“The physics of beauty is one department of natural science still in the Dark Ages. Everybody knows that the autumn landscape in the northwoods is the land, plus a red maple, plus a ruffed grouse. In terms of conventional physics, the grouse represents only a millionth of either the mass or the energy of an acre. Yet subtract the grouse and the whole thing is dead. An enormous amount of some kind of motive power has been lost.” – Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac”
Blue grouse hunting starts on September first in Wyoming. It's the first bit of the hunting season. For me, there is a nice symbiosis between grouse hunting and hunting for deer and elk. Grouse tend to inhabit the edges of the best elk habitat and they live in the same country mule deer do. This means that a grouse hunt is more than a casual deer and elk scouting trip. And it works the other way as well, I have found my best grouse coverts by noticing birds while hunting deer and elk.
|Hard work on a rainy afternoon in the grouse coverts.|
|Mike and Erdos in good cover. Where Luna?|
|Sidley 20GA with a brace of Blues.|
|Mike and Luna with a brace of grouse.|
On the way out, we spotted a covey crossing the road. We stopped and moved in on the birds and Mike managed some nice shooting and dropped two birds on the wing as darted off between the pines.
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Even though all of us, dogs and men, got very wet, it was a wonderful afternoon. The symbiosis of the grouse and elk hunt was working too, in anticipation of upcoming elk seasons, we spotted two nice bull elk on the drive out.