Posts Tagged ‘ruffed grouse’

Pay attention; you'll learn something.

Pay attention; you’ll learn something.

Shut up. Listen carefully. Trust your dog. Live in the moment. These are lessons it took a ruffed grouse and woodcock hunt to remind me why we go hunting.

Is is relevant to any bird hunter? Hell yes.

Your dog is your best hunting partner. When he’s virtually invisible in the trees, you’ve got to know he’s working for you. If not, head back to the yard for more training.

When pup – or your partners – are working (or for that matter, out of sight or right next to you), pay attention. You’ll hear new sounds, learn from the woods, and you might see a pileated woodpecker. It’s how you find your dog, too.

But most important is the low-level adrenaline rush that starts when you leave the truck and only ends when your head hits the pillow that night: Where are the dogs? What was that roar – a flush? Is pup on point? Where? Where am I? Woodcock or grouse? The anticipation preceding every step, every stumble, branch cracks and leaf crunches is inestimable.

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You decide: Will Lower Grouse Numbers Affect How Many MN Hunters Hit the Woods?

Farther west: Small bird, big stakes: With sage grouse being considered for protected status, some wonder what economic fallout could be for Nevada


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Gun, shells, beer, dog ... I think I have everything.

Gun, shells, beer, dog ... I think I have everything.

My Irish Setter boots are broken-in, the Tri-Tronics Upland Sport G3 collar is charged and ready, and Buddy is in shape for warm weather and skittish birds. The jury’s still out on whether I’m ready for the bushwhacking we will attempt Monday. 

We’re starting in northeast Oregon on a trickle of a stream where I was chased off my fly fishing years ago by a momma ruffed grouse guarding her brood. When I next visited, it was with pro guide Ed Hall, and we were carrying shotguns, not fly rods. I wonder if we shot any of her progeny?

Stand by for news from the field … If I survive! Meanwhile, in the comments section below tell me where you’re hunting in your Irish Setter boots. I’ll pick one person per week from here and our radio show callers, who will win a new pair of Irish Setter boots or a new Irish Setter hunting coat.

Scott (& Buddy)

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