Sunday, September 13, 2015

2016 Opening Day of Grouse Season in Montana

After 3 years of wet springs and poor grouse populations, the Ruffed Grouse is making a come back. Spring was dry and very warm and when summer kicked in, it was really hot. Perfect weather for healthy grouse chicks. We've been seeing them along the roads, as well as up the mountain. Numbers look good. There is one clutch of about 6 birds that is hanging around our place driving the dogs crazy.

Dan went out on opening day morning. He only saw 3 birds and no birds were shot.
In the afternoon, I joined him for a drive up Fat Man mountain. In spite of all the fires, the sky was fairly clear and it was a beautiful day.

We came across a bird in the road. We waited for it to leave the road then put Sport out first. He hit scent where the birds had been, but had left. Then he managed to get turned around and on a point.  One flushed and Dan got it. Several others came out, but no good shot could be made.

A little encouragement to bring in that bird.

Got it! Good Boy Sport!

Next, we let Mickey out on a grouse that was standing between a row of bushes and the road. She worked the area, then went on point. There must have been eight or nine birds in that clutch flying out in different directions. Dan got one. All of the rest flushed back over the bushes, over Mickey,  and into the woods. A safe shot was not available.

See the grouse?

In all, we kicked up 5 separate clutches, and about 26 birds. We were happy to see so many grouse in one afternoon. It was a good opening day of Grouse Season in Montana!

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