Guess that Crop?
Need some help here. Who knows what these green leaves are? Or the seeds found in this adult males crop? Spruce, fir and white cedar habitat. He was shot crossing a tote road at ninety. Heed Partridge Cartridge’s recommendation not to shot too quickly. Swing threw the shot.
I messed up this year. Didn’t check the ME Inland Fisheries and Wildlife trapping seasons before I requested vacation this fall. Our host has a coyote trapper come in each year Our hunt overlapped this year.
Not to be deterred we stopped on the way up and were given maps with access to other family grounds not trapped. One was an apple orchard. Our host described the location, go up this road to this field, keep on the road to the next field, after going through the field take your first right on the good road. Confused? Ya you know me.
We found it, more from the smell than the location. An old farm apple orchard. Branches bending to the ground with fruit. Went through it three times, no grouse.
We could have walked back the way we came but GPS told us a faster route through another field. When we got to the edge I looked back and Shawn and said shh. He gave the thumbs up and mouthed, wild turkey. We saw tracks in the road on the way in.
It happened to fast to describe, scent, flush, shot and I had a wild turkey. Shawn cooked wild turkey and partridge breast on the wood cook stove at camp. Turkey won for texture, the grouse for taste.
I love this dog!
The NH lakes region was full of TICKS. Some so small you could barely see them and they were a bronze copper color. Poor Belle when she would run by me it looked like someone had sprinkled pepper on her. The Seresto collar did its job. They would light but did not bite. Took about twenty minutes after each hunt to wait for them to surface and get flicked off.
Other than ticks we found the grouse and woodcock. They are safe though. How can a man shoot so poorly?
Well I won’t be kicking my jaw because we are off to York County Maine. First back to the woods we moved seven partridge in last week to explore a little more and then to the Farm.
Hopefully I’ll have a bird report, not a tick check.
Warning the picture below belongs in a horror flick.
This is what was in the turkeys crop. Note the same seeds as the grouse.
Any insect people out there? What kind of bugs are we looking at?
Off the southern Maine we go. First hunt 3.98 miles in 2.03 hours. One grouse flush heard, not seen. Sounded like it landed in a tree. Young firs too thick to investigate. Partridge score one.
Now at 64 degrees we parked at our favorite woodcock place, the Farm. Within 100 yards of the truck we had our first woodcock in the bag. Second hundred yards, another woodcock. From there things got a little rough.
Belle put up three more woodcock. Fired both barrels at two of them. The other was out of range before I even got the safety off.
When we arrived back at the truck I still had two more coverts I wanted to hunt. Hydrated Belle but I could tell by her panting we were done.
Hottest fall I have ever hunted birds. Ticks were terrible.
Why is it that upland bird hunters are such loners? Please don’t try and answer. I like it better this way.
Woke up to steady rain. Not your best hunting conditions for the human side of the team. I know the canine member could care less.
Stayed local and hunted our favorite river bottom. One woodcock up, barreling straight at me. As I swung right to left or almost right over my head a giant while pine impeded the shot.
Now going straight away I fired a shot and killed a crown of alders. I never saw the bird after the shot. It only took one dead bird command at the scene of the crime and we had a woodcock. It was a small young of the year. Good to know.
The eyes of a predator as it gazes at the prey.
This is the best bird dog I have ever had. Go Team Belle!
Good day in the uplands. Explored some new ground. Thick fir, spruce and pine. Belle flushed a road bird. No shot. Saw a hare today. They are still brown.
Back to the Farm at 11 AM. Belle sped like a rocket to the line of old apples trees. I heard a partridge get up, unseen. Then another crossing left to right..Bang!
I did not see the bird after I fired. Last I saw Belle she was to my left. As I am triangulating where I last saw the bird I heard the death wing beats. Still no Belle.
I gave her one toot on the whistle and I hear her coming from where I last saw the grouse.
Could it be? Yes! Belle had the partridge. Good Girl!
Belle moved five grouse and two woodcock today. She is in her groove. I’ve missed the last four woodcock.
Deer season opens tomorrow.
I am pleased with our grouse and woodcock encounters this month. Today’s partridge was YOY. It had clover and small woody stems in its crop.
Looking forward to our upcoming December hunts with no ticks.
Quick woodcock hunt along some of my favorite local river bottom habitat.
One woodcock up, one down.
Look for them in the young aspens.
Short hunt a couple miles from home. No grouse, no woodcock.
Don’t ask about ticks. Worst ever.