I really couldn't put my finger on it. I was hunting but something seemed somewhat familiar but still not reminiscent of anything recent. And then it hit me, the burn in my lungs was from a cold January morning in Upstate NY.
Here I was hunting Ruffed Grouse the way I did many times before my move out west.
That way was after the holidays and after deer season. During the previous deer season we always remember where we flushed grouse and we always came back when the weather permitted us to and that's what I where I was. Countless of times before my brother and I followed an ESS of the past, Babe or Kayla, through coverts that only weeks before had us searching for deer. This time we followed Phils little rocket ship of an ESS Mollie.
As we slowly climbed to reach the far corner of this covert I held my gun in anticipation of a flush. As I paused and on cue a grouse flush sounded just as a crack of the gun echoed. In an instant a grouse sailed over my way giving me a right to left shot. It was the best look I had a Ruffed Grouse in a long time and maybe ever! Well I just set my self up for a great miss. Yep, I can see it know, my head sticking over the barrel, eyes and mouth wide open in amazement! That's a perfect recipe for a missed shot. The good news is that my brother was able to bring one to hand with quartering away shot for his first bird of the season. That was all in the first 2o minutes. We spent the next six hours scouring coverts that held grouse only a few weeks back. No flushes and no sign and that was no problem with me. I had a great time and before I knew I was back home in Denver.
til next time.....