Friday, December 18, 2009

End of Season Report

Grouse season ended on Dec. 15. Early season was pretty good but as the coveys broke up it became harder and harder to find Ruffed Grouse in any numbers. Nov. was wet, wet, and more wet. We had some below zero temps in early Dec. and I just don't go out in that weather anymore.
 I hit the high country for Blue Grouse once and ran into a crew working on the roads. They told me they had only seen 2 Blues all summer so I wouldn't have shot one even if one could be found.
 Happy had a good season for an old dog. His point on a covey of 10 and the big male ruffed I got over his point were highlights of the season. Mickey and Blackie had some spectacular moments as did Jack and Annie and several other Gordons that spent some time in the woods with us. It's always nice to see some of our pups put on a show.
 We finished the season with 174 flushes and 25 birds in the bag. Far short of a good year. All my pals shot really well this year and Steve's new 20 ga. proved deadly. Dick shot great and Mike got several birds too. Tim has a new Remington RGS 20 ga. o/u that needs breakin' in. I got shots at 9 birds and got 8 of them. I have never shot that well on Ruffed Grouse in my life and may never again.
 The Guns are oiled up and the dog crates are unloaded. The snow is building up and the cold is settling in. We'll load up the van next fall and start the whole routine all  over again.....Some new dogs and some old dogs. Some old friends and new friends .....and more great adventures.


  1. We're looking at a big snow fall tonight in Maryland with 10 to 20 inches predicted for tomorrow. Not big by western standards but enough to cripple the east! Grouse runs till the end of January and I'm still hopping to get out for a few more days. Enjoyed the ups and downs of your season in Montana. Enyoy the holidays and I hope Happy hangs in there for a few more seasons. Mery Christmas Art, Darlene, Ginger and Erin

  2. Thanks Art! But now that OUR season is closed, you'll have to send us YOUR grouse stories! Hope the snow doesn't "hurt" too bad. Looks pretty big on the news. We've got about 4" on the ground and it's raining. Just soon have snow, than slush and rain. But oh well. It may be a challenge to keep writing the blog with no bird season, but I intend to try to keep it interesting. Taking suggestions always. We'll be having family over next week end and all will be good. Happy Holidays to you and Darlene and the Gordons too!

  3. Dan & Karen - Thanks for having me up twice this year! Was great coming back in Dec. to hunt with Mikey and Dan in the snow, even though grouse were scarce (1). Was a long year losing my mom and my mother-in-law, Montana was just what I needed. My highlights were new gear - the Garmin Astro and my new RGS shotgun, yes info will follow :) , and waders to hunt ducks with Mikey. Cassi continues to work great, wouldn't expect anything less from Blackie's older sister! Freedom x Gracie was something special.

    Merry Christmas! Happy 25th Anniversary! and a Happy New Year!
    Tim, Carol; Cassi and Bailey

  4. Looks worse than I thought. 20 inches on the ground, its still snowing at an inch an hour and its supposed to snow all night! Good thing we have everything we need. I'm going to need a dog sled to get to Western Maryland for grouse! I have short funny video of Erin in the snow that I though you might enjoy. I'll have to e-mail it to you.

  5. Art, I am so glad you have all you need to ride out the storm. I'll pray you keep your power on. I remember you mentioning a wood stove. That's a great thing to have. We're set up with propane so no power needed for heat or cooking. Out here we try to get stocked up so we aren't forced to go out in the weather. To grocery shop, it's an hour drive. Stay out of it if you can and stay warm. Will look forward to the video!

  6. Tim, It was good to see you. Enjoyed the hunting and going to Amber Bear Inn. Glad you found a little peace here. It certainly does that for us most days. Take care and stay in touch. Merry Christmas to you and Carol and the girls, and Gordons!