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  • Page 27 of 38 FirstFirst ... 17252627282937 ... LastLast
    Results 261 to 270 of 372
    1. #261
      Real Retriever
      Coalman's Avatar
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      09-20-15
      It has been hot. Real hot! Over ten degrees more than the average here in coastal NH. Along with the heat the humidity has been oppressive. Not your ideal training weather. Well according to New England tradition, the weather...she's a changing.

      I've been working Belle along tote roads this month as it imitates our partridge hunting style. But lacking have been the partridge. Knowing birds make the dog today we switched up and targeted timber doodles. At least this bird still has a grip in the local covers we hunt.

      It has been dry this summer in southern NH. Knowing that woodcock need to stick that beak deep in damp soil to find their favorite food, earthworms, this mornings training session found us in a flood plain along the Lamprey River. I've flushed numerous woodcock in this cover while hunting deer but have never hunted it for upland.
      While walking the river bank I couldn't help but notice the wild grape vines.





      And a closer inspection revealed these beauties.



      We didn't flush any partridge but we sure worked each grove of grapes with the enthusiasm of the flush.

      And then it happened. In ground cover of multiple species of ferns Belle put up a small woodcock that offered us a second flush and then later along our stroll, at the base of my feet, a softball size mature woodcock.

      I'm going to use steel shot when I hunt this piece because the opportunity for a wood duck are large. These woods are owned by a land trust who allow hunting. No sympathy for the deer. We are going upland bird hunting.

      Come on October 1.

    2. #262
      Real Retriever
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      09-21-15
      Family Grounds Beaver Pond.

      Here is Bay in 2012.



      Here is Belle in 2015



      I'm OK with it since I am not a big waterfowl hunter.

      But tell me these edges don't look like prime woodcock habitat.





      Thank you to everyone who have been giving me partridge reports. I can taste them now.

    3. #263
      Real Retriever
      Coalman's Avatar
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      09-27-15
      Checked out a new piece of property yesterday morning on my way up to camp.

      At first I wondered if I was in the right place seeing the parking area wasn't flattened down from vehicles and there was no dog park dog poop on the trails. A place like this near my house would gets lots of traffic.

      No sooner as we started down the first straightaway than Belle got real birdy. Then way down the trail I spied a turkey going in the woods. Let Belle work her way down naturally with no help from me. I saw her catch the scent and scoot out into the woods. Very soon I heard the alarm putts and heavy wing beats of a turkey taking flight. I caught a glimpse of it coming right to left. Had I known about the log landing and was standing there it would have been a dead turkey if the season was on.

      As soon as we left the log landing we moved a partridge. We continued down the trail to a big clearcut on our right. Went up into the cut and then looped back down to the main trail I came in on. We moved another partridge on the way out. Didn't see either but it was a thrill. I was there a half hour and saw a turkey and moved two grouse.

      I'll be back.

      I believe this is white baneberry . Always interesting to find new things when you are exploring new covers.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actaea_pachypoda



      About a mile from camp I had to stop in the road and let a flock of turkeys go by. There was no way to count them as they were on both sides and getting out of dodge quick. I did spy at least a dozen though.

      Camp is now ready for bird hunting. Aired everything out, vacuumed and washed the floors and disinfected every surface. Found a couple spots Mickey may be gaining entrance and plugged the access. He and Minnie better be careful after October 1. We will be employing lethal methods of irradiation.

      Finished by mowing the lawn.



      Loading up the truck for our trip home I had to look twice. Was that a turkey out in the pasture? I kenneled Belle in the Ford and went to investigate. Yup a hen with four poults. One hundred feet from the camp door. Did I mention the Maine season opens October 1?

      Turkey pasture on the left.



      Shot two rounds of trap this morning. Broke a nineteen then an eighteen. Haven't shot the new Stevens since April. I'm glad to be consistent. I'll need it against those ruffed missiles when the fun begins Thursday.

