Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Next hunt will start 19 Oct for the pheasant extravaganza to SD and ND- stay tuned.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Perfect day again. Sunny and 50 deg.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Here's a shot of the foliage in WI right now. You can't see it, but the weather was 58 deg and rain. All the hunting parties, including me, had a poor day. Ace locked up on a bird 30 yards off the trail and it held until I got there. The flush was left to right (I'm a lefty- so this was a good thing) and I was mentally putting this bad boy in my bag and pulling the trigger on the Fox when...oops, where did that sapling come from? The barrel hit the tree just as the gun fired. I still have the mental image of that grouse and I swear he was looking right at me- and laughing! I figure if you take this grouse hunting personally, you'll be a bitter old man in short order. So, my philosophy is- I've never had a bad or unsuccessful day in the field. Period. If you measure your success by the size of your game bag at the end of the day, you are going to end up giving up this sport. I have some friends that ask me, first thing, all the time when I get home, "How many birds did you kill?" "All of them I could!", I'll answer.
Tomorrow, I know a great spot and I'll bet its loaded with birds!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The picture is of one tired dog (Bo) at the end of the day. He disappeared around 4pm and I waited and waited and shot 4 times and blew my whistle, but finally I headed back to the truck to dry off. I left about an hour later and headed back down the trail to find my dog, sans gun. About a hundred yard in, a large gray, bushy tailed, gray with red and brown undertones dog came out of the brush beside the trail and walked to the middle- looking away from me. It was a wolf! I yelled and it turned, stared and loped away up the trail. I kept pushing on and, finally, about 4 hours after I last saw him- I found him! He was so tired he kept wanting to lie down and that's when I noticed the blood on his left hindquarter. A perfect puncture wound! My theory is that he knocked heads with a wolf and got away. Bo ain't talking either.....
Friday, September 12, 2008
We are travelling from Montana to Wisconsin at the present. I need to drop Dennis off at the Minneapolis Airport first and then it's off the Phillips for the Ruffed Grouse opener! I enjoy walking those trails probably more than any other form of bird hunting. I've often said if forced to hunt only one bird- it would be Ruffed Grouse! That is a true gamebird- hard to find and impossible to shoot. I'm sure that there are many who would say they have no problem getting a 5 bird limit everytime they go out. I do- and I'm not ashamed to say it. I limited last year in September and took a self portrait- its my screensaver. I love to look at it and remember the dog work, the shooting and the day.
That's Ace (stinky, I call him now) above with one of his Sharpies in Montana. Good year up there, by the way. Not like last year, but when is it ever- right?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Great day and smelly dog! Yikes. Poor Ace hit the mother load this time. He must have been a big boy skunk- no warning shot this time! Ace got it right in the kisser! He ran to me across the field and I could smell him coming- the poor thing. He threw up twice on the way back to the truck. What you see is the tomato juice with baking soda and white vinegar. He's outside whining right now. Guess I better go see him. Phew!!!
You meet the strangest folks when bird hunting all over the states. I was alongside the road trying to clean Ace off when I heard a familiar voice saying, "What are you doing here?" It was Rick Hopkins from GA! Earlier today we went into a roadhouse to buy some cokes to go with lunch and who do I see, but Quintin Wiseman and a boat load of hunters from GA and SC! Small world for bird hunters, I guess.
Tomorrow, it's off to WI for Ruffed Grouse. It will be a travel day on Friday- the season opens on Saturday.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Why is Ace looking forlorn in the back of the truck? If you could smell the rascal, you'd know! He was working some real thick Alfalfa (I was looking right at him) he acted like he was making scent- then he jumped, yelped and ran up to me. I thought it was a porcupine and checked him over for quills. The wind was blowing pretty hard and he was down wind so I didn't smell him. Later, I caught a whiff of him and knew why I packed the Fabreze. I'll bet it was a mature skunk that hit him. It was really just a warning tap- a little shot right between the eyes! Old Mister Skunk was saying "Hey, dog, here's a little present! Come any closer and you'll be walking home because I'll make you stink so bad they won't let you in the truck!"
Forget the tomato juice or any of that stuff. Fabreze breaks it down chemically and takes care of it. He's back in his box now- smelling outdoorsey fresh!!!
My 16 ga. is the perfect gun for this! I'm shooting 6 shot Fiochi Golden Pheasant. Now, they are real proud of that shell, but, to me, it's worth the extra expense. Oh, and one more thing, in case you haven't bought shells this year, standby for sticker shock! What you were paying last year for a box of your favorites ($7) is more than doubled ($18). You can thank the Democrats for that- (Note!- Not really, but I always wanted to say that!).
Don't forget to get your BLM maps and Block Management Maps ahead of time. With a little planning, you can have a great time. I'm thinking it's even better up north. Well, I seem to have deleted my pictures off my computer and chip- so I'll talke a bunch today and try to catch up....don't forget...
Hunting is close to heaven behind a good dog.
Monday, September 8, 2008
It looks like another great day- cool in the am and a little warm during the day. Later in the week, it will get to the 70's and we may have to take a break during the middle of the day, but today it will only make it to 65. Bo, my 10 year old, is a little stiff this morning, so some Remadyl will do the job and a long walk to loosen him up. I run him first, since he has seniority and it's cooler then too. Peaches, my 8 year old setter is next. Then the bonehead (Ace) takes the field. I know some guys hunt more than one dog, I used to do that, but lately I like to concentrate on just one dog. Well, off to another day in the bird wars of 2008.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
This place is great again this year and the honey holes from last year are still producing. I look forward to working dogs and shooting birds here for a week.
Here's Peaches and I after a successful cast! She's my old reliable- steady and constant. Old Bo is trying hard, but you can tell he's tired and, like me, takes a little more time to do the same things he used to. Ace is flash and fire and he is finding the birds! I laugh out loud when I see him screw himself into the ground when he hits scent in the field- just rock solid. Today I'll try to get a picture of him- I've been so excited to get up there and shoot birds, I don't do it.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Depart at 0400 to pick up Dennis at 0500 in Marietta- then on the road again......
Dogs are ready, trailer is ready, guns are ready and I'm way past ready. I even gave Bo a little "come to Jesus" lecture about running off. We'll see if that worked- Ha!