Today wrapped up our 5 1/2 month ruffed grouse season… Where as always, we have pursued the king to witness magnificent dog work, experience the synergy between man and bird-dog, capturing grouse dogs doing what they do best in photos, putting food on the table while our partner lies at my feet telling stories of the days afield, and just experiencing the great outdoors day after day through the change in seasons of early fall till late winter with the companionship of a quality gun dog. We were fortunate to be able to pursue the king 84 days in our long season. Every season offers such humbling experiences and continued respect for the king of all gamebirds.
The dogs and I gave it a strong effort today for bird contacts. What a fantastic way to end the season! I brought two of my veterans along today in, Duncan and Pixel. They pointed between the two of them every bird that we came across together. Pixel had two terrific points and several nice honors. Duncan… The greatest dog that I will probably ever own. I pray that I can replicate this grouse dog. He hunted in total over four hours today and pointed every Ruff he came in contact with which totaled 10 grouse. I terribly missed three golden opportunities but the birds must have all been talking to each other today. I had clean chances to shoot the birds but they did there rising helicopter exit which I always miss no matter how hard I try to get above the bird. Then later on I ran into two of my very good grouse buddies where Duncan had a point for me but I was busy taking a beautiful photo while the bird took off and then he pinned the same bird twice for one of my buddies who will remain anonymous and unfortunately was not able to connect for Duncan. So there may not be any feathers in my bag but we ended the season on an incredibly high note! Here are a few photos from the day. Note the last picture of my wife’s celebration cake. She’s my whole support system year round. I love you and so do the dogs!