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Early season grouse hunting


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If I've hunted the grouse opening day up north it was 20-25 years ago but it's unlikely that I ever did. I avoided it because it's too thick, too green and I had a flexible schedule. I didn't hunt much in September period, but now with young kids and busy sports schedules the number of chances are limited, so for the last few years an early trip north on the first Friday after the opener has been the norm. This year, Friday was the opener for the first time in 11 years. There were a lot more atv's and hunters than I'd noticed in the past. The first week in September had been promising with a few frost warnings and some cool nights but as we know the weather was hot this week.

The alarm went off at 2am, the gear was loaded and the wheels were rolling by 3am. The trail we like to walk is narrow and overgrown so we don't usually see atv's on it, we just hoped that any other walkers weren't there before us. When we pulled up there was no sign of other hunters and we prepped and were off on the first hunt of the season.

By 8am we each had bird and then I got lucky when I went exploring off trail and had 3 more grouse by 9:30am. And that was it. We didn't see/hear another bird. We got back to the vehicle by 11am and actually got in and ran the A/C.

I was considering a nap while letting the engine run but had visions of a 8 hour snooze running the engine dry.222_joker.gif





While eating our sandwiches we discussed our options and decided to drive out and try another area. This would keep us cool and kill some time while we figured the birds were lying low due the heat. On the drive out we were stopped by the OPP. They checked to see that the guns were unloaded and asked to see our hunting licences and we were on our way after a couple of minutes tops. The drive to the second spot produced zero birds but did put us an hour closer to home. We had 5 birds and didn't die from the heat or mosquitoes so another season has started. Bring on the frost.

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Nicely done! Still looking for my first grouse ever, haven't even cracked the gun safe yet this year. Just feels too hot but hoping to get out soon. Trees are starting to get some nice colour, makes me feel I should be out. Looking forward to a crisp morning and some spare time.

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I've been out 4 times for morning hunts only. Not many birds and I'm using a cocker spaniel so leaves don't matter much to her. I've managed 2 birds and seen 4. It's brutal hot! I feel for the bear hunting guys. I'd be reluctant to shoot given the night time temps are mid to high teens. A bear wouldn't be edible if it sat all night, IMO.

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