Grouse report

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by ganglyangler, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. ganglyangler

    ganglyangler Bird Dogs and Fly Rods

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    Spent a few days chasing some grouse over east with my brother and his lab. We opted not to hunt Wednesday as we were not able to get to camp until later in the day and it was raining heavily. We awoke to bright sun and got rolling. View attachment 34168 We hunted high the first day looking for blues. View attachment 34167 We found the blues at about 4500 feet on up. View attachment 34169 They were feeding heavily on the abundant huckleberries and some seeds of some sort. View attachment 34170 We got up to the summit at 6000 ft and circled it enjoying the view. However we didn't move a lot of birds and elected to hunt down low for ruffs the next day. We selected a good looking creek bottom that we had not hunted before and started hiking. There were lots of birds in it, but it was a humbling experience. The grouse would hold tight and flush close but the brush was so thick you might only catch a flicker of movement and they were gone. We got back to camp and laughed about missing the only one clear shot we had. We were both looking at some bear sign and the dog flushed the bird right next to us. The next morning I was determined to get another chance at one and finally knocked down a young bird that made a wrong turn into an opening in the trees. View attachment 34171 The dogs did pretty good for never having hunted grouse before and we had a great time, despite missing many opportunities. I decided to spend some time scouting a couple new hun and pheasant spots and saw a few huns, lots of quail and 5 or 6 phez. I also lucked out as my pup found two porcupines and I was able to call the dogs off of both of them. Looking forward to the upland opener!
     
  2. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    Congrats on a fun trip and great post. You know, you won't miss any grouse if you use either a 20 ga or 28 ga. Well, that might not be totally true but the shells weigh less.
     
  3. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    Nice post!
     
  4. ganglyangler

    ganglyangler Bird Dogs and Fly Rods

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    Karl,
    I sure felt the weight of that 12 ga after the first few miles. I need to get some tips from Roper on how to hit those ruffs. Fast flyers and a far cry from the road chickens you see while driving. I've had my eyes on a little CZ Bobwhite in 20 for a while... lot lighter than my old BPS. You sure earn those birds, but what a blast! Those things always flush when you are stepping over a log and under a limb and looking for a spot to piss... all of those things happened to me, once simultaneously!
     
  5. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Purty BPS ya got there...great photos too. It looks like a good area for lots of birds. It sounds like you had a good time, Thanks for sharing the hunt...Oh, and those tips, a lot has to do with luck of being in the right place at the right time. I also forgot to mention the ones that I missed...
     
  6. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    Grouse hunting is more trophy hunting from my experience. Bagging a ruff in thick cover is the epitome of grouse hunting. Great birds. I'll tell you, there's nothing like a light 20 or 28 ga for swinging in the brush. Of course, the 12 ga. is good for cutting wood and clear cutting forests. Seriously, a pound difference in shells and a couple pounds in the gun makes a big difference each mile toted doesn't it? Think about that CZ Bobwhite. There is also a shooting game called wobble skeet that is really great for practicing hunting type shooting. It's shot "low gun" and you don't know which direction most of the targets are going to go when you call for the bird. Kind of like grouse hunting.
     
  7. ganglyangler

    ganglyangler Bird Dogs and Fly Rods

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    Have you shot one of those Bobwhites Karl? I picked one up the other day and it felt like a toy compared to my ole duck cannon 12 ga BPS. I really liked it and nearly bought it but was wondering what the concensus was on this gun. It felt a touch short (I have long arms) and I figured a good recoil pad might solve that. Anybody own one and care to comment?
     
  8. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    I'm still looking for one in 28 or 20. If the fit, finish, and furniture is anything like the 12ga CZ Hammer Coach I have (and I have busted a grouse or two with that when they were attempting to rob the stage . . . I call it "The Attention-Getter" . . . ), they're a fine piece for the money.
     
