2021 Fall Hunting has Started

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2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Sep 04, 2021 3:20 pm

Close to 40 years now that I have opened my Fall seasons driving to Ks with a GWP in the truck to hunt doves. Lots of people and places are gone now but we keep at it and I still love it.

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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby orhunter » Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:25 am

Great photos. Love to shoot doves, been a while.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby Dmog » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:37 am

Nice photos! Sunflowers, Limestone, and nice looking dogs! Are you hitting the sandhills for Sharpies? Thinking about that trip and was gearing up for Teal but with the heat and drought, can't seem to get trout fishing along a cool stream out of my head...
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:37 pm

I hear you on the fishing. Wife and I fished one of our ponds Sunday and again this morning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPivaIwLxeI

Dogs and I are going Dove hunting the rest of this week.

Teal opens Saturday and if there are some around I hope to hunt a few days before heading out for WY to hunt Sage grouse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKymBMQ-Oeg

Then we head to SD for Sharptails, Chickens and Huns.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby jlw034 » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:14 pm

Love it AG. You've got quite the team!
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby Willie T » Thu Sep 09, 2021 4:18 am

Great stuff AG. Thanks for sharing. I love the fall of the year! Dove just opened here. Cricket and I got out. I’ve been enjoying watching you bring Tess along.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby J D Patrick » Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:26 am

congrats AG - great hunts and pictures!
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:46 pm

Sun coming up on a Teal Hunt Tess and I took last week.
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Our Summer of Training made for a pretty smooth hunt.
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This BWT buried itself before dying and I would have lost it without Tess.
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Teal action was slow and there were Snipe around so we did some of that too.
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Harking back to the Waterfowl Gun thread, I'm tellin ya, those new A5s are sweet swinging shotguns.
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The Wife, Spud, Tess and I just got back from a great trip to Wyoming to hunt Sage Grouse. We arrived the day before the season opened so we went into the mountains looking for Ruffed and Blue Grouse. Found some Ruffed Grouse.
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Thank You Spud.
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Grey Phase Ruffed Grouse
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Sunrise on Opening Day of Sage Grouse Season
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The Scenery
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I shot my first and only prior Sage Grouse back in 03 after tagging out on an archery antelope hunt. Spud had two contacts/points while hunting in NV a couple of years ago but NRs were not legal to shoot them. So this was his first Sage Grouse retrieve shot off of his point late on opening day. That Sage was the height typical of where we found and had the most success with them.
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Spud bringing in our second bird on the opener shot off of his point.
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Spud and I's first limit of Sage Grouse.
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I gave Tess most of the drops the second day. She had finds on two of her drops that unfortunately did not result in any shooting. I will tell you that training and testing a young dog on released birds in a training field does not look very similar to that same young dog hunting on a run at 200-400 yards on birds she had never smelled, in a 30 mph wind. :D My Partner got the only shot and bird of the day off a nice point his GSP made. Late in the day I dropped Spud and he pointed two big Bombers in really low thin cover. He could see them walking away from his point and he instinctively got low because of it. They unfortunately flushed out of range as I approached the point.
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Last day of the Trip. My knee was really sore and I was exhausted. I gave Spud all the drops but one because Tess had a sore pad from running in the rocks on all the drops I had given her on the previous days. Spud pointed a single earlier in the day but it flushed before I could get into good range. Late in the day I made a long drive to try a spot that had produced a couple of birds in the high wind on opening day. It was a spot with taller sage and protected from the wind by a high bluff. It was similar wind so I went back to try it again. Spud hunted out and went on point about 200 yards from the truck. A beautiful young cock bird flushed as I went in front of Spud and I brought it down flopping head shot. Spud went to retrieve the still flopping bird. As he did, I slung my shotgun over my shoulder, got my camera out of the game bag behind me, knelt down and took photos.
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While taking photos I was mentally aware of the good possibility of more birds around me and sure enough another young cock flushed close to me. I dropped the camera, stood up, sliding my shotgun off my shoulder as I did, spun around 180 degrees behind me, mounting my shotgun as I did, swung hard through the rapidly departing grouse, slapped the trigger and the bird rolled out of the air.

The Wife took this photo of Spud and I with our last day limit (making a full possession limit for the trip) walking back to the truck. The hunting was tough as the country is huge and the birds were not in most of it. We loved it.
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We saw many beautiful Pronghorns but I did not get any great photos. Saw beavers working in their ponds in the broad daylight and a herd of Elk at a distance. This dandy Mule Deer Buck was right behind out Motel.
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Great Trip and one we will sure try to do again.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby orhunter » Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:05 pm

Most excellent.

First retrieve my first Griff did on a Sage Grouse, she needed some encouragement. Half way back she spit it out. Dang that bird tastes like s***!! A fetch command brought it the rest of the way. Kinda funny at the time.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby J D Patrick » Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:47 am

wow - great stuff,,,

now for the address of that hotel??? bwahahahaha
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:21 pm

My usual covers were damaged by severe drought this year so the dogs and I explored some new territory this week. The dogs found good numbers of birds and we had a good trip.

All Sharptails on this trip. Had hoped to find some Huns but that did not happen.

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Spud in his 6th season is a real joy to hunt behind. The grouse were generally holding pretty well for a properly cautious dog, but far less so for me to get in front and flush. More than half of the dogs finds/points resulted in no shooting despite Spud pointing 40-60 yards off the birds consistently. Shots were often long and challenging which is part of the enjoyment.
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Tess is still in training. She hunts excellent, finds a lot of birds, handles some of them correctly and some not. We got a lot of stop to flush corrections in while she was on the ground and this is one here. Very common for Sharptails to have stragglers still around after the first bird or two flushes. If a dog will stop to flush some shooting is still likely. Interesting to note that the hunt test we trained and ran this summer puts all the emphasis on standing through the shot and fall which frankly is at best worthless in terms of putting birds in the bag. Stop to flush on the other hand has excellent benefits in actual bird hunting. We had to train the foundation of steady to WSF and are now applying that to STF. Steady to WSF is far easier as the handler is standing in front of the dog at a relatively close distance vs a dog hunting and then standing steady to flush may be several hundred yards from the handler when the need to remain steady to flush occurs. The training we do on planted birds is just the beginning of working towards the correct behavior while the dog is hunting independently in big country on wild birds is my consistent experience.
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Could have shot our limit of Roosters every day. They served good purpose in getting Tess bird contacts every morning.
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Antelope, Mule Deer and Whitetails all around
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Fall Colors were nearing their peak
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Some incredibily hardy people lived in these
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby Willie T » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:16 am

That looks like a good time in some great country AG! Cricket and I will be headed north in about 10 days with my long time hunting buddy and his GSP. I will also be picking up a puppy on the way home!
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:49 am

Willie T wrote:That looks like a good time in some great country AG! Cricket and I will be headed north in about 10 days with my long time hunting buddy and his GSP. I will also be picking up a puppy on the way home!
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I wondered when you were headed to ND. Getting another PP I presume? Female or male?
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby Willie T » Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:24 pm

Timed to coincide with pheasant opening. Yes a male PP. Since I’m not interested in becoming a breeder, I would rather not deal with the intact male and bitch in heat issue you made mention of.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby orhunter » Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:59 pm

Thanks for all the photos. How far did you have to go to get out of drought conditions.
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