years that Pennsylvania has had the highest flush rates among all central Appalachian states.”
Grouse hunting remains a popular fall pursuit in Pennsylvania. According to the agency’s Game Take Survey, an estimated 91,000 hunters took 66,000 grouse during the 2010-11 seasons, during 414,500 hunting days. Though fewer than in the past, grouse hunters remain passionate about their quarry, and the grouse remains the second-most popular game bird in the Commonwealth – behind the wild turkey – in terms of numbers of hunters. Yet grouse hunter numbers remain well below those of the mid-1980s when Pennsylvania had more than 400,000 hunters pursuing the thunderbird.
“Several hunters have told me that they can hunt all day and not see another grouse hunter,” says Williams. “For sportsmen and women seeking a season with a little more ‘elbow room’ yet plenty of challenge, you might want to consider grouse hunting.”
The Game Commission conducts a Summer Sighting Survey in which Game Commission foresters and surveyors record numbers of broods and individual grouse seen while working in the woods during June, July and August. Trends in hunters’ fall flush rates follow those of the summer survey about 80 percent of the time, so this information is used to develop the season forecast.
“Sightings during the summer of 2011 were down about seven percent from last year and brood sightings were particularly ‘off’ this year compared to last year, so I’m forecasting an average to slightly below average grouse season in 2010-11,” Williams said. “This makes it particularly important to understand the characteristics of good grouse habitat, locate high-quality coverts, and focus your efforts there.”

Read The Rest Of The Article 

Ruffed Grouse Hunt Deer River MN - Day Three

Thursday October 6th

Mark With His First Bird Of The Season

Our friend Mark arrived after lunch and we headed out for the afternoon.  We hit the trail at around three.  It was Mark’s first time out hunting this year.  We were hunting the walking trail that I had hunted a few times earlier.

We had been going about 15 minutes when Tina gave me a solid point.  I was able to connect on a nice crossing shot and put the bird in the bag.  It was still very dry and I was happy to take the bird over a point.

We went down a branch of the trail that I hadn’t been down before and Tina started to get birdy again.  We had a few non-productive points so I wasn’t too sure about the point but when her tail stopped wagging I got more confident.  Mark moved in and was able to connect on his first bird of the season.  A short time later she was on point again.  I made a good sized loop to try to pin the bird.  I kept moving closer and closer but no flush.  I made it to within about five feet before the woodcock flushed.  I took the bird on the flush.  I don’t normally shot woodcock but I wanted to reward Tina for her hard work.

It was staying in the mid-70’s so we started back to the truck.  Tina was still working hard as we made our way back and made a wide cast along a small area of blow down.  As she hit the far side of the area she locked up solid.  I wasn’t too excited about having to make my way through the area as the walking was tough.  I went straight towards her as she appeared to be looking right at me.  I kept waiting for her head to move or for her to break point but she stayed solid and the first thing to move was the grouse.  It took two shots but I was able to bring it down.

We ended up taking three grouse and a woodcock in about 90 minutes hunting on a less than optimal day.  I was very pleased with Tina’s work and happy that we were able to connect on all the birds that we shot at.  It doesn’t always work that way but it did.

New Hampshire - Grouse, Woodcock Hunting Seasons Underway; Take the Small Game Survey

CONCORD, N.H. -- Fall is in the air, and New Hampshire's small game seasons are underway. The state's season for ruffed grouse began October 1 and continues through December 31. Ruffed grouse are the most sought-after small game species in New Hampshire, accounting for 67% of the hunter-hours reported in the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's annual Small Game Survey. The northern portion of the state continues to be the premiere range for ruffed grouse, but they can be found throughout New Hampshire. This spring was favorable for grouse production in the southern portion of the state, according to Fish and Game's Small Game Project Leader Julie Robinson, while the North Country experienced cool weather and extended periods of rain, which can affect brood sizes.

New Hampshire's second most sought-after small game species is woodcock. Each year, dedicated biologists and a group of volunteers conduct woodcock singing ground surveys. These observations provide an index to the overall abundance of resident singing males, which biologists use to make inferences about the breeding population. The woodcock season has been expanded to 45 days this year. It opened on October 1 and ends on November 14. Substantial numbers of woodcocks move through the state in early and mid-November, so this season expansion should provide hunters with some additional quality hunting opportunities.

