Monday, May 12, 2008

My First Blue Grouse

September 2007

Labor Day weekend is always a time for friends and family. Why not try a fit a hunt in? Well, that's what my plans were when we decided to go camping.

My brother -in-law and I dragged his family (my sister and their two kids) and my wife up to an area where I have deer hunted in the past. I heard that there was some Blue grouse in this area. Let stop here and say that before this weekend I have hunted Blue Grouse over two seasons and have seen only two....from the road. So when I say we went Blue Grouse hunting it's more like scouting!! After a long slow drive west on I-70 we made the area. We set up our 16x20 canvas wall tent in the dark and quickly started a fire. After a few adult beverages we slept in excitement of the next days hunt, well at least I did.

The next morning we headed out on the "grousemoblie" in search of the elusive blue grouse. Not knowing where to go we headed to an area that had a good mix of cover (sage,grass, aspen and pine).

On the way up I was very surprised to see two groups of grouse hunters. As we headed somewhere we stopped to talk to the one group. There was a group of 7 that said they have been coming to this area for 1o years to hunt grouse on opening weekend. I thought to myself "at least we are in the right spot" know we just have to find them!! As the day went on we heard some distant echos of shotgun blasts. Knowing that they were coming from grouse hunters my adrenaline helped refocus on the task in hand, Blue Grouse.

In the late afternoon we decided to hunt down a draw. With my brother-in-law positioning himself down the draw I worked my 2 yr old ESS Mia towards an his unknown position. This draw looked and felt like it had to have birds in it. About a hundred yards into this hunt I noticed Mia getting a bit birdy. And just as I noticed that a very large bird sprung into flight towards me. After two quick and effective shots the bird landed only a few yards from my feet. While the retrieve was short I did have an overwhelming feeling of relief. It was a first for both of us, her first Blue Grouse flush and my first take.

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