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Started the season off with a bang!

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mastercaster

This IS My Life
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Headed out early Monday morning with my favourite hunting partner, Sako, on my way to the cabin. I went via the Coquihalla so I could hunt region 3-13 on the way there. I spent close to 3 hours in an area I know quite well. Saw 4 deer, and 19 grouse,,,,all Franklyns. I shot five of them before heading to the cabin.

As far as the grouse hunting went, the first couple I saw on the road I let Sako out and right away she went on point. A strange thing happened on the way back with the second bird. She got about half way to me and when she was in the softer screech she proceeded to dig a whole to put the bird in. It had been a long time since she had fetched a freshly shot bird so maybe she forgot what she was supposed to do. Sh's never done that before.

She's been force fetched so as soon as I nicked her on the e-collar she brought the bird to me. Over the next couple of days she tried it a couple more times and had to correct her again. All the other times she was fine. Since I don't want Sako to point on sight at birds on the road, from that point on I kept her in her kennel which is on the back seat. When I'd shoot a bird I'd let her out and get her to do a blind retrieve.

She had heard the shot so she knew there was one out there to find. Some were on the road but many of them were off to the side. After she'd bring the bird back she's hunt the area to see if there were anymore about. The birds would be pretty skittish by that time, though, but she did tree a few.

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When we got to the cabin and unpacked I got Sako to do a few water retrieves in the lake and let her swim for awhile. After we had lunch we took a nice long nap. When I got up to take a pee and looked out the bathroom window I saw four deer standing in front of my truck. That was kind of cool! The plan for the afternoon was to go into a Region 8 area, close to the cabin to go after some more grouse and to scout the area for deer, as well.

Saw another 26 grouse, all ruffies this time, a half dozen more deer,,,,one was a nice two point in velvet. One of the deer I saw was part of the mule deer study that BCWF is doing. Notice anything different about this deer? I had to zoom in with my crappy cell phone camera so it's not all that clear.

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We also saw a cow moose with two calves and further up the road I saw another calf. Couldn't see its mama, though. Needless to say, what with seeing 45 grouse the first day it wasn't hard to get your limit. LOL Saw at least six good size family groupings.

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The next morning we went to an area that I know I'll never see grouse at. It's logged off way too much. I was hoping to see the elusive 4 point,,,,or any bucks for that matter for future reference. We saw 13 deer/fawns. At about 10:00 we went back to the general area that we were at the previous evening and saw another 14 ruffies but off other spurs this time. Shot five.

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Did the whole swim, lunch, and nap thing all over again, plus I went up into my little shooting range and fired off some shots with my daughter's .308. I'm developing a load for her using TTSX. I've tried two different powders and two different bullet weights. I'm pretty disappointed at the results. Her rifle doesn't appear to be a "shooter" at all, yet she drops everything with one shot. Maybe it's me. We headed back out at about 4 o'clock. Saw another 12 grouse, 2 deer, and one solo cow moose. I wish my son could have been with me. He loves shooting grouse!

This morning I packed everything up and we headed back up towards the Coquihalla, hunting through some other deer country I know of. Saw 11 deer in total, 4 of them in one group of 6 were young bucks. I'm hoping one of them will have my name on it come October 1st. Saw 4 more grouse,,,,,didn't shoot at any of the franklyns because I'm not crazy about their taste but I did drop a big heavy blue. It was good practice for Sako to bring back a heavier bird. Got back to the coast at 1:30. Was an awesome few days!

For those who were wondering during the pre season if it was going to be a poor season for grouse you can rest your minds. In the 2 1/2 days I was out there hunting I saw a total of 75 grouse. What was nice was that way more than half of them were ruff grouse which is by far my favourite upland bird meat!

Considering the weather wasn't supposed to be all that great we ended up having very good conditions for bird hunting. Grouse don't like the rain anymore than we do!
 
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fingershooter

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"didn't shoot at any of the franklyns because I'm not crazy about their taste "
Could this be why your dog was trying to bury them?
What a great couple of days! I gotta head that way for grouse - very few here.
 
Thread starter #3

mastercaster

This IS My Life
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"didn't shoot at any of the franklyns because I'm not crazy about their taste "
Could this be why your dog was trying to bury them?
What a great couple of days! I gotta head that way for grouse - very few here.

Actually, Sako loves grouse meat treats. I tend to make/bake them out of the franklyns I shoot. When I have about 10 pounds of them I make my hot Italian sausage which is excellent.

I don't think the wanting to bury a bird on the way back from the retrieve will be an issue. As I said, 17 out of the 20 times she brought the bird right back to me. Luckily she is e collar broke so I'll be at the ready if she attempts it again.

When I was hunting the Cranbrook area last year I saw lots of grouse. My buddy is there right now elk hunting. I'll have to remember to ask him if he saw as many as we saw last year. What part of the Koots are you in?
 

fingershooter

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Actually, Sako loves grouse meat treats. I tend to make/bake them out of the franklyns I shoot. When I have about 10 pounds of them I make my hot Italian sausage which is excellent.

I don't think the wanting to bury a bird on the way back from the retrieve will be an issue. As I said, 17 out of the 20 times she brought the bird right back to me. Luckily she is e collar broke so I'll be at the ready if she attempts it again.

When I was hunting the Cranbrook area last year I saw lots of grouse. My buddy is there right now elk hunting. I'll have to remember to ask him if he saw as many as we saw last year. What part of the Koots are you in?
10 pounds! Holy cow! Well that's what we do with our turkeys so I guess it's pretty even.
I was trying to make a joke of Sako's burying episodes, lol. I know that I wish my dog had buried a few that I have gotten. No more male Franklins for me, thank you very much!
Yeah, we had good grouse in the East Koots and here, near Trail last year but wet spring or something (maybe all of the turkeys) have played havock with them this year. I ahve a friend in Agazzis that does very well on grouse down that way and in the Caribou. I know that my dog would love it. Don't get me wrong, usually we can get our limit or close in a day but not the numbers that you are seeing.
 
Thread starter #5

mastercaster

This IS My Life
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Location
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10 pounds! Holy cow! Well that's what we do with our turkeys so I guess it's pretty even.
I was trying to make a joke of Sako's burying episodes, lol. I know that I wish my dog had buried a few that I have gotten. No more male Franklins for me, thank you very much!
Yeah, we had good grouse in the East Koots and here, near Trail last year but wet spring or something (maybe all of the turkeys) have played havock with them this year. I ahve a friend in Agazzis that does very well on grouse down that way and in the Caribou. I know that my dog would love it. Don't get me wrong, usually we can get our limit or close in a day but not the numbers that you are seeing.

Although my buddy who's hunting in Cranbrook right now won't likely be shooting at them i'll be curious to find out how many he sees. Hope you start spotting them! Those big Franklyns remind of a chunk of liver the meat is so dark, strong tasting, too,,,,,,compared to the meat of a ruff grouse which is almost white and one of the best game meats out there. The only other bird that has meat that light in colour is quail but I never bothered with them either because you needed a dozen or so to make a meal. Haha
 
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