Friday, December 25, 2009

Hup


Yeah, I just took the next step in the evolution of being a true upland dork.Vanity license plates. I admit to being an upland dork...that's the first step.


til next time....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Domain Name

To those that follow my blog (all 3 of you!) please take note that I changed my domain name from flushingspaniels.blogspot to http://www.anuplandodyssey.com/ . (google will automatically direct you to the correct site)

Why the change? Why not. Well to be honest I really never intended to create a blog in the first place so my domain name and title never matched. So as this blog grows I will grow as well!

If I follow your blog and you don't see your site on the blog roll please leave a note on the comment section. After I made the change I realized you can't transfer everything over.

Through this blog I have been able to communicate my passion of the uplands to those that are like minded. I have been able to tell a story that hopefully someone out there will enjoy. I also have been lucky to meet some very nice people along the way. Some of those I have even enjoyed the opportunity of sharing a hunt or two with.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey as much as I have.

Merry Christmas!!

til next time.....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Finally

It seemed like forever but I was finally able to make it out for a quick pheasant hunt this past week. My BIL Pete and I were able to take my Dad out on a excursion to bag some Eastern Colorado pheasants. I was thinking that this must have been his first time in 20 or so years that he was able to chase some wild birds. So we set out to have a good hunt and we did just that. The weather was almost too nice but we hunted hard and we did manage to scratch down a few birds. Mia hunted hard as usual and I was able to get some much needed training in with Abby.



Next up is a two day trip to Kansas at the end of the month. Can't wait.
til next time.....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Too Cold

So tomorrow I finally have a day off and I won't be heading out east to chase some birds. Because it's too dam cold! For Christ sakes....I'm from Buffalo. Yeah it's that cold. The forecasts are calling for
-23 wind chill.

So tonight I'm curled up to a pleasant surprise: Frambozen by New Belgium Brewing
and a good book: Grouse Hunter's Guide by Dennis Walrod. From what I've heard it's a must read for any ruffed grouse hunter. Since it's been a few years since I've chased some ruffs it will bring back some great memories.

Too memories and a good brew.

til next time.....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Back to Reality

Last week Nichole and I went back to Buffalo, NY to visit my family for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I had some time put aside to get in some deer hunting with some friends and family. I was able to get out for 3 hunts. The weather was unseasonably warm for that time of year and it seems the deer were just not moving. So in order to move deer we moved them, our family sits for the first part of the morning and then we go on foot to move the deer. Deer drives are always time honored tradition in our neck of the woods. For us they are successful for others maybe not but at least you keep warm and you see deer.

Camp

We were able to get some shots off but unfortunately none of the shots hit their mark. Not for me nor my brother-in-law. We hunted hard to show my nephew Ben that deer hunting with family was as fun as we have always told him it was. He hunted as hard as anyone and hoped as hard as anyone for one of to take a deer. But like we told him..."it's called hunting and not shooting". He'll be toting a firearm be for too long but his enthusiasm for the hunt is high as ever.
Pete and Ben

Ben
When I wasn't hunting I was enjoying some time with my family. This was the first time in 12 yrs that the 5 of us have been together for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It was a great time and we shared a ton of laughs...mostly at each others expense.


"The Whole Dam Family"

Well it's back to reality as I am geared up to work the next three weeks. It's our busy season at work so I hope I can make it out at least once for some pheasants before Christmas.

til next time......

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sometimes

To those you spend their days on the water, vast fields or thick coverts you know what it's like to have the distraction of our passion to mask the roller coaster of life. Wednesday was one of those days when being a field was the best thing possible. My Dad was having sugary while I was out on pheasant hunt with my brother, brother-in-law and hunting buddy Adis. The surgery was nothing too major but it was relief to be out on the plains chasing those wily birds. It's amazing that when life throws curve balls at me I always have the greatest opportunity to have the uplands and rivers as a temporary distraction. Eventually you have to face life but it's always easier when sometimes the medicine is the outdoors.
To sometimes!



til next time......

