Monday, September 18, 2017

MORE DUSKY (BLUE) GROUSE HUNTING

Chief, working it.

We had a shift in the weather last week and had a day of heavy rain and a 20 degree temperature drop. I welcome it, it finally feels like fall. I was worried that we would get too much rain or snow in my favorite hunting spots which would cause the birds to migrate higher into the thick pines. However when I was able to get out last weekend I was glad to see the birds were sticking to the mountain valleys where I like to hunt them.

It had rained most of the day before so I slept in a little to let things settle a little before I started hunting. I arrived at my spot about 8:30 am. The sun was just about to peer over the mountain and start drying things out. I was very happy I remembered to bring my upland chaps. They saved the day as I was wading through sopping wet knee to thigh-high grass and brush most of the morning. I would of been soaked from the wast down without them. When conditions call for them they are worth their weight in gold.

We started the morning working down into a wide valley with young aspens on the right and thick berry bushes and oak brush to the left. We went right and within 10 minutes Chief kicked some birds out from above me. One landed just ahead of where we were heading and we were able to get it up again and I scratched it down. I noticed my shell didn’t eject from my old Franchi AL48 and realized I hadn’t done my pre-hunt cleaning that this old gun requires. I was hoping it was just the cold temperatures causing the misfeed. 

Soon after Hazel pointed a single and I promptly missed with my first shot and again my gun didn’t eject the spent shell.  “Oh well”, it looks like I’m packing a single shot for the day. 

The day went like that most of the morning. The action was consistent and the shooting was consistently poor. I did mange to limit out and the dogs did awesome. It was an even split. Hazel found 2 and Chief found 2. Hazel retrieved them all in splendid fashion. Chief doesn’t like picking up the blue grouse. Too many feathers for his liking. He will bring them part way until he can’t stand it any more then drops it. Hazel is happy to clean up after him though.

Hazel busting Chief's point. To her credit Chief stole her point first. :)

It was a good day and I was able to figure out the issue with my gun so it’s all good. Looking forward to trying out some new spots and seeing if the birds did as well there as the spots we've been. It's a good time to be a grouse hunter in Utah.

Hazel doing the heavy lifting.



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