October 1st marked the opening of two hunting seasons in Idaho – Sharptail Grouse and Waterfowl. With the current warm temperatures and nice weather, I opted out of sitting in a duck marsh during the 80 degree day and loaded Tui up in the truck to chase Sharptails. We arrived at our favorite sharptail field at before daylight, walked to the north end of the property (so we could hunt with the wind in our face) and finished a cup of coffee until legal shooting hours.
We flushed our first bird around 7:45 am and missed, obviously. Strangely, it was just a single bird, and as I have learned with Sharptail hunting – when there is one – get ready – most likely there are more. We bumped into a group of 3 or 4 and knocked down our first Sharptail of 2011. After watching a number of cars follow my lead and seeing more blaze orange pop up around me in the distance, Tui and I made one more lap and headed to the truck.
Tui’s and my quest to bag all the grouse species came to an end on Saturday morning and it was a great feeling. We bagged 3 of the 4 grouse species in our area (Blue, Ruffed, and Sharptail) but missed out chance on the elusive Sage Grouse. Tui and I spent an entire day cruising the sage brush of southern Wyoming but were pushed away by the late summer heat and lack of birds. To be honest, in four years, I have only come home with 4 Sage Grouse (two birds on two different trips). I guess we always have 2012! Plus, we have plenty more days here in 2011.
A couple of photos that are too good to not share from 2010. Dad (Pete), Bird Dog (Pic), Gun (The Purdey), and Birds (Pair of Sharptails).