Blues and ruffs in the Okanogan

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Roper, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

    I hit the opener bright and early Wednesday and was promptly rewarded with a large blue grouse. Yes, they do always fly down hill. But, 3/4 of an ounce of lead from my 28 gauge Wingmaster and a modified choke dropped it like a rock. My adventures for the rest of the morning produced two ruffed grouse, one mature the other a bit newer model.

    The next three visits to the forest would reap three more ruffs, one a day. One hit the ground and decided to make one last dive for cover, and it was thick and thorny. I played retriever really well though and got my bird, and a nice wild rose thorn buried in my pinkie finger. Pesky little thing...

    It felt so good to visit old coverts and still find birds. I was concerned that the long wet spring might take it's toll, but it didn't seem to.

    Shasha has been pointing and flushing quail on our morning walks, a good sign for the upcoming opening in October. Now, if she would only retrieve better...oh well, she is a poodle after all.

    Here's some photo's from the hunt...





  2. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Very nice report and I noticed you pick up your empty hulls...well done (and they are 28 ga.). I was talking with my wife last night about our next dog being a hunting poodle. I mentioned it to a hunting friend this morning and he said "You got to be kidding me dude." I'd like to hear you experiences.
  3. Islander

    Islander Steve

    Excellent!! Great report and photos. I can't wait to get out this year. Hopefully in a day or two.
  4. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    My Goldens believe poodles are members of some weird cult... We only got one blue on the opener, but if it weren't for my younger pup, we wouldn't have gotten that one! Fell on a really steep hillside into some coyote bushes, but she went right to it without having marked the fall. Nice report and photos, Roper! Good on ya for the 28bore, too! I was talking with Jim Ficklin about shells for my 28, and it seems RST shells outpattern anything else. It's related to the low pressure. My hunting partner liked the results so well he ordered a case for his CZ Bobwhite 28 too. You might check them out, about $10/box, but I haven't missed a bird yet with them. No pattern holes at all!
  5. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

    Karl, Yup, I leave no trace when I hunt, besides I reload all my gauges. Poodles are one of the oldest hunting breeds. They've been bred for show for too long for most to have any immediate instinct, but a bit of training and they make great hunting dogs. Sasha has had minimal training, almost none to be truthful. She flushes quail and pheasant in the valley with me, but does little to retrieve. I could do some work with her, but I just don't have the time right now. The real beauty is her disposition, she's very sweet, and she doesn't shed. Check out some searches for "working poodles" and you'll find some information on line I'm sure.

    Regards, Roper
  6. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

    They you better be careful...just kidding of course.

    Yup, RST is a quality ammo maker for sure. I do all my own reloading and don't have any older low pressure guns, but if I did, RST would be the solution for sure.
  7. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    I was wondering about the grouse after seeing your fishing report.

    Nicely done of the cast & blast.

  8. ribka

    ribka Active Member

    Nice report and pics.
    Thanks for sharing
  9. ganglyangler

    ganglyangler Bird Dogs and Fly Rods

    Beautiful birds and pics Roper!
  10. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Gorgeous country, Roper . . . excellent choice of gauge, and well-done. One correction to Alex's post . . . my 28 is a stack-barrelled Red Label (I'd buy a Bobwhite if I ever found one!), but she fits right in with the 20 & 12 Red Labels, just gets carried more often.

