Itâ€™s here, itâ€™s finally here! The opening of grouse season and chukar season is like Christmas for me, and it’sÂ finally here. Forest grouse (Ruffed & blue grouse – now technically Dusky Grouse) opened last weekend and chukar and sage-grouse opened yesterday. Weâ€™ve been out three times now and had a great time. The dogs were in good shape and I was pleased with how well they did. I was a little worried about bird numbers since it was so dry this spring and early summer, but they seem to have done pretty well. That said, so far I have had a higher ratio of adult birds to first year birds in the bag, but numbers seem to be pretty good.
I usually wait a month or so to really get after chukars since it is so hot in the low country and can be brutal on the dogs. Instead, I focus on grouse for the first month with a few short chukar hunts sprinkled in for seasoning. I have yet to get a ruffed grouse this week. I checked out a few of my favorite spots, but they have given me the slip. Annie, a little Brittany I am working with, worked one up Friday, but it was so thick I didnâ€™t have a shot. (I think the grouse like it that way.) Yesterday, Arya, a 13 month old brittany I am working with did a fantastic job on blues and came up with a wounded one that had sailed way off. I was ecstatic, especially since it completed my limit.