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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