    4. #264
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      Beautiful! I've been in the high desert since '89 and all that gorgeous foliage, and I can almost smell the moist-earth... Around here it's sage brush, rattle snakes and cow pies. Ahhh... you make me homesick.

    5. #265
      Real Retriever
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      I can almost smell the moist-earth.
      I know that smell!

    6. #266
      Real Retriever
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      10-01-15
      Great opening day. Three hour hunt in No Man's Land. 3 woodcock 2 shots no birds. 4 partridge 1 shot 1bird. YOY. Very small.
      Bet I saw no less than 100 turkeys today. 27 + bottom of hill at camp. 5 in camp yard last night.

      October 1 fulfilled my upland lust.

      10-02-15 NH
      Started day with BIL and Belle in NH where we scouted a couple weeks ago. Saw lots of new country. Put up 1 woodcock and 2 partridge. No shots.

      ME AM
      Next we went to the Farm. 3 woodcock, 2 shots, no birds. 3 partridge flushes, 2 shots, no birds.

      ME PM
      4 partridge flushes, 1 shot, no birds.

      I love this kind of hunting over a close working flushing dog. You train yourself to be keenly aware of the dogs body language. There is no hurry. Lots of stopping while you watch the dog work.

      Sleep came easy after dinner at camp. I could get used to this life very quickly.

      10-03-15
      Today didn't start well. And by a new day I mean 0200. Heck of a time to come down with intestinal cramps. My wife missed a day of work the week of the 22nd due to the same thing. Thought I'd won the battle from not contracting it sooner but on-line says greasy, high fat, processed camp food seems to be the right fuel.

      Felt a little better around 0930 after a fist full of trips to the outhouse. Scouted some property recently in the next town over from camp so I loaded up Belle and we went for a walk. No birds flushed but it was sure some nice woods I will return to.

      10-04-15
      Rough night sleeping. Never more than an hour at a time called off any plans to hunt with my son Shawn this morning. That was hard to take but I need to get better so I'm hunting on the computer.

      I've always loved hunting behind or as Willy (my beagle buddy) would say in front of dogs. I never feel alone when I am accompanied by a canine. These first few days of upland hunting have really showed me Belle's potential in the grouse woods. Thank you Steelhead Fred and the The Grouse Commanders. You strive to achieve what I have now. I love watching Belle work air scent. Friday evening BIL and I were on opposite logging rods working parallel with each other. I saw Belle lift her nose, test the air and bolt into the woods. It didn't take long to hear two unseen partridge take flight.

      In NH Friday morning just as we left the truck I told BIL that if he sees Belle stop on the road and bolt ninety degrees into the woods he better be ready. I looked down and noticed I forgot Belle's whistles. It was only 100 feet back to the truck. When I caught back up to BIL he said he watched Belle stop, pivot and bolt. The end result being a woodcock that didn't offer a shot.

      I am sure proud of my hunting partner.


      I didn't take many pictures but here are a few.

      Belle's first Maine partridge 2015. I only winged it. Belle had a great time playing with it before I had to do the dirty deed. 2nd hatch guess from the small size. Tail feathers...optional.



      Do partridge eat Partridge Berry?



      You bet!



      Took a drive around Thursday evening. Met a fellow and his wife here with three English Setters. You could spend a week in this piece.

      Thank you State of Maine





      One hen and four second hatch poults now call camp home. Poor through the windshield shot. I saw them every day.


    7. #267
      Real Retriever
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      10-10-15
      I was thinking today that a quarter of October has already gone by. That thought occurred to me in a fertile river bottom chasing Mr. Doodle with Miss Belle.

      It could of been the rainbow of color from the multiple species of ferns? Or the whistle of the unseen wood duck. The blustery wind dislodging leaves devoid of chlorophyll? Dodging multiflora rose?

      What ever it was it all happened before we put two woodcock to flight. Instinct came into play and I shouldered the gun both times. And both times there were no shots.

