Sunday, September 26, 2010

Another Grouse Hunt With No Grouse

Looking out over the Clark Fork River and Valley, and part of Lake Ponderay

So we headed out for a drive the other day, hoping to find some grouse and give the dogs a nice run. We took Mickey, our 3 year old female and Sport, our guest dog, with us. Both were anxious to wet their nose with some grouse scent.  As cool as it's been, this was a nice day with sun shinning through the trees. My kind of day!
We started out on the Idaho side of the border. We live only 3 miles from the Idaho/Montana border. I had been wanting to take a drive to that side for a while now to explore the photography opportunities. We don't hunt in Idaho, since we do not buy a licenses for that state.

So we headed up  Johnson Creed Road behind Clark Fork, Id. Drove the road for a bit and took a few scenic shots of the Clark Fork valley. Scenery was beautiful, but we never saw a bird.

We headed back toward Montana to look for some grouse. The dogs were chomping at the bit to get out of the van and run. We stopped and let Mickey out. She's such a pretty girl to watch. Some of her tan feathering is over 10 inches long! She worked her nose like a pro, to no avail. Never found a bird!
Sure Thing Sweet Mickey

 A little ways down the trail we let sport out to give it a try. He sniffed and sniffed every bush, tree, ditch,  hill and hole, with no luck at all. 
"Sport" on the dock at Johnson Creek, Clark Fork, Idaho

Seems this season's days have either been too cold and nasty, even for the grouse, or it's been too hot, even for the grouse. Numbers are scarce this year as well. The wet spring we had really took a toll on the grouse chicks.
We finished the day with no points on birds, no pictures of birds and no birds in the bag..... Bummer!! I did get a few nice scenic pictures and a few nice ones of Mickey.  Hope you enjoy those!


  1. Sorry to hear about the bummer hunt but great pics. The dogs are beautiful and the scenery is awesome.

  2. Beautiful county, I really miss the west. Too bad the grouse numbers are down. You look forward to it all year and then there are few birds to hunt. We don't have the grouse numbers here in the east so we are probably looking at a similar fall. Of course we have those big fat squirrels that you don't! I'm still thinking about adding a cute little feist dog to the kennel as a fall back for those lean years. Still getting my trailer ready for a trip west for grouse. Just ordered some camo material to replace the floral curtains in the man cave. I'll let you know how it works out.

  3. Love the Black & Tan "Rymans" :). I could happily follow a dog like those through the woods any time. Grouse are scarce in my Alleghenys too, but it's still wonderful to get out and enjoy the dogs and the scenery.


  4. Karen - what beautiful dogs! Sad that you didn't see any grouse. My beagle is quite the bird dog, and especially loevs grouse; she saves a special, jarring, (obnoxious) baying just for when she scares them out of the brush!

  5. Gorgeous pics! Sorry to hear of the hunt though... perhaps you might have to construct a grouse coop. ;)

  6. Hi Joe, Yep, not always good for sure, but we're lucky to have lots of pretty scenery to look at. Thanks for stopping by! You've got some beautiful country back there also.

    Art, If you get one of those little squirrel dogs, you have to start a blog! I can't wait to hear about the training!
    Oh, and I am sure the grouse and furry creatures will appreciate your effort to put up como curtains to fit into the woodland decor. lol I hear "forest green" is in.

    To Rick/Greyphase.....Now you know my Gordon Setters are not Rymans! (: Or are you color blind?? ha ha Thanks for stopping by, Rick. I enjoy your blog.

    Julia, I love little beagles, but that "scaring them out of the bushes" hunting technique is one I am not familiar with. lol

    Leigh, I'd love to have a grouse coop, unfortunately grouse don't breed in captivity. That's what we've always heard. You probably knew that though, huh? You and Julia!