Great day on the mountain! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-20-2014, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Great day on the mountain!

It was just a great day to be in the woods and a chance encounter near day's end made it even more special. I'm a greenhorn when it comes to grouse & woodcock hunting and I've spent this season with my young drahthaar just putting down shoe leather trying to find decent coverts more for future hunting trips than for success this season. I haven't found much good habitat close to me so I've been branching out in my search.

Today we hunted the same area we hunted last week that produced two wild flushes. I was excited and hoped today would find holding birds and a solid point. We hunted about 2 hours before we found our first bird, a wild flush I heard but didn't see. A bit later on the edge of a small, thick cut Quade suddenly locked up with an intense point in the thick stuff. I was moving around a tree to come in for the flush when the bird exploded about 10ft in front of Quade. YES! Quade's first "official" grouse point (he pointed one on opening day that I never saw or heard but Twistedoak said he heard the bird go out.) I was so excited and praised Quade up a ton. He was fired up too and we hunted all around that cut but never relocated the bird. I didn't fire a shot but I had a smile on my face the entire walk back to the truck. It was just awesome to see my dog solidly point his first grouse!

As we loaded up to leave a truck was coming down the road from further up the mountain and it turned out to be Tom Gingher of Knob Mountain Kennel and his friend Frank. Wow, what an awesome chance encounter. He was very gracious and took a look at my dog and we talked a little bird hunting. No birds in the bag but it was just an awesome day for me and Quade. I realize a day like this may not be that exciting to some of you guys with years of grouse experience under your belts but believe it or not, this day was one of the highlights of our entire season.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-20-2014, 10:57 PM
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Re: Great day on the mountain!

Sounds like a great day. It's amazing how a single bird can put a spring in your step and a smile on your face.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-20-2014, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Great day on the mountain!

Oh man it was an awesome sight. I was as excited as a kid at Christmas. I kind of think I'm gonna take Friday off just to get back out in the grouse woods as I might have a commitment with my nephews on Saturday.

Hunt, Fish, Vote! I support AR and Sunday hunting. Life Member of NRA and TU.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 12:16 AM
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Re: Great day on the mountain!

Great job Ryan and Quade!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 12:53 AM
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Re: Great day on the mountain!

Ryan, It was nice to meet you . I'm looking forward to getting out in the woods soon with you and Quade. That was truly a chance encounter that was supposed to happen as I haven't been up that road in a long while.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 01:11 AM
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Re: Great day on the mountain!

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Great day on the mountain!

Thanks, Tom. Quade & I were truly fortunate. Thought about that the whole ride home. It was very gracious of you to take time to watch him run. I enjoyed meeting you and Frank and I can't wait to get him out in the woods for you.

Hunt, Fish, Vote! I support AR and Sunday hunting. Life Member of NRA and TU.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 12:14 PM
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Re: Great day on the mountain!

sounds like fun! It is certainly no secret, just run them on birds every chance you get and good things will happen!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 01:47 PM
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Re: Great day on the mountain!

Great stuff Ryan, I have been rooting for you and Quade this season, as we are in similar stages in dog training, and grouse hunting.

I agree with you that the best part of grouse hunting for me is not so much shooting and killing the birds as it is watching your dog grow, and become better at hunting them. Watching your dog do exactly what you want it too, makes you more excited than actually getting a bird. I will say this though, when I got my first grouse, and first grouse over Lilly I was happier than any deer I had ever shot in my life.

Lilly put on a great flush this weekend, but I wasn't quite paying the best attention to her. We were in an area with a lot of turkey tracks and she got really birdy. It was an area of more open ground that separates two areas of a covert. She was really "digging in scent" and cut in front of me and went to the left hard. I overlooked it as I thought she was just on the turkey sign. I was looking for the best angle to take into the next area. I looked to my left just in time to see Lilly blast at a grouse, that flushed about 5 feet in front of her. I pulled to the left and shot at the bird, but instantly knew that I stopped and did not follow through.

Thing I learned from this, is expect the unexpected and never write your dog off. If you see them getting birdy, focus your full attention on them, even if you doubt it is actually a grouse.

Great stuff and wish you and your dog the best of luck.

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