Sunday, October 2, 2016

Big Fork MN Ruffed Grouse Hunt 10/2/2016

Artsy Ruffed Grouse

Sunday was going to be over 70 degrees later in the day so we decided to go for a morning hunt.  The first spot is an area that Tina had good luck with last year.  It is a walkable trail with a variety of cover along the trail and at the end a smaller field that had been clearcut about 20 years ago.  When we first hunted the area we could see all the way across the area with just small islands of trees that they had left in a few spots getting in the way.  Now it is a bit of work to wind your way through it.

We made it to the field without moving a bird but Tina was working well so I was confident that sooner or later she would find something.  She can’t get through the thicker cover so I am sure that we are passing by a few birds but at this point it is about watching her enjoy her time in the woods.  At the field she started to work more intently.  We worked our way around the edge of the old cut and Tina was doing the start stop thing that usually means that there is a bird around.  As we neared the back of the cut she locked up.  I walked around one of the bigger clumps of trees to try to trap it between us.  The bird got up from the clump to our right.  I took a shot but did not connect.

We reworked the trail back to the truck and Tina got two more points.  One was behind a couple of downed pine trees and the other was another bird in a tree.  It is crazy.  I didn’t get off any shots.

Tasha got the next spot.  It is a Hunter Walking trail.  It is one that hasn’t had any clear cutting going on for a while and the cover is pretty much past it’s prime.  Last year we saw 1 or 2 birds each time though but not any bigger numbers.

We were about 5 minutes into the trail when she went on point.  It was and easy one.  Straight away High House.  Our first grouse was in the bag.  We ended up working the trail for another hour before calling it a day because it was getting a bit toasty.  We didn’t see any more birds.  We loaded up and headed back to the cabin.  I almost felt like throwing on the swim trunks and going for a swim.

It was a decent start to our season.  No crazy numbers of birds but we were at least seeing some.

Tasha and Tina with our first grouse of 2016

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