Thursday, September 12, 2013

Opening Day Grouse hunting 2013

The night before grouse hunting opened I had to work a night shift. I arranged my schedule to get off at 4 am instead of my usual 6 am. That gives me two hours to drive home, get ready and get the family up and awake for hunting. So I get home get both the car seats moved over to the Jeep. The best thing for me about getting the family up is waking up my three year old daughter Maddy by giving her a little shake and asking her if she wants to go hunting. I am always greeted with a big smile and a soft whisper of  "yes". The wife heard me get home so her and baby Elsa got up without any help. We loaded everything up and got going about 10 minutes late.

While I am grouse hunting I am very superstitious. Silly things like, I have to be wearing the right clothes, I have to ride the gate to our hunting road and when I am driving I have to hold two shells in my one of my hands. I don't know what to say but it work for me.

We get to the road we will be hunting and start the slow drive. Since we had the baby a few months prior my wife wont be doing any long hikes this year. We get all the way to the end of the road and did not see a simgle grouse. I figure its going to be one of those frustrating opening days. We tell ourselves that sometimes we see birds on the way out to make ourselves feel better.  So we turn around and start making our way out. A ways down the road I see the first grouse. As it starts running through the bushes it flushes into a tree. The wife offers me the first grouse of the year and I take the shot. The bird came tumbling down out of the tree.

A few minutes later I found my second bird. As I drove around a few corners all of a sudden there was a grouse running for its life in front of the Jeep. The grouse flushes into a tree and I get my second bird of the day.

A few more corners down the road I find one for my wife to shoot up in the bushes. So now the pressure is off and everyone is happy. Except now my wife has a bit of confidence and she tells me she would like to limit out in one of the up coming days.

We get to the main road and I decide to take the main loop around instead of the quick drive home. While driving down the main road I catch a flushing grouse out of the corner of my eye. I slam on the breaks walk back find the grouse and add my third grouse for the day.

We drive a few more roads and did not find any more grouse for the morning hunt. But we did see a bear with a funny yellow patch of fur on his right rear thigh. I was also able to get a rabbit in the bag as well.

We returned home so I could get some sleep since I had been up since 5 PM the day before.

My wife woke me up for the evening hunt. I was having a really hard time waking up, but then I remembered I only had one more grouse to go for my limit. We went to the same area but drove the upper road.  A mile in on the road I spotted a grouse running through the grass about 40 feet off the road. I chased after it and it flushed. I shot at it in the air and missed. I shot under it as it flew into a tree. I knocked it out of the tree and returned to the Jeep with my limit for the day.  We did not see another grouse for the night.

Five grouse for opening day was good enough for us and we went home very happy and content.