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    1. #341
      Real Retriever
      Coalman's Avatar
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      Northern Aroostook County, Maine

      Forth stop on our 2016 Partridge Gypsy Tour
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -belle-20and-20bird-20web-jpg   -sweet-20smell-20of-20success-20web-jpg   -allagash-camp-jpg   -bella-cory-web-jpg  

    2. #342
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      10-30-16
      NH Lakes Region bird hunt

      My view and the results. Belle put up a brace of grouse. The first was unseen. The second flew over my head doing ninety. I spun 180 and just as I shot the bird banked hard left.
      Next time.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -quarry-looking-lake-web-jpg   -quarry-woodcock-10-30-16-web-jpg  

    3. #343
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      Woodcock Nuggets

      I've never been a fan of eating woodcock. Until now. When I hunted northern NH last month our host made woodcock nuggets.

      Took the three woodcock breasts from last weekend, deboned and cut them into bite size chunks.

      Flour, spices, egg and breadcrumbs.

      May have cooked them a little too long but this was a first.

      Crunchy and YUMMY !! Woodcock beware.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -woodcock-mcnuggets-web-jpg  

    4. #344
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      11-06-16
      Today Belle and I went bird hunting in the Lakes Region. We hit three covers.

      First was a woodcock spot. Yup only flushed a grouse, wild, but I did see it gliding down the ridge to the lake. No woodcock, no splash. Belle put up six woodcock in this cover April 1. I must have been too late and the birds headed south?

      Next spot was where I got the limit of woodcock last week. No woodcock, no grouse. I did see a couple hikers that told me a bear was taken off the mountain 10-29 by MZ deer hunters.

      The last spot had a lot of grouse last year. Not as many this year. Belle put up two, saw one for a nano-second. The regenerating small oaks still have leaves. Poor visibility.

      Belle has really come of her own this fall. Yesterday was her last hunt until the firearm season for deer is over. I can't wait for the leafless cover of December.

      Snow stay away. We aren't finished our tour.

    5. The Following User Says Thank You to Coalman For This Useful Post:

      Scoutpout (11-14-2016)

    6. #345
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      2016 Partridge Gypsy Tour continued...

      12-01-16

      New cover today. Foresters are grouse hunters best friends.

      Feathers flew. Still flying. No nuggets tonight. Best continuous partridge habitat I've ever seen in southern NH. 1,200 gated public acres surrounded by conservation land.

      Birds were in the hemlocks on south facing slopes. 2" + rain last night. Woods were wet but quiet. No birds in the choppings.

      Maine tomorrow. Return to the sphagnum moss. Rubber boots required.

      12-02-16

      "And when we hit and kneel to smooth the feathers back ,only poetry can express the gratitude that fills our heart"

      By Reid Bryant, RGS Magazine Winter 2016

      Day 2 of the 2nd half of our 2016 Partridge Gypsy Tour.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -maine-grouse-12-2-16-web-jpg  

    7. #346
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      12-05-16
      Snow Day

      12-06-16
      Back to southern NH. This should have been a buddy hunt due to the new fallen snow, the up and down elevation of land and how slippery the new snow was on hidden ground cover. But who has Tuesday off in December?

      Started at the top of the mountain and worked down to the beaver ponds. First third of the hunt no grouse tracks.

      The grouse I fired at twice last week left me tracks in the snow. Good to know it was a miss. Couldn't find it this time.

      Saw tracks of two more grouse and flushed two singles of which I shot at the latter. Notta feather.

      Coyote tracks dominated the 24 hour lull of snow. They moved everywhere in that piece last night. Belle sure set them straight. She is in heat and peed, peed and peed on any markings , poo or pee, the yotes left on the roads. I bet they spent last night looking for those sweet smells.

      Tomorrow the Lakes Region when it stops snowing. Our Tour continues.

    8. #347
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      12-07-16
      Tried a new spot today. No tracks, no flushes. Cover looked promising. I will be back.

      Second cover today managed only one flush. Of course I never saw it. There is an ESP between Belle and I. We were on the outskirts of the thick cover the grouse like when I noticed, no Belle. I stopped to listen because the compacting snow is very loud with each step. And like clockwork I heard the grouse flush and that tweeting sound it makes. Almost laughing. I looked skyward because in that cover it is the only way you can see. No bird.

      Then I saw its tracks. So I know due to the fresh snow we didn't walk by any birds. Man, the population of grouse south of the notch is not very good.

      But complaining won't put breasts on the dinner menu. It all comes down to shoe leather and I still have plenty left.

      As soon as the black ice turns to asphalt the Tour continues. Today back to the Lakes Region.

    9. #348
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      2016 Partridge Gypsy Tour continued...

      12-08-16
      Back to the mountain where we found these wild grapes this fall.

      The snow told me there was a grouse nearby. The tracks led into a thicket I got a woodcock out of this fall.

      Belle has a special way of making a grouse feel nervous. Instinct took over. I was sure surprised to see it tumble down.

      In all honesty I can't take the credit. This grouse was flying while intoxicated.

      Now that is 100 proof grouse right there.

      Trust Your Dog

      All along the woods road Belle and I used today to get up the mountain were tracks of a flock of turkeys. They were heading north. We were heading south. I estimated five hens.

      Any time Belle lifts her nose in the air and bolts I take notice. She darts out through the open woods on what I presume is a deer when up on the open hardwood hillside I see the folk of turkeys running. I just stopped. I watched Belle see them then sprint. I knew the sound I was about to hear when she split the flock to all compass points. Putting and cackles filled the air.

      These turkeys had to be a 100 yards from us when she smelled them.

      Trust Your Dog.

      Today was a special day on Tour.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -grapes-web-09-25-16-jpg   -grape-grouse-12-8-16-web-jpg  

    10. #349
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      2016 Partridge Gypsy Tour continued...

      12-10-16
      Two towns and four covers yesterday searching for grouse. The starting temps were 18 degrees with a very, very brisk wind. Brrr. The wind and crunchy snow made hearing a bird flush almost impossible.

      Map My Tracks said the hunts took a total of 4.19 hours and I walked 7.17 miles. Because of the snow I walked fast. No tracks, no grouse. Found them in pockets of the habitat. No grapes today.

      In all that I guesstimate from tracks, hearing and seeing, 12 grouse. 10 tracks, 1 heard, 1 seen.

      Game bag empty. Had a great day with my Grouse Commander Belle.

      Wildlife inventory
      Grouse
      Chickadees
      So many snowshoe hare I'm considering adopting a couple beagles. I'll give them back.
      Squirrels
      Mice
      Weasel
      Deer in every piece. Some loaded. Didn't we just have deer season?
      Porcupines
      Fisher
      Otter
      Bobcat
      Moose
      Bear. I started looking at my backtrack. I don't like Yogi's who are out in December snow. Means they are hungry. I wear a size 12.

      Couple more inches of snow predicted for tomorrow. And hopefully not but another snow storm for next Saturday.

      It has been a very good week in the woods. I made the ammo companies richer and in the process took two grouse home.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -bear-2012-10-16-20web-jpg   -belle-web-jpg  

    11. #350
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      love the change from a "pleasant" late fall, into a heavily-snowed early winter.
      love that you and Belle have had a rather epic hunt. perhaps light on the catch, but heavy on everything else.
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    12. The Following User Says Thank You to Scoutpout For This Useful Post:

      Coalman (12-16-2016)

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