Had the afternoon off so Bay and I went looking for a Christmas grouse in one of our local covers. I've never hunted partridge there before but knew the cover should support some birds of supersonic nature. We arrived at 1430 and I knew our time would be limited. Today is one of the shortest days of the the year being the day before the winter solstice.
The piece of woods we hunted is a NH WMA that was logged about six years ago to help wildlife. The cutting was done in strips and the roads were reseeded. The state even put up signs at different places in the woods describing what was done and the benefit it would have for critters who lived there. The strips have grown back and are thick with raspberry bushes.
Our choice of location turned out to be wise. We flushed two partridge early on. The first one should have been a gimme. I heard the birds wings flapping against brush as it tried to get airborne from under a small hemlock right under my feet. Bay had scented it up to the edge of the tote road where it hunkered down. It was so close I could see it was of the red variety with its tail fan fully extended in flight as my #6 birdshot cleared a lane miserably low underneath the hastily retreating grouse.
The next bird was a runner. As Bay began to make game we both heard it flush wild. I am impressed that Bay knows the sound of a flush and it excites her.
The rest of the fleeting daylight was spent on recon for another visit to this well maintained NH WMA. There is a much older cut full of whips about a mile in along an old power-line.
That will be our first destination Saturday weather permitting.