  9. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    I haven't shot one. I've been reading good and bad reviews from hunters on other forums. Here is the first one I ran across. Note the date. (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=220045). They are going to be much lighter than your 12 which means you'll tend to over-swing, stop, and fall behind the bird, re-start, and possibly shoot behind it. Once you get used to slowing down on your swing the lighter guns are deadly. I have long arms, too, so my preferred field guns are at least 28 inches in length which adds a little weight. I recommend shooting on skeet ranges, preferably wobble skeet, from the low gun position. Trap and five-stand are good, too, again from a lower gun position. It's funny, I shoot an o/u much better than my sxs's but I always hunt upland birds with a sxs. To me it's the difference between nymphing and dry flies.
     
  10. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    Ditto, Karl. I too shoot O/U's a bit better than SxS's (a bit better being relative . . . once in awhile I manage to hit something, lol.). Even though I have long arms, I prefer shorter tubes, but it's an aesthetics thing in my case.
     
  11. Mike McAvoy

    Mike McAvoy olddog22202

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    I shoot a CZ Partridge, 28 GA sXs, a sweeeeeet little gun. You might check out this site for lots of info on the 28 .....
    http://28gasociety.46.forumer.com/
    MikeMc
     
  12. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    My neighbor and hunting partner, Don Adams shoots one in 28bore. I've popped it a few times as well. Nice gun, but heavier than my Belgian hammergun by a long way. You want the English stock to make it easier to slide your finger back to the rear trigger, and that takes a while to get used to. It breaks down quickly,and can easily fit into one of those Mother hunting day packs when we do our cast & blast on the upper Icicle-in fact, he's going out with it today.

    Some "trade secrets" though, with a little 28bore. Your shots will be more effective if you have one barrel choked cylinder, and the other choked full. When I look through listings of vintage guns, that's usually what I find. Of course, these are all double trigger affairs. My Belgian's choked cyl. and extra full. Here's why. They were designed to carry different size shot in the respective barrels and permit substantially longer shots to be taken with the tight barrel. On grouse, I carry only 7 1/2's but the pattern the gun gives with this size is perfect at 20-25 yards-no holes whatsoever. On the tight barrel at 40-45yds, it's exactly the same size! You'll also find that with modern high-speed loads, your pattern gets a lot of flyers. If you're reloading, go for target speeds only, and as low a pressure as you can get. Here's why: even at moderate speeds, lead shot will deform-even in the shot cup-at the moment of acceleration. Since my hammergun's proofed only for black powder, not modern loads, I shoot RST shotshells, which have an ignition pressure around 4000psi. This low pressure translates to a smoother, less "instant" acceleration and much less lead deformation. You also don't tend to "fringe" your birds-you're either on, or not, and have fewer cripples that way.

    So, get the Bobwhite! Shoot RST 2 3/4in shells in her, pick up some tweeds, and wax the moustache!! Chicks dig the tweeds!! Even better if you hunt in a kilt:clown:
     
  13. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    Tweeds are a possibility, getting the RST's, next a light SxS, have the wax & whiskers (tastefully & liberally-sprinkled with "chrome") . . . I'll likely pass on the wee kiltie, however . . . not that there are crown jewels of any significance to protect after 62-years, but seems a likely way to pick-up tiny livestock in the nether regions while traipsing through the brush . . . old William E. Ficklin who arrived on American soil in 1632 in what is now called North Carolina, hailed from the village of Fickling in Great Britain . . . not quite far enough north, however to make me a true Scot, tho I'd be proud to claim that heritage.
     
  14. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    Ey, Jim, it would be a fine thing to be settin' in a butt on the moors, the red grouse flying like the wind, doing me best to knock down one of the little shites. Alas, not to be for me nor a kilt will I be wearin'. Drafty they are I imagine.

    Had to put off the mountain grouse trip in Yakima. I got invited to join a small lease that may provide a little extra goose and maybe duck hunting. I'm spending considerable time working to get it into shape for the season opening. My sxs just sits in the safe so far but Montana is calling.
     

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