Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just a little road trip..

Nichole and I packed up the girls and took a trip to the mountains. With it being the peak of the fall foliage no time was better to welcome the fall season.

We headed up to the Guanella Pass area to take a little hike up in search of some ptarmigan. Again, searching is the key word here. Going on a hot tip that ptarmigan were in this general vicinity I thought it might be an easy hunt! Wrong, this area looked like it held birds but with all the foot traffic from all the hikers my forecast of a full game bag quickly diminished as I watch every hiker look at me like I had 5 heads! Like they never saw a hunter before!
It was great none the less. We did see some great sights and it was good to get away for the day.
Here are some pictures from the day. Enjoy!

Fall in the Rockies!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Grousing it!

Last week I was able to squeeze in a quick Blue Grouse hunt with a few friends. We were able to take 4 birds and two of those birds were "1st's" Blue Grouse for two of the hunters.

Here's Matt with his first Blue Grouse.

Good Times......until next time!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Grouse" Egg!

I took the girls out today for a Grouse hunt. I wanted to use this day to hunt new areas and I did flush 6 Grouse. That's where the "grouse/goose egg" comes in! I was surprised by the flushes and could not get a good read on their flights. Two of them then re-flushed from a tree. I was a thick area and I could get a good look at any of the birds. The girls did good. At times Mia ranged out a few times but she did a good job on her commands.

The second area I hit was a big disappointment. It look and felt "grousy" but I only found a few berries. Oh well, until the next time out. Sorry no pictures.

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.