My favorite time of year...

Places to hunt, firearms to use, problems encountered

Moderator: Moderator Pack

My favorite time of year...

Postby RowdyGSP » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:25 pm

It's the time of the year I look forward to all spring and summer (yes, even more than the waterfowl opener). The September grouse season. This year Rowdy and I started the season off by driving to Northern Montana in pursuit of sharptails, huns and perhaps sage grouse. He and I hit it hard the first day, with him logging 24 miles on the Garmin. We struggled to find birds, until the very end of the day when he pointed a large covey of a dozen or so sharptails. I ended up with a 4-bird limit out of that covey. I headed back to make camp before it got dark:

Image

Image

Image

Image

The second day we got up early and hit it hard. Tried a completely new area that was full of classic sharptail habitat. Rolling hills of native grass and 10 to 20% sage mixed in with buffaloberry draws, bordered by alfalfa fields. I mean, literally the stuff sharptail hunter's dreams are made of. Rowdy would roll towards the buffaloberry draws heading towards the oh-so-familiar objectives he remembered from his time living in North Dakota. He hit all the right spots. And the only thing produced was dozen or so pheasant out of a buffaloberry and snowberry draw. With 3 or 4 hours of daylight remaining I drove 45 minutes to a new area we had not hit yet. It was actually a tip from the game warden, who checked me and chit chatted for a while before I hit BMA with Rowdy. Super nice guy and he said that it looked like nice sharptail stuff to him and so I thanked him and headed there. Upon getting there I saw that indeed it was really nice stuff. Rolling hills of native grass with deeper buffaloberry draws. Also bodered by cut wheat fields. Very nice habitat. Rowdy and I hunted it for 2 hours, covering all the likely spots birds would be without finding anything. After we had turned to hit some new habitat on the way back to the truck, I watched Rowdy drop down into a coulee. Moments later the Garmin beeped and indicated Rowdy was either on point or taking a dump. I walked the 200 yards or so to catch up with him and indeed found him locked up. 2 sharptails flushed and I shot one of them on my second shot. After reloading 2 more flushed and I shot the first one on my first shot. No more birds flushed. A small 4-bird covey. He put in 23.9 miles on the Garmin that day.

Image

Image

The 3rd day I could tell Rowdy was starting to feel it. He wasn't ranging out much past 150 or 200 yards and sometimes was within 100 yards. It was hot. No wind. It was dry. And I hadn't conditioned him as well as I should have pre-season. But he did manage to find a "covey" of just two sharptails. The first one flushed and I shot it. 20 seconds later the second flushed while I was turned, taking a picture of Rowdy retrieving the first. Rowdy logged 11 miles that day and so we headed home. Didn't particularly want to continue to beat up already struggling birds in a low-number-year and was kind of eager to get back home to Idaho to chase our local ruffed grouse. Which we then proceded to do:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
RowdyGSP
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:38 pm

Sounds like you two made the most of your trip. Nice job with the camera, enjoyed your hunt recap and your photos. Keep em coming.

Do you use a gas stove for cooking? Bring pre-prepared meals or cook in camp? See any waterfowl while you were hunting?
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby RowdyGSP » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:43 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Sounds like you two made the most of your trip. Nice job with the camera, enjoyed your hunt recap and your photos. Keep em coming.

Do you use a gas stove for cooking? Bring pre-prepared meals or cook in camp? See any waterfowl while you were hunting?


I do bring a gas stove and cook very simple camp meals on it. One of my favorites is fresh sharptail grouse wrapped in foil with onions, potatoes, garlic, butter, rosemary and salt and pepper. Cooked over low heat. But I also did drive the 45 miles back to town one night to enjoy a nice burger with everything on it and a beer. I also bring blocks of cheese and smoked summer sausage with me for easy dinners to be washed down with a couple of beers at camp. And yes I saw enough waterfowl potholes to spark my contemplation on a return trip for Fall ducks and geese.
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
RowdyGSP
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby orhunter » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:34 pm

Eric: Know some guys up in that country right now but no word on how they're doing. Maybe Greg will post something?

Your account makes me all warm and fuzzy.

I'm going to do a drive through above Ft. Peck Res. in a couple of weeks to check in with the hunters.
SARCASM, one of the many free services I offer
orhunter
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 7676
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 12:29 am
Location: nw oregon

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby jarbo03 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:42 am

Sounds like a fun trip. I'm skipping the trip to MT this year, instead heading to WY in a few weeks for ruffies, blues, waterfowl, and most importantly sage grouse. Hope to get some good pics also.
User avatar
jarbo03
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:06 pm
Location: KANSAS

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby Willie T » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:35 pm

That looks like a good time! Enjoyed the pics. Good looking country!
Willie T
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:26 am

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:58 pm

orhunter wrote:Your account makes me all warm and fuzzy.


Oh yeah it's just so warm and fuzzy up here in North Idaho. In fact, I was just contemplating how warm and fuzzy it is up here while being charged by a large, pissed off bull moose today, grouse hunting.
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
RowdyGSP
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby orhunter » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:10 pm

I'm taking a drive up the Clearwater on the 20th. Last time through there, a moose was in the road up on top. Chased it down into MT, wouldn't leave the road.
SARCASM, one of the many free services I offer
orhunter
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 7676
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 12:29 am
Location: nw oregon

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:41 pm

They are like squirrels up here... but angrier and more stubborn... and they do more damage to your truck when you hit them.
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
RowdyGSP
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:42 pm

orhunter wrote:I'm taking a drive up the Clearwater on the 20th. Last time through there, a moose was in the road up on top. Chased it down into MT, wouldn't leave the road.


What are you doing up that way? Fishing? Hunting?
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
RowdyGSP
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby Deuce » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:41 am

Looks like an awesome start to the season! Keep the reports coming!
User avatar
Deuce
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 871
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:31 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby orhunter » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:22 pm

Eric: Scouting trip to line up accommodations for hunting in November. Need to get the wife unit (and me) away from the big city.
SARCASM, one of the many free services I offer
orhunter
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 7676
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 12:29 am
Location: nw oregon

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby RowdyGSP » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:54 pm

That sounds like fun Harvey, and yeah I know what you mean about needing to just get away. Keep an eye on your dogs in that Clearwater country. Lots of wolves and other critters around.
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
RowdyGSP
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby orhunter » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:32 pm

Got no dog(s).... So sad.

My wife says to me yesterday, "is there a dog going along with us?" Odd she would ask...... Don't ask me how many times I've made a drive like this with that ugly thing sitting next to me on the seat. Dang I miss that....... If we didn't have a final stop that involved other people, I'd drive over to KJ's and grab something that wants to go for a ride. Wouldn't be picky..... Have a back seat for wife unit...... Dog might like that....?
SARCASM, one of the many free services I offer
orhunter
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 7676
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 12:29 am
Location: nw oregon

Re: My favorite time of year...

Postby Willie T » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:21 am

Orhunter said "got no dog(s).... So sad".

That is a tough predicament to be in this time of year I can relate to. Hopefully you have started running the traplines looking for a puppy. I found myself enduring a season without a dog. I had waited too long to get in line for what I wanted as my old dog aged. I remember explaining my predicament to Bob Farris "no bird dog equals no bird hunter"..... I leaned on my friends for periodic fixes to ease the anxiety and was grateful, but it's not the same as loading up with the dog and hunting when and where you fancy....I feel your sadness.
Willie
Willie T
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:26 am

Next

Return to Hunting & Firearms

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests