The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Friday, December 30, 2011

First Time "Grousing"

The author and Tony South

I have lived in Michigan for almost ten years, and today for the first time I went grouse hunting with my friends Tony South and Vaughn Prior in the Allegan State Forest.
Probably I am being optimistic about the hunting part of our expedition. What we really did was walk through the most impenetrable briar patches in the woods and get soaking wet by cold rain (we would rather have snow) with childlike anticipation that we would flush a bird that proved too smart for us.
In reality I don’t think that any grouse would be dumb enough to be out in the kind of weather that we had this morning, and they were probably comfortably reading a Burton L Spiller or George Bird Evans book about their own reputation as the greatest of all upland (or better said, briar jungle) birds, and having a nice hot chocolate with marshmallows and a bit of cognac in it and having small talk about the three stooges that were getting wet and cold out in the woods.
Even if we never heard a grouse, there was enough conversation about them to keep us going.
Since Tony’s dog could not manage the camera, Vaughn was kind enough to take the picture above (although he tried three times before succeeding). But since he was so kind as to buy us breakfast we will not comment on about his mechanical inclination or other technical abilities.
In any way there are some lessons learned from this first outing after grouse this morning: first, start hunting earlier in the season next year; second, buy some good chaps and better rain gear; and third, good friends don’t care about the weather to take you out.
By the way, I tool the picture below in much better weather while bear hunting in Ontario last year and basically had to chase the grouse away from the two-track so we did not run over them with ATV. Did they know that grouse season was not open at the time?
Sightseeing during closed grouse season

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