My first bird of the 2017 fall season.

The 2017 early upland hunting season is here. Although I feel it is too early in the year and too hot, sticky, and bug filled with the current summer temperatures to be out in the mountains chasing grouse. However, I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed getting out and doing what I love most. It was exciting just packing up the truck, charging the collars, deciding what gun to take and the expectation of walking into a cover with hopeful thoughts of getting into some birds.

To me grouse hunting is the most care-free of all the hunts. I’m not expecting much from myself or the dogs, the weather or the birds so I usually end up pretty happy with whatever happens. That’s probably a good thing because the shooting, the dog work and the my ability to hike for very long in the hot weather wasn’t very awesome. There is plenty of room for improvement.

My brother and I got up early to beat the heat and went to one of our favorite spots. It proved to be productive and the grouse numbers in that area look good. We saw quite a few birds, however, the conditions were rather poor. We had 80+ degree tempetures by 9:30 am and there was practically little to no breeze all morning. The vegetation is still growing and blooming in places. That coupled with the heat is a lot to ask for a dog. Finding birds in those conditions can be tough. However, for the first time out, without a whole lot of off-season work, I feel they did pretty good.  I’m hoping a cold front will rumble through and cool things down and get fall started. With my dogs, cooler weather helps qutie a bit.

Shawn with the first bird of the day.

I can’t wait to get out again. I’m already plotting and coniving ways to get out of work and get my self back up into these mountains. My dogs are the happiest and more content than I’ve seen them in months. Funny, I think I am to.


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