Grouse opener, first blood on the 16ga


Idiot Savant
Some months ago I acquired a vintage 870 in 16ga. It's a plain Jane for sure but it turns out she does the job just fine. That's when the end that is breathing is working right. :clown:

Second morning out I'm rounding a bend in the road and I spot a big fat blue grouse. As I get closer it starts getting jittery and does it's thing, swing, BANG, dead grouse. About the time I'm congratulating myself his first partner departs the nearby brush and I don't even get a bead on him and the second one takes off. Now I'm stunned and can't figure which one to shoot first when numbers three and four also take flight, swing, BANG, miss. :beathead: Swing, BANG, miss. :beathead: Again, :beathead:

Four empty hulls, one grouse. Dang! At least the 16 works on the metal and wooden end. :thumb:

Over the four days of hunting I saw lots of birds, mostly in very tight cover, and often running their butts off in all directions. All total I brought down 4 Ruffed and the one Blue.

My greatest surprise was that I saw very few hunters. I felt that was odd due to the fact the opener was on a weekend. I'm hoping it remains like that but I'm not holding my breath. We'll see in a couple of weeks when I head back up.


Active Member
A bunch of my bar buddies went off to Quincy last week end for Dove. They did well, but CP said every bird that hit water on the way down, his dog ate. Everyone that hit dirt, the dog brought back whole. Coal is a 9 year old black lab, he thinks it's just the first birds of the season.

Hey, so what do you do with all the feathers? I gave David some turkey last year, and some pheasant this spring.

My dad had a Browning 16 ga he used to hunt with since before I can remember. I think it's called an Auto 5, though I've heard them referred to as Sweet 16's. That may be a different version of the same gun though, for all I know.

I always thought it was kinda klunky and harsh to shoot, but I grew up using a gas operated Remington 1100 so I was probably spoiled. Several times I tore his gun down and re-varnished the stock and forearm and blued the metal. It was my way of thanking him for being my dad. :thumb:

He put down a lot of pheasant and quail with that piece. It was quite a bird getting tool. I remember one time we hunted a section and then stopped to discuss strategy. He put his gun on the top of the Waggoneer (another vintage piece). We took off down the road and after a couple miles heard a sliding rattling sound on the roof. We looked back to see his gun going end over end down the highway. Went back and picked it up and damn if he didn't knock more birds on the next draw we hunted.

He still has it, sitting on a gun rack, because he's to old to hunt anymore (bad knees). It's about as worn as he is but I bet they could both go out tomorrow and tally up a few quail. :)
Had a model 12 win in 16 gauge, it had the old 2 and 11/16th chamber, I had it ground for the 2 3/4 chamber. It had a poly choke on the business end. Harvested lots of pheasants and cottontails in its day. Wish I still had it, probably a collectible gun now.



Idiot Savant
Hey, so what do you do with all the feathers? I gave David some turkey last year, and some pheasant this spring.

I had a bunch that I sent to folks last year, now I have just a few. I breasted the birds I got over the holiday so those are gone. Does David have a pattern that uses grouse?

BTW when the hoppers start hitting the Yak would you like to go over???


Active Member
I don't know, I'll ask him this weekend as we are fishig the Yak both S&S. Dave K is up from Utah for a wedding.

The three old amigos should head over 9/22 or 23. It will probably take us that long to remember what to bring. I guess I'll have to put a pre-flight check list together. :eek:
I bought one of those turkish made SXS 16 ga. guns last year. It's made by Huglu and imported by DeHaan. I love the thing! It took a few rounds to get used to double triggers.:eek:
I got a big fat blue on opening morning up above the S. Fork Skokomish River. I was supposed to go to Republic but, some work stuff made it impossible for me to leave.bawling: I hope to get up there before the end of Sept. Nice pic Roper!



Active Member
Where is everyone finding 16 ga shells? I have my grandfathers Rem. Sportsman auto, with a fixed barel (full I 'star' on the barrel), and I have a hell of a time finding shells for it...locally that is without having to buy online or by catalog. Anyway, I love that is so lite compared to my 1187, and does a number on pheasants.

Great report Roper...I may show up on your doorstep :clown:

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
Sweet, Roper. We saw a few up at "elk camp" this year, some turkey too. Unfortunately, the elk were somewhere else...... Love the darn goshawks that crash through the trees.
Good report Roper, sounds about right for first hunt of the season, for sure.

I'm going over to my cabin this weekend or last of the month, or both, to do do a little cast and blast, and I'm sure I'll do some shooting between birds too. :beathead:


Active Member
Wow Roper, most excellent. great story.Down south here in these hills I have put 9 ruffed in the smoker. Haven't seen a blue yet. One deer in the locker, still lookin for #2 . Waitin for blacktail opener. This weekend has halibut written on it, not many grouse 30 miles west of Newport.

Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
Encountered this Ruffian on the driveway this afternoon. Reaching for my shotgun, I realized all I had with me was my camera. Pretty bird- don't see them very often around here. Like so many, he stood in the road and walked back and forth. I practically had to run him over before he flew off...20 feet to the closest tree branch where he proceeded to think I couldn't see him.

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