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Standing Corn

The 2009 CO pheasant opener has come and gone and I'm fine with that. The over anticipation was quickly flattened by the middle of our hunt on Saturday. Once I realized that all of the birds where going to or in the standing corn I knew we were in for a long hunt. The good news.....there are plenty of birds and I can't wait until January!! Actually the bird population is the best I've seen in CO. Overall the hunt was a great. The dogs worked hard to put the birds up so we could miss some cherry shots but it wouldn't be hunting if that didn't happen. We'll see if I can make it out later this week.

Snowy bird from Sunday's hunt
til next time.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting Ready...again

I guess one of the best parts about living in the west is the extended upland season. It seems like it was many moons ago when I itched to see Sept 1 on the calender. That has come and gone and so has the hunts that followed. The elk and deer and are now table fare. But we have yet another upland opener...pheasants and quail. I'll be chasing pheasants this weekend and a few days until the new year. I'll have a greater opportunity after the new year to really to hit the coverts but for now Saturday is another opening day.

Mia from a few years back. 1/07

til next time.....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Freezer is full

Yesterday, I returned from our annual Colorado big game hunt and it turned out to be a great success. We had the usual crew of six in camp and all had a great time. Here are a few photos to tell the story because I'm too tired to type.



A big thanks goes out to our crew for helping each other drag and pack out all the game:
Pappa Denny, Adam , Pete, Pete M & Phil.
Between the six of us in camp we took 3 bucks, 1 6x6 bull elk and 2 cow elk. So the freezer is going to be full and we'll be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor for the next year.
Back to the birds!!!
til next time..............

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let it Begin

Tomorrow starts a month long journey of big game hunting in the CO mountains then the CO pheasant opener and then a trip home to NY. It's going to be one busy month but I'm looking forward to it. I have a great assortment of tags for our big hunt so I hope to fill the freezer and maybe trophy!?! I'm sure the girls will be going nuts while I'm up at camp but they'll get a chance to shine on the pheasants.

Here are a few more photographs from a grouse hunt in early October.



til next time.....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Purgatory

From what I remember from my 12 years of Catholic schooling, purgatory is the time/place between death and heaven. By no means am I getting religious on you because the roof might fall on us...Yes, I mean us because I know about some of the readers of this blog!!! I'm just trying to explain that I am longing to chase some wild birds again. That chase won't pick back up until November 14th when we hit the prairies of Eastern Colorado for the Chinese Ringneck Pheasant. Unless we have some divine intervention in my work schedule I don't believe that I'll get after any Blue Grouse ......I mean Dusky Grouse until Sept 1, 2010. But before I start chasing those ditch chickens I'll be heading up to the high country for some deer and elk with the usual suspects, just take a look at this crew.
My lucky ass brother Phil with cousin "Peaches" in the back round!!
"yeah sure we'll waste a day of hunting to pack out your deer for you!!
The girls will be driving Nichole next week when I head up to deer camp for a few days but we'll be chasing birds before we know it!!
The girls resting and waiting.
I guess purgatory can't be that bad....I'll still get to hunt...!
til next time.....

Friday, October 9, 2009

Beautiful Day

Indeed.....I was finally able to take Mia out hunting after the injury she suffered in the first week of our upland season. We went back to a very familiar area that has been producing grouse on a regular basis. The hard part about this time of year is the Dusky Grouse winter migration. We all know they migrate up in elevation but that doesn't mean we find them!! Well, I think that we did a good job this time. We had 14 flushes with 4 in the game bag. Mia hunted great and was steady on all flushes and shots. It amazing to have her back in the fold. I was also lucky enough to bring along a long time friend and co-worker along for his first hunt. While most of us use a gun to hunt Drake Busch uses his camera. He's a professional photographer that has been talking about coming along with me for few years now. He truly captured the hunt....a hunt that I will certainly remember for a long time to come.
Here are a few of the memories......
please click on the images to get a better look.
the gun
the flush
the shot
the retrieve
the crew

the memory

The sun going down on a beautiful day.
til next time....

