First of the season...

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Roper, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Sasha and I hit the woods this past weekend in search of the elusive Bonasa Umbellus or it's cousin Dendragapus Fulinginosus. We found the latter...:)

    I was hopeful based on earlier scouting that indeed the grouse had returned to the Okanogan. We hunt east of Oroville in the highlands and find both Ruffed and Blues. I headed to the highest covert in hopes of finding Blues. Sasha did all the work and I followed her, she finally put up a nice Blue and I put it back on the ground...nice. It was wing shot mostly and Sasha had to chase it down, amazing how far and fast they can still run even busted up. I finished the job at hand and we headed to a lake on the summit to let Sasha cool down. It was warm this weekend, high 80's to low 90's. We hunted the morning until around 10:00 and then hit the shade and the water.

    We found 3 other grouse, but they were quicker and one out of range so we'll look for them next visit. Sasha is almost 12 and she doesn't know when to quit so after she began to show signs of tiring I headed to the house with her. Only one cut pad this trip, not too bad after all the running she did.

    Fishing is still sketchy in the Okanogan as the evening temps just begin to cool down, but I couldn't resist visiting my favorite lake that holds brook trout. The lake was mirror still and surface temperature was still around 60 degrees. My finder showed that most fish were on bottom around 20 to 25 feet. One nice 15-16 inch fish for 3 hours of trying, but it was a beauty and fought well for a brookie. Photos one takes of fish in nets suck, but I wanted to keep it in the water as much as possible, it filled my net bottom and it's no small net.

    Things are tinder dry now but spring and summer rains made for a good harvest in the Okanogan. This time of year it's "picture perfect". A few photo's to take you along for the ride...

    Ivan, a generous friend, stopped by one evening and brought steaks, corn on the cob, and pineapple cookies. He mastered the whole affair on my grill and we ate like Kings and talked like commoners. Great fun...

    I return the end of the month to hook up with Ivan, Scott, and Steve to scour the water and woods for trout and grouse. No doubt there will be more memorable times to share...and a story or two for sure.

    Sasha and our blue...
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    Cooling off in the lake...
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    A net full of brookie...
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    Mirror still...hardly a ripple...
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    Highland harvest...
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    Old homestead...
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  2. Great stuff: great dog, fun birds, good fish, good friends, good food, wonderful country. WOW.
     
  3. Nice Roper!

    With the dry summer this year are you finding grouse where you normally would?

    I've been out two days now and not seen a single bird. Wondering if they are off of their normal coverts because of a lack of water. Hunted yesterday in clear cuts with tons of berries, gravel, roosting trees but not a lot of water so we failed to move anything.
     
  4. Although grouse can be found by water they actually don't drink much. They get their water from the browse they eat. I was finding birds in all the regular coverts. Granted, there are fewer birds, but they are there.

    I forgot to mention in addition to grouse my dog flushes other birds. She disappeared from sight for a few minutes and I was checking out what looked like a birdy area uphill of the trail I was on. Suddenly I hear a beating of wings like a 747 was taking off and a Merriam hen busted through the trees overhead and headed east in a hurry followed by her sister a second later. I'm standing in awe and starting to laugh when Sasha busted through the cover with a grin and wide open eyes as if to say "didja see them biggass grouse Dad?" She was fairly proud of herself....
     
  5. Nice batch of pictures, Roper.
     
  6. Wouldn't ya just love to hunt turkeys with a dog!!!!
    First time one of my goldens flushed a turkey, he looked back at me like to say "that would have been an easy shot and you didn't take it, wtf"
     
    Alex MacDonald likes this.
  7. Great report and great pictures. I especially like the picture of Sasha, bird, and boomstick on the tailgate.
     
  8. Is this Heaven? No, it's the Okanogan. Nice, Roper, very nice.
     
  9. Thanks, Roper. Enjoyed the pics/post.
     
  10. five stars, Roper!! My neighbor and I hit the coverts in the Tumwater canyon yesterday with my two stalwart hounds; came back with a brace apiece! Three of the birds looked like second clutch birds, and we flushed several more, but they were impossible shots. That little .410 of mine performed flawlessley, too. Two shots, two birds!
     
  11. And here I thought I was hot stuff with my 28 gauge...good for you!
     
  12. Always nice report Rope, ya gonna get puppy soon to cross train those awsome attributes.
     
  13. Great report and pics. I'm chomping at the bit to get back over to the eastside. My day of grouse hunting was a total skunking.
     
  14. It's working over the woodpeckers trying to pound holes in my house that's given me lots of practice!
     
  15. Good for you Roper! I will be at our cabin September 27-30. Maybe we can get together! Rick
     
  16. Rick, Scott, Steve, Ive and I will be up in the Okanogan from the 26th to the 3rd. I'm sure we can arrange something. Wanna go to Chopaka?
     
  17. Chopaka could be a go! Rick
     

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