SNOWY DAYS & LOST DOGS - GROUSE HUNTING 2017 CONTINUED
|Coming Down Off The Mountain After a getting hit with a surprise Snow Storm|
Its been an interesting season thus far. It started out really well and we had 4 weeks of really excellent hunting with plenty of opportunities. We then got a weekend of weather that left about 6” of snow at my favorite grouse hunting spots. That quickly melted and we were able to follow it with another great day of hunting. We got into some ruffed grouse as well as the duskies we’ve normally been seeing. The birds were in the heavier cover of the trees and could be found at the edges of young aspen stands. Usually at the end or edge of a gully with water nearby.
One afternoon my brother and I got stuck in a nasty storm that came on suddenly. We had an inch or two of snow on the ground in about 20 minutes and had to trudge through 2 miles of soaking wet, snow covered terrain. I know that doesn't sound too bad but It was brutal. Wet snow on branches and bushes and on top of the 2 foot plus tall grass. Walking through it gets you soaking wet. It's unavoidable. We saw the storm coming but we were into birds pretty heavily so we pushed it until it was dumping on us. Luckily I was somewhat prepared for it but I was still pretty wet and cold by the time we got back to the truck. It was really hard on the dogs. They were both shivering and were done by the time we kenneled them up for the day. Wet and cold is a bad combo. The roads turned very slick as well but the old-rusty-red taco pushed through just fine. I love my old truck.
Last week I hunted for about 4 hours and didn’t see a bird. It was really strange. There was fresh sign, the terrain was just right but nothing. We had 3 false points from Chief and one from Hazel. I just have to write it up as an odd day.
On top of that I lost my Llewelln, Chief for a few hours. That was rather nerve-racking. He’s been known to run off occasionally and get himself lost. Usually within 10-20 minutes he figures it out and finds us. He has even barked and howled before to help me find him. For whatever reason he was LOST, lost. I was about to panic. I couldn’t imagine driving home knowing he was lost somewhere in the mountains. Or worst, facing my kids and telling them he was lost. All kinds of scenarios were running through my mind. Was he caught in a trap, did a mountain lion get him, did a pack of coyotes lure him away, did someone steal him? I was driving myself crazy. I eventually walked back to my truck and started driving the mountain road… stopping every few hundred yards to whistle and yell. I covered about a 2 mile area back and forth. I eventually decided to go back to where we were parked and try there again and there he was running up the 2 track towards me. It was a happy reunion, at least for me. Chief just ran around the back of the truck and was like “let’s go, I’m done”. I watered him and took him home very happy and relieved. I've said it before but it's time for me to purchase a GPS system. With a big running dog like Chief it will bring a lot of peace of mind.
I’m Hoping to get out at least one more time before the deer rifle season hits and then were off to South Dakota for a few days, then it’s pheasant season here in Utah.