Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 1st- Blue Grouse Opener

My 2008/09 Upland Odyssey started on September 1st with the Blue Grouse Opener. We repeated a family tradition we started last year with a camping/hunting trip. Grouse Camp 2009 was set up on Saturday two days before the opener.

With two days of waiting ahead of us, my brother-in-law and friend ventured out to scout for the upcoming hunting seasons. In addition to hunting this range for Blue Grouse we also scour this area for elk and deer throughout the fall. On Sunday we decided to scout a new area for deer and elk. After a 15 mile ride we look out at an expansive draw to find a black bear shuffling out of a draw.

The black dot in the middle of the picture.

Well enough with the small talk and on to Monday. After waking up at 4:30am we started out in search of our game. With only minutes passed by we quickly bag 3 grouse before 7am! My older ESS Mia easily flushed a nice "covey" of grouse. I took one grouse on the wing with Mia making a great find on a blind retrieve. My brother in law Pete picked up two nice birds that flushed down hill to his location. Mia again made two great finds.




The morning started out with a bag but quickly cooled off but started back up again after Mia flushed a grouse only a few feet away from us as we chewed the fat. "Trust your gun dog" was the slogan after I noticed her get birdy but tried to call her off as we finished a short hunt.



After a new resurgence we ventured out to flush three more birds while putting one more in the bag.


At mid morning we headed back to camp to take my nephew Ben out for his first hunt. After a few safety instructions to stay close and right behind his father we headed out on foot from camp. Ben's first hunt did not last long as we filled out limit within a few minutes. I wish it was always that easy but sometimes saving some boot leather makes the all those days of empty game bags worth it.




Pre-hunt diner of the last of the Blue Grouse in the freezer and some white wine from Colorado.



3 comments:

Shawn K. Wayment, DVM said...

Matt...it sounds like your hunt was similar to ours! Grouse numbers were really good this year as we saw 60 birds or more per day! We shouldn't promote Colorado grouse hunting to much...big game hopefully will remain the Colorado King!

Nice post and photos!

Shawn

Andrew Campbell said...

Matt:

You and Shawn are making it sound like hunting grouse in CO is a little too easy. Congrats on a great opening day.

Hope to get our boys out to the big open spaces around you sooner rather than later.

best
Andrew

Andrew M. Wayment said...

Matt,

This is the first time I've seen your blog and I'm impressed. Blue grouse are one of my very favorite birds to hunt. I did not see as many birds as you on the Idaho opener, but had a good hunt nonetheless.