Grand Rapids MN Ruffed Grouse Hunt October 18th 2013

3 Dogs 3 Grouse
Friday October 18th 2013

I am guessing that like most people I like to hunt the weekdays when possible.  I like the feeling of being alone in the woods.  We hit our first spot at about 1 pm.  I was surprised that no one was already parked at the spot when we got there.

I decided to start with Tasha.  I thought that by giving her the first shot at the area that maybe I could take her first grouse over a point.  I was able to take a woodcock that she  had pointed but had not yet connected on a grouse.  She has had a few flash points but nothing real solid yet.

She started to work the cover right away and seemed to be more serious about her approach.  We hit an area that usually produces a woodcock or two but didn’t move anything.  The second stretch is a longer piece of trail.  In this area she seemed to be working a bit slower and not quite as sure of herself.  We reached a split in the trail and as we got about 25 yards from the split Tasha stopped.  I wasn’t sure if she was pointing or just stopping.  I took another step and the grouse flushed.  I wasn’t quick enough to get off a shot but it was nice to see her respond to the scent.  We continued working the trail to the end but didn’t move any more birds.  Unfortunately this is an out an back trail so you end up rehunting the same area.  As we worked our way back Tasha moved farther out into the side areas and really worked a nice pattern most of the way back.

After getting back to the truck and having a bit of a snack I put Tina on the ground.  With Tina I sometimes go on autopilot and just wait until I quit hearing her bell and then the beeper goes off to signal her point.  Just a few minutes after getting back on the trail she went on point.  I moved in and a bird broke right to left and I took a shot.  I wasn’t sure that I had hit it so I was focused on marking the spot when another bird got up and went the opposite direction.  I took a quick poke but the bird kept flying.  We went into the cover looking to see if I had downed the bird or not.  After a bit of searching Tina found the bird.

We hunted some of the area that Tasha and I hadn’t covered but didn’t move any birds so we decided to recheck our favorite trail.  A short way down the trail Tina locked up and I had an easy straight away shot and was able to connect.  Toward the far end of the trail Tina again had a nice point and as I moved in a double got up from the opposite side of the trail.  I was able to spin around and get one of them.

We worked our way back to the truck, loaded up, and headed to the motel and Friday Night Fish Fry.

I was happy with how the dogs worked though I was still hoping to take a grouse over a Tasha point.

I was 3/4 on grouse and 0/1 on woodcock.  I expected to see a few more birds but has been better than I expected after my first few hunts where we saw so few birds.

Roughing it at the motel after the hunt

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