Friday, October 1, 2010

Grouse Hunting In Scenic Montana


There was a bit of an overcast, so we headed out for a drive and hunt. Overcast skies can make for really good lighting for photography. I'm still looking for the day I catch a big male Grouse in the sun, strutting as they do, with their tail feathers spread out, big black neck puffed up. I have a few pics, but have yet to get the one I really want. 

There were signs of fall all around...

And signs of summer still lingering on......

We decided to go up Elk Creek.  It's a narrow canyon so we drive the road along the creek. We drove upwards for a little while then ran into a grouse in the road. We waited for it to leave the road then I started creeping up to get a picture.

Dan got Sport out for a little training.  But before he could release him, the bird flushed.  The hills are so steep here, that a lot of the times, the bird will choose to fly instead of run. So we let Sport run around for a few minutes just in case there were more birds. There were no more birds. ):

So we headed out again. In no time, we came across another one. This one headed of the road before I could get out. I got a few shots before she took off running and then flushed out and headed 40 miles South! Well, maybe it wasn't really 40 miles, it just seemed that way and it may as well been 40 miles because it was way to far for the dog to follow down hill.

Again, we headed out with no bird. Not in the game bag anyway. I think my gentlemanly grouse hunting husband is starting to lose his patience.

From here out it was : Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3.....3 more times and there you have it. An entire afternoon of that was enough. Oh, and it seems that most of the birds we found were along the creek bed, as expected,  and at about the same elevation.

 We did see some interesting stuff though.......

These are Eastern Comma Butterflies. Did you know that butterflies don't eat? But they have to have water. That is why they are all over this dung, for the moisture content. Lovely, right? Beauty and the Yuck!

Mushrooms, of some sort. No expert here. 
Maybe Casey knows what they are!

A friendly little Garter snake looking for some sunshine.......

And scenery that explains why I live here. 

 And at the end, the best part? This is the way home.



  1. Excellent pics Karen, thanks for taking us along.

  2. Beautiful scenery Karen. Thanks.

  3. Karen, great story and photos. I love the little Garter snake and "the way home", can't beat em!
    I am still hoping to get out Grousing after my deer hunt which opens tomorrow. At least you saw some birds and were able to get Sport a bit of training. A good day I'd say.

  4. I wish I could help with the mushrooms, Karen, but those look like the same ones I have been wondering about! Beautiful scenery there! Love it.

  5. Greyphase and Joe, You're very welcome. Thanks for being interested and coming along!

    Thanks Terry, it really was a beautiful day. And if you ever get to our little part of Montana, we'll take ya bird hunting with the Gordons.(:

    Casey, I thought for sure you'd know what they were because I thought the same thing you did....that they looked like the ones you had just posted in your blog, Fungal Threads. If I find out, I'll let you know.

  6. Karen, so pretty and interesting. I love Beauty and the Yuck :) LOL YOu live in a heavenly place for sure--amazing.

  7. Thanks Shawn and Amy and good to hear from you both! Yes Amy, good thing we have all of this beauty, or I just don't know if I could live here in the snow and cold. Being a photographer, I love the scenery.

  8. We had almost a foot of rain the other day and it just disappeard! The ground was so dry that the ground just sucked up the water. You wouldn't even know that we had that much precip. Beautiful country. Sorry the grouse are in such short supply but the scenery is beautiful.

  9. Hi Art, I saw on the news that North Carolina is flooding like crazy. Maybe THAT'S where all your water went! Glad you're not flooding, at least.
    Don't think we've ever seen a year this poor for grouse, in the 25 years I have been here together. We seem to be one of the few places having a bad year. Looking forward to hearing how you do.