Friday, October 31, 2014

Cass Lake MN - Ruffed Grouse Hunt - Mid Oct 2014

Friday Oct 17th 2014  Deer River MN.

My friend Mark and his 15 yr old son Martin drove up from SE Iowa to join us for a few days of grouse hunting.  We got to the woods at about 4.  I put both dogs on the ground since we’d only have about 2 hours to hunt.

About 20 minutes into the hunt Tasha went on point about 20 yards off the trail.  As I bobbed and weaved my way in the grouse ended up busting out another 15 yards ahead of her, I didn’t get off a shot.  200 hundred yards up the trail the same scenario repeated with Tina.

We came up to the edge of the field and Tasha locked up tight.  We sent Martin as the cover was pretty thick and we figured his young legs could handle it.  One step into the woods and the bird took off.  On the far edge of the field Tasha got another point and the result was pretty much the same.  One step in and 2 yards out a bird flushed and no shot was taken.

Tina got two nice points towards the end of the trail and I at least got my gun up both times but it was the old “it flushed behind the one pine tree in the area” trick.

We didn’t move any birds on the way back.  We moved a total of 6 birds in the first hour, took no shots and didn’t move anything on the way back.  It would have been nice if Martin had been able to at least take a shot but he did get to see some nice dog work and see that hunting isn’t always like they show it on TV.

Sat Oct 18th - Cass Lake MN.

The team was in full force as our friend Tony arrived with his two GSPs.

After a meal of homemade breakfast burritos we headed north of Cass Lake.  Tony was running both of his dogs and I stated with Tasha.  Within 15 minutes all three dogs started to work the same area and with a couple of flash points the grouse got up.  Three of us took a total of four shots and the bird was done.  We all could claim that we hit it so it was a win all around.  Tony was especially excited as his 2 yr old Beau Jack made a nice retrieve to hand.  Until this bird he would find the downed bird but then just stand over it and not retrieve it.  After another 15 minutes on the trail Tasha went on point about 10 yards off of the trail.  I was able to work my way in and the grouse gave me a straight away snap shot and I was able to connect.  At the time I thought I had barely hit the bird but when I was cleaning it I found that I hit it better than I thought.  Tasha made a nice retrieve to the trail and when she dropped it one of Tony’s dogs picked up and made a nice delivery to hand.

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