Friday, September 22, 2017

Things Are Heating Up

I thought last weekend was a bit steamy for the grouse opener in Wisconsin, but this weekend, according to the Weather Service, promises to be even warmer (mid 80s) for the woodcock opener.  In fact, in all my years of hunting I can't remember such heat.  Here's Fergus after hunting less than an hour on opening morning.

There have been a few cool mornings, so we have snuck out before things got too warm.  Jenkins is also much better in the heat than Fergus.  So we're easing into the season, and I remind myself that a bad day of grouse hunting is pretty much better than whatever -- well, you fill in the blank.

I've been spending more time doing this -- sitting in front of the campfire and recording the day's hunt in my journal.  The beer (Central Waters) tends to embellish the number of grouse seen that day.  You should try it.  Actually, there do seem to be more birds around than last season, which is true to the cycle on the up turn in northern Wisconsin.  We've run into several large coveys, and I've shot only young birds, those unexperienced birds that have hunkered tightly in front of the dogs' points.  You can only see about five yards in the thick brush with all of the leaves on.  

Yesterday, we put up eight grouse and one woodcock, all of the grouse singles.  Through the green curtain of vegetation, the only bird I saw was the woodcock.  The final grouse of the day flushed right next to my head out of a balsam, and I never saw it.   All I could do is laugh.  I remind myself October will soon be here.   

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