Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Hunt. Different Bird.

After an easy day's drive, we made it to the Superior National Forest in Minnesota.  I thought Wisconsin was way up there!  This is Ruffed Grouse country- exceptional. My local guide hunts with a 2 year old Wirehair and invited me through my friend, Glen (she is a relative of his).  She has been grouse hunting these trails  with her dog and having a great time- shooting birds and letting her dog help her do it.  It sounds to me like she's already got this thing down.  As any grouse hunter will tell you, "If you are putting them in the bag, you are doing it right!"

Ruffed Grouse are the absolute KING of game birds.  To my mind, they are the most difficult to hunt- for the hunter and the dog!  They are widely acknowledged to be the tastiest wild bird on the table, as well.  A good grouse dog is a rarity.  He has to have an exceptional nose, hunt relatively close, lock up on the faintest scent and be a deliberate and thoughtful dog.  I've seen a few and I even owned one many years ago.

Today, will be a proverbial "goat rope" with my dogs.  They've been hunting wide open land, searching for a bird that runs.  250 yard casts were not unheard of by my Ace dog.  Now, I'm asking them to do the opposite- hunt close and very carefully.  Rarely can a dog make that adjustment on their own and it may take a half-day to get them calmed down. But, I sense victory in the wind.  I wonder if this motel has a grill.....