Gunner and I went out to the Forest at O'dark Thirty this morning to do our first Actual Grouse hunt. I have been doing alot of scouting while training Gunner so I had a pretty good idea where I wanted to start. It was about 34 degrees and foggy this morning. We got out to our first place and would you know it there was a truck already parked there. I don't know if it was a bow-hunter or another grouse person but I moved on to my 2nd choice spot. There was not a soul around. So I got all geared up and Got Gunner out and walked off into the forest. Let me tell you it is a vastly different feeling going out to actually hunt by myself and not to just train. Gunner set off and I kept him a bit close because of the fog and the roughness of the terrain. I figured if we did find the bird they are notoriously spooky and to have a chance I had to keep Mr. Speedy Feet closer. Gunner did great and started to work the hill side and about 20 mins in he starts getting really birdy and just literally slides on the leaves to a stop. Point!! and I whisper "wait,easy,wait" and he does. I walk close and boom out comes a Grouse. I have time and aim...I missed and it was gone. But I was so happy he let me flush and he found it. Off we go and about 3-5 minutes he points again and he holds to let me flush but I still can't get my gun up fast enough so I do not get it either. Before we could go far he points hard and before I can get there a rocket of feathers shoot out sideways almost under poor Gunners chin. He jumps at the bird and he misses and I don't stand a chance to shoot and it is gone. After the Feather Rocket Attack we take a break and have some water and then get back at it. I am tired and I can see Gunner is tiring too and we have a ways to go to get back to the car. So I call it a morning for us.
We get back to the car no incident and I water Gunner and drive home. I get home and my wonderful Hubby has made a great breakfast and my lovely favorite coffee with chock. soy milk in it. I tell him how it goes while I shower and get my PJ's back on and get ready to eat.
We had a great time and Gunner was a champ about the birds. I think it is going to be a fun season. Even with out the game to bring home it still was fun. I didn't take the camera today...too much other stuff to carry. Tomorrow is training day and no hunting because it is Sun. Next week is Muzzle -loading season so no bird hunting for me. Just training. But after gun season for deer I'm back out there and maybe I can get one then....with some target practice.