Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tower MN Ruffed Grouse Hunt 9/23/2012

Tina In Thick Grouse Cover - Tower MN

Sunday wasn’t quite as windy as Saturday had been.  Tina and I took off for the Tower area to give it another try.  We started at the area that we hunted second on Saturday.  I was hoping that the grouse would be coming out to the edge of the trail.  As soon as we hit the main part of the trail Tina started to get birdy.  Tina was working the cover well but we weren’t able to move any birds in the first two areas of cover.  The trail opened up a little bit with a clear cut to the right side and Tina swung wide into the cut.  As she came back toward the trail she locked up on the one piece of heavier cover along the trail.  I moved up along the trail and was trying to get into a good position for a shot when four grouse decided to take off for better cover.  I got off one shot but didn’t connect.

We worked our way to the end of the trail and back to the truck without coming across any more birds.  We loaded up to head to a short trail that we hunted just a few times last year.

Last year when we hunted this trail each time we moved one bird but it has good looking cover and if you can move one bird on it it is worth the walk.  About 5 minutes into the trail we came across a tree that someone had hung a plastic bag with the remains of a grouse inside.  I was hoping that the grouse in the bag wasn’t the only grouse in the area.  We walked the trail past one beaver pond to the second pond that marks the turn around on this trail.  The water level in both of he ponds was much lower than last year.  On the return trip Tina started working the cover a little bit farther out than she had on the trip out.  As we got close to the “grouse in a bag” her pattern started to tighten up a little bit.  She went on a soft point at a pile of blow down.  I was circling around the pile when the grouse came out from behind a pine tree.  I wasn’t able to get off a shot but it was nice to see that there was still one grouse in the area.

Our last stop of the day was the trail that we had started at on Saturday.  Almost immediately Tina was working the cover in a way that told me she was excited about the area.  In just a few minutes she was on point at the bottom of a small ravine.  As I was sliding down the side of the ravine a pair of grouse decided to make their escape.  We made it to the end of the trail without any more contacts with birds.  On the return trip Tina again went on point near the ravine.  I wasn’t too enthusiastic about our prospects but decided to go into the cover as she was staying solid on point.  This time I picked an area that wasn’t quite as steep to make my approach.  Tina didn’t budge as I got closer to her and this time the grouse held long enough for me to get into a decent shooting position and I was able to bring the bird down.  This ended up being the last bird that we saw for the day.

We didn’t see or take as many birds on this trip as we had on our trip to the area at about the same time last year but I was happy with the way that Tina worked and it was still a great weekend to be in the woods.

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