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Thread: Paxson's first Ruffies!

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Default Paxson's first Ruffies!

    DSCN1952.jpgWoke up this morning at 5am (wife had to go to work), and noticed the temp was 38 degrees! Paxson and I decided we weren't going to work with chukars in the yard today. We hit the road on the wheeler, and headed a few miles from the house. Paxson had seen some grouse earlier this year during training, but this was going to be his first hunt. We hit up a few of my go to spots. The kind of spots that ALWAYS produce a few birds, even on down years. Well those spots didn't produce! It was such a beautiful morning, so we continued to hop from spot to spot. After a beautiful, but uneventful morning, I decided to head back to the house for breakfast and coffee. At the last second, I decided to head in a little further, to my honey hole. I'm glad I did! We ended up picking up two nice ruffies! It wasn't perfect, as I spotted the one bird first (on a stump 25 yards in front of me). Paxson was about 45 yards in front of me, and to my left. There wasn't a breeze to be felt. Wanting to set up Paxson to be successful, I gave him a "here" command, and he instantly started coming back to me. I figured he would pick up the bird on the way back. As he neared the location of the bird, he locked up on point (he is 5 months old). I was pumped to see him in action. I walked in to flush the bird, and to my surprise two birds flushed! Looking back, Iím certain Paxson was actually locked up on the second bird (the one I couldn't see). It was a relatively open area, and I was able to get the sweet 16 around quick enough to pick up both birds! Imagine that I thought a double on our first outing! Anyway for lunch, I breaded and fried the grouse cubes, tossed them in high bush cranberry sauce, and served it over Basmati rice!

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    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    Nice I went out this morning as well but was unsuccessful flushed 3 birds all were juveniles pretty small so I let them fly oh well there is always tomorrow.

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    Awesome! sounds like a great start to the season and a bountiful hunting partnership for many years to come!!!

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bsj425 View Post
    Nice I went out this morning as well but was unsuccessful flushed 3 birds all were juveniles pretty small so I let them fly oh well there is always tomorrow.
    Nice. They'll fill out! You running a dog?

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    Are you in Fairbanks

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    Member sameyer's Avatar
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    Great looking pup! Nothing like the first time on wild birds.

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    I'm in Fairbanks, well actually live in Salcha, but work in Fairbanks. Sameyers, thanks for the kind words! He has been an awesome dog so far. He is still very young!

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    I bet its awesome with a dog! Just to see em light up is probably like watching a child.. What kind of dog is he? Congrats on the birds..

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    Quote Originally Posted by ga2akwild View Post
    I bet its awesome with a dog! Just to see em light up is probably like watching a child.. What kind of dog is he? Congrats on the birds..
    Thanks! I love upland hunting with dogs, just that much more fun. I also get to the 48 every year fror pheasants and such! Paxson is an Ryman/Old Hemlock English setter.

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    I am jealous I cant find a ruffed grouse, great job

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiso_67 View Post
    I am jealous I cant find a ruffed grouse, great job
    Numbers do not seem to be great this year. I think we're about two years or so from bottoming out, so it will be slim pickins the next few years!

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    I know it is a seven year cycle....it was really good back about 6 years ago...

    I thought we were suppose to be on our way back up.. The last couple years have been brutal

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    Quote Originally Posted by TobinZeke View Post
    I know it is a seven year cycle....it was really good back about 6 years ago...

    I thought we were suppose to be on our way back up.. The last couple years have been brutal
    I did pretty well last two years. I didn't get at her with my normal crazyness last year, and took well over 50 grouse last year. More the year before. Below is the 09 forecast from the Ruffed grouse society.

    This report has been compiled by the Ruffed Grouse Society Biologists:
    Mark Banker, Senior Regional Biologist Mid-Atlantic
    Dan Dessecker, Director of Conservation Policy, Minnesota & Alaska
    Gary Zimmer, Senior Regional Biologist Western Great Lakes

    Alaska
    Drumming survey reported from the interior suggest another decline in grouse populations as they fall from the 2005 peak of the cycle. We can anticipate an additional year or two of declines before the population hits bottom.

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Also, my understanding is they run on more of a ten year cycle. I may be wrong however. There are many more knowledgeable people out there than me!

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    I remember seeing a F&G publication not to long ago, explaining where we were in the cycle. I cannot find it now! Anyone else see it?

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    Congratulations Hoyt and Paxson!

    Very nice looking dog.

    Best of luck to you both.

    Jim

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Thanks Mr. McCann! Did you happen to get the PM I sent you about drumming Grouse in July?

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    Hoyt,

    I'm very sorry I failed to check PMs. I'm always in a hurry, on the move, and sometimes I'm a computer idiot. I just now answered your message and a couple of others. Thanks.

    And a ruffed grouse drumming in July is very cool, and quite territorial. In the spring they do it to attract mates (while also attracting goshawks, great horned owls, foxes and the like!), and you may hear them in the fall as the grouse disperse from broods and try and take up residence elsewhere. Cock birds will drum in the fall to tell all these interlopers to stay away. On one particular snowy day last season, probably the last of September or the first of October, my terrible hearing did detect some drumming in a patch of woods where two of my Brittanys were hunting. My pup Charlie pointed the bird and a lucky shot put the bird in my vest. If I have time this evening I'll perhaps post a picture of said bird and pup.

    Take care and good luck!

    Jim

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    Cute setter -- well I guess cute isn't such a good descriptor for a hunting dog -- but he is still a pup so I guess it will do -- if the shoe fits, right . . . awesome to already have him on birds.

    I was just up in your neck of the woods scouting for grouse -- hiked about 3-4 miles worth of hills on some Army lands on the back side of Salcha. I only call it scouting 'cause I didn't happen upon any. I had my young GSP with me. He semed to get birdy a few times, but saw nothing. I don't know if the rain put them down somewhere else or not. I was working mixed forest on hills with plenty of berry and spruce -- just no birds. Still nice to be out - some of the prettiest country I've seen since I've been here.

    Regards.

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylemac View Post
    Cute setter -- well I guess cute isn't such a good descriptor for a hunting dog -- but he is still a pup so I guess it will do -- if the shoe fits, right . . . awesome to already have him on birds.

    I was just up in your neck of the woods scouting for grouse -- hiked about 3-4 miles worth of hills on some Army lands on the back side of Salcha. I only call it scouting 'cause I didn't happen upon any. I had my young GSP with me. He semed to get birdy a few times, but saw nothing. I don't know if the rain put them down somewhere else or not. I was working mixed forest on hills with plenty of berry and spruce -- just no birds. Still nice to be out - some of the prettiest country I've seen since I've been here.

    Regards.
    Thanks for the kind words. Heck I call him cute also! At this stage, like you said, what else can be said! LOL. Sounds like you have a nice little guy running around with you as well. If your heading out toward Salcha again anytime soon let me know. Shoot me a PM! Take care!

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