The woodcock season framework changes came about as a result of a new National Woodcock Harvest Strategy that was developed at the Flyway level with all four flyways, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Geological Survey working together. Historic and current woodcock breeding and harvest data were analyzed and a set of hunting frameworks was developed for the nation. Woodcock are managed by region. There is a Central Management Region in the Midwest and an Eastern Management Region along the east coast. Traditionally, the Central Region has been allowed a more liberal woodcock hunting season than the Eastern Region. The analysis completed for the new hunting strategy indicated that there was no reason to have different sets of hunting frameworks for the regions. So now we have one set of frameworks for the country.

Woodcock populations in New Hampshire are generally considered to be in good shape, even though there continues to be a small annual long-term decline in breeding numbers. Woodcock hunting pressure has declined substantially in the last decade, so Fish and Game biologists feel confident that there is room for some additional opportunity. The population will continue to be monitored closely and future hunting seasons will be adjusted as needed.

Whether you hunt for grouse, woodcock or other small game species, you can help Fish and Game collect data -- and have a chance to win a quality firearm -- by taking part in the Department's annual Small Game Survey. The small game survey is a hunter survey that provides Fish and Game with distribution, abundance and trend data on the state's small game populations. Just for participating, you'll be entered into a raffle for a firearm generously donated by Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. If you are a small game hunter and want to take part, download the survey form at, or call 603-271-2461 to request one.

Grouse hunters throughout the state are also encouraged to take part in Fish and Game's annual wing and tail survey of harvested ruffed grouse. Grouse wings and tails are submitted along with a survey card, providing biologists with age, sex composition, distribution data and a juvenile to adult female ratio on this popular species. Participants will be entered into a raffle for a firearm donated by the Ruffed Grouse Society. For more information, including locations where you can pick up a survey packet, visit or call 603-868-1095.

Wildlife research and management in New Hampshire is funded, along with license sales, by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, supported by your purchase of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. This provides opportunities for hunting, fishing and other wildlife-associated recreation.

For online license sales and more information about small game hunting in New Hampshire, visit 

Ruffed Grouse Society born in Virginia 50 years ago this week

By Bill Cochran

    Fifty years ago, the Ruffed Grouse Society dispatched its first newsletter with a message from its editor, Seybert Beverage, one of the three Virginians who founded the organization.

“Your editor feels that as long as the ruffed grouse survives, then America will survive,” Beverage wrote.

That was a prophetic observation. The ruffed grouse population has taken a nosedive in Virginia. Many would argue that America also is on a downward path.

“That was a good line,” Bruce Richardson told me when I was writing a feature on the organization’s 25th anniversary. Richardson really was the only grouse hunter amount the trio of founders. They all lived in Monterey, a scenic village in the center of mountainous Highland County, where forested ridges and old farms offered habitat for the noble grouse.

Richardson was in the real estate and trout growing business. He was born in Clifton Forge and served as assistant manager and sports director of the posh Homestead in Hot Springs. Later he operated the Thomas Jefferson Inn in Charlottesville. Tiring of the hotel business and feeling the lure of the mountains, he moved to Monterey.

Beverage, a lawyer and soon to be district judge, was an unlikely candidate to form an organization around a bird that favors the steepest ridges and thickest thorn-tree swales. He’d never hunted grouse. The victim of polio as a child, he was confined to a wheelchair. That didn’t keep him from being vice president of his law class at the University of Virginia. He was an avid reader and amateur ornithologist.
The third man was Dixie L. Shumate Jr., a knowledgeable fisheries biologist who’s idea of a good time did not include tripping over fox grape vines in pursuit of an illusive game bird. Richardson was convinced that trout and grouse had a lot in common. Both were things of beauty and grace; both required quality habitat; both were capable of affording a sportsman heart-pounding thrills. Shumate would have little problem transcending from trout to grouse, and playing a significant role in the new organization.

The three friends gathered in Beverage’s law office one day and after conducting some business. Richardson started talking about grouse, and the fact that the habitat in Highland and Bath County didn’t hold as many birds as it once did.

