Friday, January 07, 2011
I've been exploring a bit lately, searching for coverts closer to the new farm. Yesterday felt like Christmas when my neighbor suggested I use his property as a gateway to the public land just over the ridge. Hunting right out the back door!
Drove across Half Moon Creek with high hopes and parked the car next to a dilapidated deer camp . Within five minutes dog and I were drawn to a copse of young white pine. She pointed, then relocated, muscles slowed by whatever hormone it is that paralyzes an excited pointing dog. Another solid point.
I stepped forward as the grouse broke from top of a pine, five yards high and 15 yards ahead. Up went the SKB. No snag of the gun butt on my clothing. No forgetting the safety (as I had the day before). Stock planted solidly to cheek. Smooth swing from left to right. All very deliberate.
The bird tumbled. Pure joy. I called back the excited dog. Lilly, here! She had not seen the bird fall and was well beyond, having followed its trajectory. Returning to me, she winded the grouse, picked it up and came straight over. Perfect. A beautiful cock bird with full ruff.
Canoga's Tiger Lilly, fit to explode with excitement, SKB and
The remainder of the hunt yielded no more birds, but we found some very nice cover. All five minutes from my stoop. And access to 100s of acres of game commission and Penn State land. I plan to return soon, taking advantage of last night's snow.
Cock bird, skinned and quartered, with crop contents (raisins, bar berries, greens)