SKUNKED (Not what you think) Grouse Hunting 2015 (so far)
It has been a beautiful September here in Utah and I have been fortunate to get out and chase some of my favorite game birds.
The hunt opened this year on a Tuesday, my brother and I both took the day off work, got up early and got after some semi-local blues just after sun-up. It was a successful morning but it quickly became too warm for the dogs and they were soon breaking down and not hunting as effective as they were in the cool hours of the early morning. But we did bag a few and witnessed some good dog work. Mostly from my brother's 2 year old shorthair Oakley. She had some nice points and retrieves. She's really grown up this past year and come into her own.
|Shawn and the hounds during a successful morning hunt|
|A skunked Chief wondering what he did wrong|
|Young Dusky (Blue) Grouse|
If you follow the blog then you know me, and know that I'll keep after it. I'm sure we'll have more success. I've been happy with what we've found so far. This time of year it is so nice to be in these mountains, chasing these dogs. Yesterday we saw bighorn sheep, moose, mule deer and a coyote along with the grouse. You can't see that from your couch, it's just nice to be out in it.
|Chief has developed a new love for moose wallows. He's been sleeping in the garage more often than not lately.|
|Chief with his first grouse of the season.|
I've been packing my 28 gauge side by side so far this season and I'm rediscovering how much I enjoy that gun. It's so light and nimble. I don't think I shoot as well with it as do with my other guns but it has a fun factor that I'm enjoying. Not shooting as well could just be in my head. It fits me well and shoulders fine. I think it's more rust on my end than the gun.
|Grouse crop: buds and grasshoppers|
Hazel has also had a good hunt and she continues to be consistent. She's gotten into a few so far and I'm sure there will be more.
If you like Indian food a nice simple way to cook game birds is buy a pre-made curry sauce. Cube or quarter up your birds. Brown them with a little oil in a pan. Then simmer them for at least 20 minutes in this sauce on low. That and some basmati rice makes for some good eating. I buy a Maya Kaimal brand from Costco and Target has an Archer Farms brand that's pretty decent. If you have more time, make your own curry and cook your birds in that. If you have the ingredients Thai-green curry is pretty easy to make. The web is loaded with good recipes. We discovered this last year during chukar season and have really enjoyed it. I recently did up some grouse with this sauce and the results were the same. Ive simmered chukar legs in this recipe and it breaks them down nicely. Simmering in a sauce for 25 minutes or so makes those tough chukar legs nice and tender. Remember to age your meat in the refrigerator for a few days (4 minimum - 10 maximum) before cooking or even freezing. Trust me it makes a difference.
Lastly, I'd like to congratulate my oldest brother Rick on a successful Moose hunt. They won't be going hungry any time soon. :) Beautiful and amazing animals are moose. He's been waiting for this for a long time. I'm so happy for him. If I had a dream hunt in Utah I think a moose would be the one.
|Once in a lifetime. Rick with his first and last Utah moose|
|My nephew Clint hauling out the head and cape.|