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  • Page 39 of 39 FirstFirst ... 29373839
    Results 381 to 389 of 389
    1. #381
      Real Retriever
      Coalman's Avatar
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      May 2014
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      Exeter, NH
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      10-16-17
      When you find partridge in suitable habitat, there is no reason to leave birds to find birds. After Saturday's outing I did an extensive Google Earth search and lo and behold I have been on the other entrance road before last December. It was great looking habitat even though our short hike there produced no flushes. Today I made it a goal to explore this piece and I'm sure glad I did.

      The first thing we walked down the road until we came to the spot I shot the last grouse Saturday. This small peninsula sticking out into the swamp called me. Belle and I went in, a partridge came out wild. No shot.

      From here we backtracked and walked down every road that intersected this old thruway. Down one of the roads Google Earth showed a large opening. From the opening were multiple finger roads so this was the log yard they used. It held two more grouse. Only heard not seen. Boy has it grown up nice!

      On the way Belle got birdy and jumped into the bushes. A very small dove came flushing out. It could fly about three feet off the ground but that was it. Belle caught it and brought it to me. I'm thinking West Nile disease. We left it alive on the tote road

      On our return trip from the log yard I saw it still in the road. It flushed up three feet and landed back in the woods. Belle didn't see or smell it this time. From here we walked back to the truck.

      This is where I parked today. I had all intentions of walking this grown up road when we got back. Glad I did. There were two grouse on the right about as far down as you can see.

      I'm here to tell you to always pay attention when you are following a flushing dog. As I walked through small pockets of this yellow spiked plant on the trail it was like shaking baby powder in the woods. I needed to know what it was later so I took my phone out to take a picture. That is when it all went wrong. A partridge got up and I stumbled and fumbled trying to get my gun up. I shot way behind it with the phone still in my hand.

      Through a friend of mine I found out this is called Lycopodium (Club Moss). I knew it as ground pine. These are the spikes they grow to release their spores. The powder was used as a flash point since it is so fine, very dense for it's size and has a very high fat content. I have another date later this year with the Club Moss Grouse!

      Map my Tracks said our first hunt of the day was 5.48 miles and took 3 hours and 35 minutes. All flat land. We moved seven partridge. Three I saw, fired at two and walked out with an empty game bag. Best southern Maine hunt I've ever had and didn't kill a thing.



      We tried a couple easy coverts with no luck. I lost access to a 78 acre farm with probably 70 of those acres being old logging. When I requested permission to hunt this year the owner said he sold it. I asked for the new landowners name. The former owner said he sent him an email and if he chose to have me hunt he had my contact info.



      No email. So for our last hunt of the day we had to drive by one of my best woodcock spots at the farm. We headed down to Gillie's 300 acres at the end of the road. A place I had permission to hunt in the past. Something wasn't right. The rocks blocking the road were gone, the ditch was filled in and the road upgraded. Halfway down to the old home site dreaded Posted signs started appearing. Someone fixed the road through the brook. At the top of the hill I found out what. A popup camper, a bulldozer and a skidder. WTH? Not to mention posted signs. My last hunt of the day didn't go as planned. But we still did 2.2 miles in 59 minutes and moved one unseen partridge. To add insult to injury as I passed the farm a partridge came out on the road. Stood for a minute laughing at me and then flushed back into the woods.

      At the bottom of the hill at the first brook crossing a truck was coming the other way. I pulled over and signaled for them to continue. As we greeted each other I asked where he was going. He said....The Farm! I told him I knew the former landowner and asked about the email. Said he received it had even talked to the former owner but that it wasn't discussed.

      So naturally at this face to face I asked permission to hunt. Hallelujah! Permission granted.

      Let's see now Mr. Grouse who gets the last laugh.

      Southern Maine is BACK!
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -grouse-penisula-web-jpg   -log-yard-web-jpg   -maine-grouse-habitat-web-jpg   -princess-pine-spores-web-jpg  
      Last edited by Coalman; 11-10-2017 at 03:11 PM.

