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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a long time since I posted on HPA, but a new dog means new hunting opportunities so I may have more to talk about these days.

I just got back from Grouse hunting in the North Woods of Maine and it was a very worthwhile trip. Left around 4am on Thursday Oct. 7th and got to a camping location about 12 hours later. Hunted two days, flushed plenty of birds most of which I didn't get a shot at, some of which I missed and only managed to bag the very last bird my dog flushed. Anyway, I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story and I'll include a youtube link to some of my commentary. I forgot the gopro at home unfortunately so no action shots of me missing grouse.

Last year was a dry fall and when we arrived the leaves were completely off the trees, this year was much wetter and you can see the difference it made in these pictures taken at the same spot almost exactly 1 year apart....
Cloud Sky Plant Plant community Ecoregion

Plant Sky Dog Dog breed Carnivore


I set up camp for the night, made some dinner and planned for the next day and went to bed early, it had been a long day on the road. My camping set up is a Tuff Stuff 4x4 "Ranger" roof top tent.
Tire Wheel Sky Vehicle Car


Friday morning we were greeted by a beautiful sunrise, made some coffee and oatmeal, packed camp and headed for some roads that looked like good places to start walking.

Plant Sky Cloud Natural landscape Sunlight


Shadow did well, He flushed 4 birds on our first two logging roads of the day. Only one of which presented a shooting opportunity that I missed of course. We then took a little drive to the area we hunted last year. Walked out another road and he made an all star effort to flush two grouse from one spot, the first flew through thick trees, the second flushed, made a sudden U turn and came straight at me, I let him pass, swung on him and missed cleanly. We followed him in and flushed him a second time with no shooting opportunity. All told he had 7 flushed on the day and two road birds spotted. A pretty good day after the reports I'd been hearing.

We called it quits around 3 so Shadow could rest up for the next day, and drove around to locate some roads to walk in the morning. Set up camp, made some dinner and watched the sun set.
Cloud Tire Sky Vehicle Wheel

Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Kitchen utensil

Cloud Sky Atmosphere Ecoregion Natural environment


Saturday morning dawned beautifully with just a hint of frost on the tent fly.
Sky Atmosphere Plant Natural landscape Wood


The first road we walked was frustrating, about 100 yards in we found not 1 but 2 big grouse, The first I missed, we tried to follow up on it, but shadow knew something I didn't know, there was another grouse in the cover. He went back in and flushed it.... this one was an absolute layup. I heard him take off and could see his flight path would bring him right out into the open and back across the road. Didn't matter I whiffed, not sure how, but I did. Not long after I slipped in a muddy tire track and torqued my knee enough that I'm still limping. We kept walking to the end of the road, which was a little over 1.5 miles out. On the way back he jumped a grouse into a pine tree but I couldn't spot it for the life of me and it eventually spooked out the other side to safety. We limped back to the truck, 3 miles of walking plus off shoots into good cover, I should have had 3 birds and instead had nothing to show for it. I did get this pic which is one of my favorites from the trip.
Sky Smile Beard Working animal Cap


The next road looked good on the map but about halfway out I was losing hope. It was tight pine trees and just didn't seem like it would hold birds. We walked to the end, found some nice moose sign including an alder that had been thrashed to pieces by a bull, then turned around and headed back. Only a few hundred yards from the truck Shadow makes a hard turn in to the ditch on the right and gets really birdy, I lose sight of him in the thick pines but suddenly hear the hard wing beats of a grouse struggling to get out of cover. It flies across the road quartering away from me and I drop it just as it gets to the left side. It lands down in the ditch of the left side, Shadow who didn't see the birds flight or it fall takes a while and some direction to get on the retrieve but eventually finds the bird and brings it back. I hit it hard, but left the tail fan undamaged. It made good soup this week. The birds crop was full of mushroom pieces. The woods were full of mushrooms, some as big as 10+ inches across the cap.
Dog Dog breed Sky Working animal Carnivore
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Continued.....
Road surface Asphalt Wood Cuisine Food


We start driving back towards the checkpoint and stop at two more spots to take short walks but nothing comes of it. It's time to head back to Greenville where I booked a cottage at the Greenville Inn for Saturday night so I could shower and get a good nights sleep before the drive back. Totally worth it! Hot shower, Dinner outdoors with my dog, and a warm comfortable bed, plus Breakfast in the morning. Shadow gave his stamp of approval!!
Brown Dog Comfort Wood Carnivore


So thanks for reading and if you are planning on going you can hit me up with questions.

Youtube link to some short videos

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for the kind words, Shadow wasn't the only one who enjoyed the cottage.

For those of you heading up in the next couple weeks... When I checked in at the NMW checkpoint I asked how the bird hunting was. The woman at the desk told me guys who are walking are shooting birds, guys who are driving are not.

Good Luck!
 

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Awesome and thanks for sharing . Have so much admiration for outdoorsman that go beyond just hunting whitetails and turkey here in Pennsylvania. So many other pursuits out there for those that are willing . Makes me realize how one dimensional I have become . Hopefully one day I will broaden my horizons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It may be worth traveling with you just to get fed.
Sadly as the years pass less and less of my buddies want to go out and do these kinds of things. It used to be nothing to get 10 or so guys together for a weekend camping trip. I've been going solo for the last few years. I got tired of planning a trip and having people back out. I guess they all grew up. I'm going to go see and do things even if I have to do it alone.
 

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Sadly as the years pass less and less of my buddies want to go out and do these kinds of things. It used to be nothing to get 10 or so guys together for a weekend camping trip. I've been going solo for the last few years. I got tired of planning a trip and having people back out. I guess they all grew up. I'm going to go see and do things even if I have to do it alone.
Your right I'm 65 and friendships for whatever reasons change and nothing stays the same. When I was in my twenties I was naïve and thought I would continue to do the same things with the same friends until we all croaked!
 

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Thanks for sharing - it was a great write up. Love that you're doing what you want to do with your dog regardless of who can come along. If you wait around for everyone else to be ready - you'll be waiting a long time.

I'm more of an Old Fashioned guy than a Manhattan, but I love the idea of the case for your kit!
 
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