More Grouse Hunting In Utah

Hunting For Blue Grouse In The Beautiful Utah Mountains

Grouse Poop. They are here!
Jeff's first Blue Grouse
The Grouse Season is still in full swing here in Utah and we're enjoying every second of it. I've been getting out as much as possible and have been getting into enough birds to keep it exciting.

The dogs and I have been out hunting with family and friends and we are having a wonderful time. We're all getting slowly back into shape all while being in some of the most gorgeous country you'd ever want to be in. Elk, mule deer, moose, turkey, bighorn sheep, mountain goats can all be seen in the places we've been hunting. Spent Saturday in a spot where we were into both Blue and Ruffed Grouse. Bagged my first Ruffs of the season this past weekend. 

The dogs are doing good. Hazel is now the old vet and Chief keeps progressing nicely. He is getting more and more savvy with these birds and his natural ability is really coming through. He is hunting with the team more and more and is starting to back theother dogs on point. He is much more aware of whats going on this year. I couldn't be happier with him
taking a lunch break
Chiefs retrieving is progressing. I've come up with a game plan that involves using his natural competitiveness with Hazel. It really has made all the difference. He is now getting more fired up about retrieving. Hazel is money with retrieving. If she's on the ground and we knock a bird down it's pretty much guaranteed that it's in the bag. But if she's not around the rest of our pack are pretty weak retrievers comparatively. I'm hoping that with a little work and praise I can bring out more desire to retrieve in Chief. I don't think it will take a whole lot of work to get there but he does need some encouragement. Retrieving grouse is difficult especially for a young dog. They hardly ever see the fall of the bird so they have to have that desire to go find it and hopefully bring it back to us.  I really love a nice retriever.

Using this competition method has really worked for Chief and I've see a big improvement while training in just the past week. He is not only retrieving the dokkens bumpers I throw in the yard he is doing it with vigor and enthusiasm. This is huge because usually he will just jog over to the bumper sloppily pick it up by the head or tail and just run around the yard with it. Now he is sprinting over to it, picking it up properly and sprinting back to me and delivering it to hand. Huge difference in a week. I guess retrieving a wild bird last weekend on his own really had a positive effect on him. It's fun to watch a young dog progress like that.

Chief is one of those dogs that if He feels like it's his idea he will do whatever you ask of him. But if he feels pressured it really slows him down. Life is just playtime to this kid. I could take a lesson from him with my attitude.

 Blue Grouse In The Bag
A pair of young Ruffed Grouse.
I've only been to a few areas so far here locally but so far it appears that we've had an excellent hatch of birds this year. The action has been pretty consistent and the dogs are getting a good workout. Great experience for a young dog like Chief. He's been in pretty much every circumstances you could hope to create and he's handling it all better than could be expected for a young dog. Finding birds, pointing, backing, and retrieving downed birds. I couldn't ask for more.
A tired brace of bird dogs taking a break in the shade.
nothing like a deep moose wallow to cool down in

Hope everyone else is enjoying the season. The weather here in Utah is finally starting to cool. The leaves are in their full Autumn glory and it's an amazing time of year. I am so blessed. Some days I just look at these mountains and can't believe what I'm seeing. These pictures from the iPhone just don't do them justice. All while hunting over these beautiful animals. I can't wait to get out again.

Good Hunting, everyone!


Searching the flats on the way back to the truck


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