Monday, October 5, 2009

Back at it!!

On Friday morning I got the news that Mia was released by our Vet to continue full activity. Great news I say! While we knew to be very cautious with during her rehab I knew it was only a matter of time before she was able to hunt again this season. I had the girls out for a training session on Saturday and Mia was on fire. Her drive and intensity was overwhelming. We are heading up for a grouse hunt in two days. We'll be taking it a little bit easier on this hunt since it will be her first in a month.

Just a few pictures that I dug up from a few years back when Abby was a puppy.



til next time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fishing for Colors

Last week I was able to get out on the water with my father in law Jon who was in Colorado for a fishing trip. We set our sights on some Greenback Cutthroats. Wow what a fish! The colors, the way they hit the fly and how they fight. It was fun to get after them.

These pictures don't do these fish any justice. I guess you'll have to get after them to see it for real.
On a side note: Mia is feeling much better and I think we'll be chasing some birds before too long.
til next time......

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Injured Reserve

What a difference a couple of days make. A few days ago I was cleaning up from a very successful Labor Day Dusky Grouse hunt and making future plans to chase Duskies, Mountain Sharptails, Sage Grouse and Ptarmigan. Today, we took Mia to the Vet to look at her front right leg/shoulder that she was favoring. The diagnosis is a season ending shoulder injury that is similar to a torn rotator cuff. I'm crushed to say the least. Mia is my work horse and now she down and out for a few months. I won't rush her back but I'm now without a trained gun dog. Abby is still in the steadying process so I will now refocus my resources toward her so we can finish steadying her before the pheasant season in November. This is one tough pill to swallow because I had so many high hopes for this upland hunting season. I wanted to really get out and explore all the upland possibilities in Colorado. The Dusky Grouse season was already being called epic and I was going to have some time to chase some other species. Now it's all about getting Abby ready and making sure Mia heals up properly.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tradition

For the past three years, we have spent the Labor Day weekend with my sister and her family camping and hunting in Central Colorado. If you remember from previous posts that this is just an excuse to hunt Dusky Grouse. This year, we invited fellow friends and ESS enthusiasts Adis and Aida to join us on this trip. After packing up Saturday morning, we headed out to a general area that holds such names as: The Crossroads, Springer Ridge, The Shootout Draw, Grouse Camp,****Tree, ***** Creek, ********Rd and The Knob. After setting up camp we quickly learned that the birds were the reason we drove 2 1/2 hours as my BIL Pete came into camp with a grouse that flushed out as he took a ride on the ATV. As he went to flush the grouse 7 others flushed from the trail side cover. We then quickly assembled our gear and hit our favorite coverts in search of grouse.

After a steep climb Adis took his first Dusky Grouse that tried to sneak out the back door on us.

As we finished up the days hunt we counted 6 grouse in hand.
The sun going down the first day and we hope the second will be good as the first.
Dinner time.............

Down the road to the next hunt.

After meeting up with another friend, the four of us headed out to see if our luck would hold up.
Well it did, time after time that morning. Along the way to our first covert, we saw grouse traveling near and on the trails while on their way to their feeding grounds. The birds were spread out just enough for us to catch our breath after each flush.

Scott with his puppy, Elsie's, first grouse.


A brace of grouse to finish a great day in the uplands.

One tired springer!
On Sunday, we only hunted half a day but had a whole season of action. Good dog work, good shooting and a great day. In all, the four of us took 19 grouse in less than two days of hunting. It was a trip to remember as we saw a puppy jump into action and a hunter take his first grouse.
til next time...........

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What We All Have Been Waiting For

Opening day of the 2009 Dusky Grouse season came and went. It went well, very well. A few pictures that will help tell the story.


Cool down!!




It was great chasing birds in the Rockies. Four hunters ended up taking ten birds in a hard days work. My buddy Adam took his first grouse and limit in the first day! Were back at today so we'll see what the weekend has in store for us!

til next time.........