    2. #382
      Real Retriever
      Coalman's Avatar
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      May 2014
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      Exeter, NH
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      10-18-17
      Big male southern Aroostook County ruffed grouse.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -southern-aroostook-male-grouse-web-jpg  

    3. #383
      Real Retriever
      Coalman's Avatar
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      Exeter, NH
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      Added Bonus.

      10-19-17
      I messed up this year. Didn't check the ME Inland Fisheries and Wildlife trapping seasons before I requested vacation this fall. Our host has a coyote trapper come in each year Our hunt overlapped this year.

      Not to be deterred we stopped on the way up and were given maps with access to other family grounds not trapped. One was an apple orchard. Our host described the location, go up this road to this field, keep on the road to the next field, after going through the field take your first right on the good road. Confused? Ya you know me.

      We found it, more from the smell than the location. An old farm apple orchard. Branches bending to the ground with fruit. Went through it three times, no grouse.

      We could have walked back the way we came but GPS told us a faster route through another field. When we got to the edge I looked back and Shawn and said shh. He gave the thumbs up and mouthed, wild turkey. We saw tracks in the road on the way in.

      It happened to fast to describe, scent, flush, shot and I had a wild turkey. Shawn cooked wild turkey and partridge breast on the wood cook stove at camp. Turkey won for texture, the grouse for taste.

      I love this dog.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -maine-fall-wild-turkey-10-19-17-web-jpg  

    4. #384
      Real Retriever
      Coalman's Avatar
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      May 2014
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      Exeter, NH
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      10-22-17
      The NH lakes region was full of TICKS. Some so small you could barely see them and they were a bronze copper color. Poor Belle when she would run by me it looked like someone had sprinkled pepper on her. The Seresto collar did its job. They would light but did not bite. Took about twenty minutes after each hunt to wait for them to surface and get flicked off.

      Other than ticks we found the grouse and woodcock. They are safe though. How can a man shoot so poorly?

      Well I won't be kicking my jaw because we are off to York County Maine. First back to the woods we moved seven partridge in last week to explore a little more and then to the Farm.

      Hopefully I'll have a bird report, not a tick check.

    5. #385
      Real Retriever
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      Exeter, NH
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      10-23-17
      Off the southern Maine we go. First hunt 3.98 miles in 2.03 hours. One grouse flush heard, not seen. Sounded like it landed in a tree. Young firs too thick to investigate. Partridge score one.

      Now at 64 degrees we parked at our favorite woodcock place, the Farm. Within 100 yards of the truck we had our first woodcock in the bag. Second hundred yards, another woodcock. From there things got a little rough.

      Belle put up three more woodcock. Fired both barrels at two of them. The other was out of range before I even got the safety off.

      When we arrived back at the truck I still had two more coverts I wanted to hunt. Hydrated Belle but I could tell by her panting we were done.

      Hottest fall I have ever hunted birds. Ticks were terrible.

      Why is it that upland bird hunters are such loners? Please don't try and answer. I like it better this way.

    6. #386
      Real Retriever
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      Exeter, NH
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      10-24-17
      Woke up to steady rain. Not your best hunting conditions for the human side of the team. I know the canine member could care less.

      Stayed local and hunted our favorite river bottom. One woodcock up, barreling straight at me. As I swung right to left or almost right over my head a giant white pine impeded the shot.

      Now going straight away I fired a shot and killed a crown of alders. I never saw the bird after the shot. It only took one dead bird command at the scene of the crime and we had a woodcock. It was a small young of the year. Good to know.

      The eyes of a predator as it gazes at the prey.

      This is the best bird dog I have ever had. Go Team Belle!
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -woodcock-web-jpg  
      Last edited by Coalman; 11-10-2017 at 03:14 PM.