    Well done! Since the only dog I have is a little, inherited Jack Russell (10-pounds now, but Sadie "thinks" she's 150# . . . runs cats off like they believe that, too!). Maybe I'll introduce her to gunfire & take her out . . . has a great nose, is the most obedient & "wants to please" dog I've ever owned (correction: "most obedient . . . dog" who has ever owned me . . .), and retrieves like a prized Lab. Her only faults are that she hates water (but stands like a statue when I bathe her . . . go figure.) and sheds A LOT! On the plus side, I'd never lose her . . . I could follow the trail of white hair . . .
  11. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Don had no trouble getting a Bobwhite from One Shot here in Wenatchee, but was told they were unavailable from High Mountain Hunting Supply-this may depend on the distributor in the area. Gotta brag, though; my Belgian Guild Gun in 28bore's a LOT lighter than the Bobwhite in the same gauge! I also have a CZ Ringneck in 20bore, but that's pretty heavy, too. If I were to get a Bobwhite for grouse and quail, I might look at a .410. Kirby Hoyt at Vintage Doubles in Malaga had several English .410's when I was last there; very expensive, but moved around like Harry Potter's magic wand!! That's the thing I've learned about true vintage guns; the European guns are all quite a bit lighter than their American counterparts!
  12. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

    Nice report! I made it out on the 2nd thru the 4th north of Omak. Two blues and two ruffs - no dog. I was a little disappointed cuz I saw a lot more birds in the same area last year. I think the wet spring did impact the bird numbers. One of the ruffs was real small - probably from a late second or third hatch. (I use an old Parker 16 sxs - light as a feather and perfect for grouse.)
  13. martyg

    martyg Active Member

    Deleted - posted in wrong spot.
  14. martyg

    martyg Active Member

    Based on my experiences at a variety of hunt tests that I compete in I have never seen a poodle advance past the most elementary stages (take that back - one poodle in intermediate out East maybe 15 years ago - dark brown - handled by Neil Shelby). At a hunt test this Spring in CA a bunch of poodles and their handlers totally bombed out of the intermediate stake - it wasn't even a close call, but painful to watch. Afterwords the poodles handlers were all bitter and talking smack about how the judges don't understand poodles - dude, your dog can't pick up a double at 75 yards, or take a 50 yard line over a ditch and pick up a bird, or run a simple trail. If your dog can't even come close to the test standard then stay home and train more.

    Do yourself a favor - unless you are a super dog handler / trainer and have multiple national titles to your credit, stick to what works. Buy the best puppy that you can afford, from a breeder of field dogs who will guarantee hips, and who's parents and puppies test negative for EIC & CNM. Given the amount of money in travel and birds to forge a truly finished gun dog the $1K + that you will spend on the puppy will be the least amount of money that you will spend in the process.

    Roper - good stuff - wish I was there.
  15. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Martyg, thanks for your comments. I'm sure you opinion is probably accurate and you sound like you really know what you're doing with dogs. Right now I've got a pretty decent Lab. But, to be frank, in my opinion the emphasis many people put on performance standards established in hunt tests and field trials has led to breedings of a super charged, hyper machines, few of which I care to hunt with. I enjoy the hunt, distain the idea that hunting is mostly about killing birds. I love sitting in the blind sipping hot chocolate and bull shooting with my partners. We work the ducks into the dekes or very, very close to them. My dog curls up and sleeps for the most part but shoots awake whenever we start speaking in a whisper. She knows what whispering means. She's pretty steady, doesn't break, and I don't need her to make 100+ yard retrieves. I paid a good bit for my hound and I agree that it is critical to purchase from a reputable breeder with the criteria you list. I also had my dog professionally trained (and me, too) and I know that I'm the weakest link in the team. The greatest compliment my dog ever got was a hunting buddy with a super charge Lab asked me if I was bringing my dog hunting that morning. When I said "yes" he said, "Oh, good, that means I can leave my dog home." I'm always amazed at how guys will obtain dogs and will not get them properly trained (and themselves) or try to train them without knowing what they are doing. Then wonder why their dogs don't do well in the field. Back on poodles, I really like their personality (the standard size, that is) and their appearance when they aren't given the classic " French poodle" cut. I'm sure you're right about their field performance but it might be just enough for me. I appreciate you comments and will continue to refer to them as my research and planning continues. By the way, my Lab is also a registered (certified) therapy dog who grew up in my office. There were a lot of combat veterans that were more sad that she was leaving when I retired than they were me.
  16. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

  17. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Thanks Roper, I'll include it in my research. I think they're great dogs in the standard sizes.