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Showing posts with the label blue grouse

First Day Blues

Another year.  Another first day of September.  The traditional opening day of mountain grouse season in Montana.  Older dogs.  Older humans too.  And a pup just to round things out.

Typically, it's warm.  No exception this day. Fortunately a breeze and a few clouds early on  would make for pleasant walking.

Birds?  Not many.  Addie pointed a couple of blue grouse around mid-day.  They gave us the slip.

No shots fired.

For the pup, just another day of adventure........

For the older dogs, another day at the "office".  But it sure beats work!

I later bumped and flushed a single.  A big male blue.  Of course he lit in a tree and peered down at us defiantly.  Treed birds aren't fair game.  When they fly, ok.  He flew.

Shots fired.  He's probably still flying.  At least Katie got a whiff of bird.

One final mid afternoon walk and we were played out.  Katie found part of a deer leg.  She proudly carried it back to the truck.  In her mind the day was a resounding succe…

The First Fifteen

I know that I'm not the only one that feels the seasonal sense of urgency.  All of us who live in northerly climes know it.  The clock is running.  The big W is around the corner.  We can't keep it at bay, but we can sure make the most of the remaining days.  
September?  Glorious.  There's just not enough of it.  Bob Garnier recently posted about it on his great little blog, Trout on Dries.  But then, as an Albertan, he knows about urgency and winter. As a Montanan, I appreciate Alberta.  Heck, they send us weather.
No matter.  Back to September.  It's an embarrassment of riches.  Back when I bowhunted avidly, I'd spend weeks wearing out boot soles by chasing elk in the high country.  Now, other vices have supplanted the pursuit of elk.  
There's birds and dogs to chase, high and low.  Trout to catch that now revel in the cooling water.  Just pick a river to fish.  And, heaven forbid, steelhead, if.....
So far we've spent a day in the high county where th…

A Day at the Races (Bird Hunting)

It was forty two at sunup in blue grouse country.  What a great way to start the day.  Blue sky. Sunshine.  Endless mountain views.  A little dampness from yesterday's rain. The hooded sweatshirt felt good.  Early autumn in Montana……...
The girls were a little nutty this morning. But, it was their first day on wild birds this season. They  eventually settled down.  Each found and pointed birds.  Maggie and Addie got retrieves.

Emma had a run in with a stick, and required some emergency field repairs before being stapled together at home.

We called it a day by two.  Jo had her birds.  I'm sure the dogs would have hunted longer, but the humans were through.  Besides, we still had mushrooms to pick.

High and Dry

It was not quite dawn when we arrived at the end of the road.  The temperature on the truck gauge registered a surprising thirty nine. That would change. Quick.

No dew this morning, dry as the proverbial bone. We hiked up a ridge, in and out of grassy parks. I was soon reacquainted with the wonderful nagging sensation that is weed seeds in the socks.

Parks that had held birds before held none today. Up in the shadowed timber, the huckleberry bushes were bare, the years crop either done or nonexistent from the start. Back in the parks, the grasshoppers were scarce too. Basic formula…no food, no birds.  Probably should add water to the equation too.

On the way out, a single blue grouse flushed wild.  We jumped a couple of mule deer in the open timber.  Other than a pile of bear poop, game sign was scarce.

At least we got out and stretched our legs.  Jo commented that Addie had covered thirteen miles according to the gps on her collar.

We called it quits by ten, just as others were pull…


September, here again.  We're on the cusp of another season change.  It won't change today though. It's supposed to be in the nineties. It's the opening day of mountain grouse season in Montana. Out of tradition, we may get out for a couple of hours early on today.

Regarding changes.  I purchased a domain name ( the other day.  I promptly managed to take the blog offline.  Thankfully, the folks at Namecheap got me squared away.

The new issue of Northwest Fly Fishing may be of interest.  It contains some steelhead content with a Grande Ronde photo essay and a piece on the Clearwater River in Idaho.  Perhaps of greater personal interest is a biography of Sheridan Anderson, author of the Curtis Creek Manifesto.  I've always thought it to be the best fly fishing primer on the market, and still open it on occasion, if for no reason other than a good chuckle.

I picked up some beading wire at Walmart yesterday.  I plan to tie a few simple steelh…

Opening Day

Saturday was the opener for the upland game season in Montana.  Traditionally hot and dry, temperatures often push into the eighties.  Uncomfortable hunting conditions at best, for man and bird dog alike.  This year it was pleasantly different.  A front rolled through on Friday night.  We awoke to a cool damp Saturday morning.  It was even cooler in the mountains.  Daytime temperatures struggled to get out of the forties.  The clouds rolled in and out and eventually decided to stay.  It spat rain.  There was thunder and lightning followed by a spirited hailstorm.  All in all a pleasant day.