Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Grousing in northern NY

I just got back from the inaugural Ruffed Grouse Society habitat benefit bird hunt in northern New York. Two days chasing grouse and woodcock on commercial timberland in the vicinity of Malone, NY. I carried camera and compass and worked the dog while two hunters did the shooting (a total of 14 hunters and 7 huntsmen participated).  Weather was mild, no major flights of woodcock yet, but we moved 20+ birds (mostly grouse) per day. Nice habitat and plenty of it.
The red dog, Brody, is a 3 yr old male out of Bearcat and Saturday Night Ed lines (sired by Chaparral). Sunday afternoon was particularly nice as Brody was finding a few woodcock along a transition of mixed hardwoods/spruce & fir lowlands to alder swale. He had a bit of a limb find at the edge the alders and it took a few minutes to get the guns in place, so we were a little surprised when a grouse finally rocketed up.

Brody with tired tail pointing a ruffed grouse, Rick coming in from the side to flush. John had it sandwiched from the left side.
  Rick cleared a couple alders with the first two shots before his third shot wing-tipped the bird. Brody hunted "dead", finally pinning the running bird 80 yards farther out in the alders and grass near the edge of a beaver flowage. That bird had its running shoes on. I don't think I've ever been happier to recover a downed bird as I was with this one.

Third shot was a charm. Rick and Brody tracked the running bird down in the alder swale
On the way back to the truck Brody pointed another grouse and a few more woodcock -- two of which the guys shot and Brody retrieved. This was my first time hunting in the St. Lawrence/northern Adirondacks region - now that I know, I'll be making a habit of it.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Please contact me asap so I can learn more about this adventure.