Friday, October 24, 2014

Lake Winnibigoshish, Deer River, and Pennington MN Ruffed Grouse Hunt October 21st and 22nd

Lake Winnibigoshish Ruffed Grouse

Tuesday October 21st 2014

After taking a recovery day off the dogs and I decided to try a different area than where we have been hunting lately.  We took off to the Lake Winnibigoshish area.  There were a couple of trails that we had hunted last year that I wanted to take a look at.

About 15 minutes into the hunt Tasha went on point at the intersection of two trails.  One step towards her and the grouse flushed straight up in the air and I was able to connect on the first shot.  Two hours later when we were about 10 minutes from returning to the truck she went on point along the side of the trail.  As I walked up the trail the grouse got up and flew straight down the trail and it still took both shots of the O/U to connect.

Just over 2 hours of walking and both birds were flushed within 15 minutes of where we parked.  Lots of good dog work but no birds to show for all of the time in the middle.  On the plus side when I reviewed the GPS tracking afterwards I did find that I had come within about 5 minutes of a different forest road that would have cut down on the time it took to walk back.

We drove down the Forest Road a few minutes to a trail that we had never hunted.  Tina got the call.  It ended up being 30 minute out and back walk.  She did get one nice point on a woodcock though.

I decided to head closer to the cabin for the late day hunt.  As we drove by the spot the dang pickup with a dog trailer was in our spot again...  I went to a nearby area and there was another truck there.  On the way to yet another area I saw that the pickup was at now at that spot so we went over to the spot that we had wanted to hunt.  Like most people I prefer to hunt an area that hasn’t just been hunted by another party but sometimes you take what you can get.

Tina got the call again as she had gotten short changed earlier.  I had switched over to my new Berreta a400 28ga semi-auto.  I had gotten a woodcock with it earlier and was hoping to take a grouse with it.  It didn’t work out that way.  Tina had 6 nice woodcock points of which I shot at 3 and missed all 3.

Wed  October 22nd Pennington Mn

Tasha got the call first and within 10 minutes she went on point at the edge of a small clearing.  I stepped in to the cover just to her right and the bird flushed just to her left.  I quick shot ( are there many slow ones when grouse hunting? ) and the bird was down.  It was another smaller bird.  I am seeing way more small ones than usual.  Another 10 minutes, another grouse but a miss this time.  10 more minutes and repeat the process with yet another miss.  We walked for another hour without moving another bird.

Tina got to hunt the next area.  This trail was cut in half by a forest road.  Tina went on point just 5 minutes in.  She was on point near a small rise as I moved in the bird flushed on the other side of the hill and I wasn’t able to get off a shot.  This pattern of not getting off a good shot repeated itself 4 more times before I pulled the plug on the hunt.

I’ve been changing guns almost every time I switch out the dogs because I am trying to make sure that each gun gets used.  I think I am going use one gun for the whole day to try to get a little more consistency.

We took Thursday to give myself and the dogs a rest.

Tasha and her Pennington, MN Ruffed Grouse

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