    7. #387
      Real Retriever
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      May 2014
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      Exeter, NH
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      10-27-17
      Good day in the uplands. Explored some new ground. Thick fir, spruce and pine. Belle flushed a road bird. No shot. Saw a hare today. They are still brown.

      Back to the Farm at 11 AM. Belle sped like a rocket to the line of old apples trees. I heard a partridge get up, unseen. Then another crossing left to right..Bang!

      I did not see the bird after I fired. Last I saw Belle she was to my left. As I am triangulating where I last saw the bird I heard the death wing beats. Still no Belle.

      I give her one toot on the whistle and I hear her coming from where I last saw the grouse.

      Could it be? Yes! Belle had the partridge. Good Girl!

      Belle moved five grouse and two woodcock today. She is in her groove. I've missed the last four woodcock.

      Deer season opens tomorrow.

      I am pleased with our grouse and woodcock encounters this month. Today's partridge was YOY. It had clover and small woody stems in its crop.

      Looking forward to our upcoming December hunts with no ticks.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -farm-grouse-10-27-17-web-jpg  

    8. #388
      Real Retriever
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      Exeter, NH
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      11-04-17
      Quick woodcock hunt along some of my favorite local river bottom habitat.

      One woodcock up, one down.

      Look for them in the young aspens.

      11-05-17
      Short hunt a couple miles from home. No grouse, no woodcock.

      Don't ask about ticks. Worst ever.

    9. #389
      Senior Dog
      IRISHWISTLER's Avatar
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      Jun 2014
      Location
      CT
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      Quote Originally Posted by Coalman View Post
      It has been a while but Belle and I have been very active. Excuse my brag but I have to tell you this dog and I have a relationship I have never experienced with a canine before. We hunt as a team. We are constantly on the lookout for each other and our game bag has clearly shown this bond is working.

      Miss Belle is getting a much needed rest because the pumpkin army has invaded our haunts. I will be joining the ranks for the rest of the month trying to get a deer and put a winters worth of free range, non GMO meat in the freezer.

      Stay tuned for December. Team TRAD and Team Belle are going to grouse camp in Maine together.

      10-14-17
      Today we hunted at Sampson's Bay, our camp on the east side of a sleepy western Maine mountain. Three years ago I found some nice cover while spring turkey hunting. Shot a partridge there last December. Had never hunted it during early season until today.

      The higher elevation upland cover screamed birds yet not one could be found. It is very dry, no water. As we lost altitude the mountain naturally seeps water to its lower fir and hemlock flats. Belle darted right and a woodcock flushed left. Without Belle there was no chance of finding the bird as it had burrowed down into the tall grass before expiring.

      One for one.

      As we poked around in the young tightly packed fir trees Belle caught scent, bolted left a put a grouse to flight. When the bird winged across the skidder trail I fired. Self said I was way behind until I heard the unmistakable wing beats of a dying partridge. From the spot of the flush there was a spring seep bubbling water upwards. Hmm, water, we were on to something.

      Two for two.

      In Burt Spiller fashion we continued down the mountain not knowing what laid ahead. We popped out of the woods on an old Class 6 road and continued downhill. I could see a swamp up ahead of us. As we got closer the cover was starting to look better and better. Just before the swamp Belle bolted left. I know when she does this to get ready, and I was. This grouse had all it could do to free itself from the trees as it rose skyward. When it popped out into the wide open road it lingered airborne just a little too long.

      Three for three.

      We were 1.5 hours into our hunt and had three birds in the bag. Our best day yet in southern Maine. It started to get hot so I broke the action open on the O&U and we had a very nice slow walk back to the truck reminiscing each flush, shot and retrieve.

      One man, one dog. We are truly blessed.
      TEAM TRAD to TEAM BELLE - WE'LL BE READY FOR THE NORTH WOODS "COCKED AND LOCKED" MATE. THE "KING" BEST BEWARE.😉👍

      🍀🇺🇸🇮🇪
      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.

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