Read The Rest Of The Roanoke Times Article

Monday, October 10, 2011

400-acre habitat to honor Howard birder

Scrubby Garrett terrain will preserve woodcock, Aelred Geis' legacy of determination

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ruffed Grouse Hunt - Deer River, MN Day 2

Tina and Her Deer River Mn Grouse

October 2nd, 2011

Saturday night was a long night as the dogs had drank so much water during the day that they kept having to go outside.  They woke me up at 11:30, 12:45, 1:30, and 4:30.  After the 4:30 wake up I put their training collars on them and they stayed quite.  Too quite it turned out as I ended up sleeping until 9 am.  That ruled out the longer drive to try some new areas that I had mapped out as it was already starting to get warm out.  so I decided to retry some of the areas from the day before to see if they still looked good.

The first spot that we went to was the walking trail area.  Tina and I started by walking a different section of the trail system.  After 30 minutes she hadn’t really gotten birdy at all we turned around and headed back to the section that we walked on Saturday.  Within 10 minutes she locked up solid and I was able to connect on a nice crossing shot.  We walked a while longer and didn’t move any other birds.

Next it was Marge’s turn to see if the forest road with the older growth would produce another bird.  We worked the trail a fair amount and while she did get a little birdy in a few spots we didn’t have any success actually moving one.  After getting back to the truck I got out Fergie and took her for a walk.  She can’t see but she still loves getting out in the woods and sniffing the air.

Tina and I then took a chance on the first spot that we had hunted yesterday.  The temperature was over 70 so it was a good last spot to try.  We went down the trail next to the clear cut and it still looked promising but it was just so dry it was hard to know if the scenting was decent at all.  We ended up going through the new growth to get back to the truck and she did make a nice point but it was so thick I couldn’t get into a good shooting position when I did flush the grouse.

Even though we cut the day short we did put one bird in the bag, confirmed that two spots were still a good bet, and ruled out another.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ruffed Grouse Hunt Deer River, MN Day One

Saturday October 1 2011

Typical Cover For The Deer River MN Area

We left Mpls / St. Paul in the morning and made the three hour drive north.  After stopping at our rented cabin to drop off some gear and supplies we headed to the woods.  I decided to start out by trying some brand new areas to hunt.  I had purchased some maps that were created using Google Earth to show clear cuts and trails.  I loaded the gps info into the Garmin and we were on our way to just north of Deer River, MN.  The first area was two sets of small clear cuts with a small foot trail along one side of them.  As we worked the trail we came to some older growth and moved just a little ways into the new growth and turned back towards the vehicle.  About half way back we got a wild flush and moved towards where it looked like it set down.  Tina was working the scent but we did not make contact again.  It looked like a good enough area and with moving a bird in the 30 minute walk it has made the list to try again.

Spot number two ended up being a forest road that bordered an area that looked to be an older cut over area.  I was skeptical of it’s bird potential but we were there and it looked like easy enough walking for the 15 year old setter Marge.  This turned into and out and back affair but on the way back Marge made a nice point on a young bird and I was able to drop it.  Another 30 minute walk and another bird moved.  This area looked older than I would like but since we got a bird I added it to the try again list. 

Area number three turned out to be a MN Hunter Walking Trail.  There were no other vehicles there and with it hitting 60 degrees we decided to give it a chance.  There ended up being a number of different trails within the system.  We took the trail that looked like it went through the younger looking area.  It was hot and dusty.  The Northern MN area has been pretty dry after a wet and cool spring.  Tina was working a good pattern through the cover and after about 20 minutes and a few non-productive points she had one nailed and I got off a decent shot and connected.  We were able to repeat the pattern on the back side of the loop and collected another one for the game bag.

We made a stab at a fourth new area that also looked good but didn’t move a bird.  It was getting a bit later in the day so we went to our old standby in the Big Fork area.  In the first 40 minutes we moved 10 birds, got off 2 shots and didn’t connect on anything.  In the last 90 minutes we only moved one bird.

All in all it was a good start to the day with three birds in the bag and four new areas to try again.