      You know it didn't really matter if we got a bird. I walked with the Yellow Dog today. I have been looking forward to that all week. We accomplished our mission in some really pretty fall woods.

      One third of October is gone. Tomorrow we look for partridge.

      10-11-15
      Three innings of October are complete. We started the fourth inning this morning in Durham on University of NH land.

      Gotta love those folks for allowing hunting on their property. Hunted a tree farm with some recent choppings. Birds 0 Belle 0. No flushes.

      On a recon down the road and I spied a red steel gate. Was that a no wheeled vehicles on a NH Forest and Lands sign? Well don't mind if I do. Parked there and hunted the edges of a big clearcut they did a few years ago. Beautiful land full of fall colors but devoid of birds. Birds 0 Belle 0

      It was now approaching 10 AM and was getting hot in the direct sun so I decided a walk along some Lamprey River bottom lands on the other side of the river from yesterday. It should be cooler.

      I was right.

      This ditch is usually full of water.



      It wasn't far past here that Belle got extremely birdie and started ranging out. My suspicions were confirmed with the alarm putting and heavy wing beats of an unseen turkey. Upon her return she took another line straight out and put another turkey to flight. Then a couple hundred yards further two turkey flushed out of the trees to my left. Why does the season have to start tomorrow?

      I stopped to watch Belle working scent. When I took the next step a woodcock flushed at my feet. Straight away, no obstructions, bang and the bird fell from the sky. My first NH woodcock with Belle. Belle 1, Woodcock 0.



      And no less not far from a patch of wild cranberries where I stopped to take her picture on our way out.


      I picked a handful to garnish the bounty. How’s that for organic?

      Today's hunts occurred on state land and private conservation trust land all open to hunters. Of which I saw none of the latter. It was just me and the dog. Just the way I like it.

    8. #268
      Senior Dog
      IRISHWISTLER's Avatar
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      Great report Dave. Give Miss BELLE a belly rub for me.

      Irishwhistler
      TEAM TRAD PRO STAFF
      DUBLIN DUCK DYNASTY

      Joanie Madden, Mary Bergin, Adrea Coor, and Nuala Kennedy, each an Irish whistle goddess in her own right.

    9. #269
      Real Retriever
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      10-22-15
      Back from Maine's Great North Woods. Had a great time following the yellow dog around some really nice bird cover in the peak of fall foliage.

      While there were flushes and lots of missed shots the most memorable bird was our first. I swear Belle knows what she is doing when she quarters along the logging trails. She casts out to the left or right then runs parallel along the road. Just when you think she is going out of range she turns and works the inside of the woods back to you.

      This worked well on our first bird of the trip. She flushed it on her turn back to the road. It came out into the road flying straight at me. Then it turned back to the woods offering me a right to left passing shot.

      First flush, one shot, bird down.



      Note to self. Go earlier next year. When I ran into the trappers I knew it was time to relocate. Early fox and coyote season opened 10-18. I just couldn't stay and put Belle in harms way.

      Headed south to our camp on the east side of a sleepy western Maine mountain.



      Hunted some private property. The birds were there. Just wish I hadn't left my shooting skills into Carlton Brook.

      But those birds better be careful because as Arnold would say, "I'll be back!"

      10-23-14
      We hunted three covers in NH. Today those covers had the look and smell of upland game. The ferns are brown and down and you can see much further in the woods.



      We flushed 4 partridge and 8 woodcock along with a snowshoe hare. I shot at the King and Mr. Doodle.

      Missed both times
      The last piece we hit Belle had woodcock flying left and right.

      How can a man have so much fun with an empty game bag?

      One man, one dog. Just the way I like it.

      Good Girl Belle !

    10. #270
      Senior Dog
      Scoutpout's Avatar
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      the bag may be empty, but sure sounds like the heart isn't
      wonderful times spent with your dog!

    11. The Following User Says Thank You to Scoutpout For This Useful Post:

      Coalman (10-28-2015)

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