On New Year’s Day Freighter was out hunting for a partridge in a pear tree.
Well not a partridge exactly and there were no pear trees, at least not as far as I could see. There was a big beautiful forest full of trees, and grouse which is sometimes referred to as partridge (although it is technically a different game bird), and Freighter was hunting for them…so it all fits.
Last post I wrote about our New Year’s Day walk. It did start out as a nice walk in the forest.
However, once we got to a ridge near the river, a grouse flushed out from under some brush. Freighter got a whiff of the bird and went into hunting dog mode.
Our walk turned into a hunt.
Whenever Thunder and Storm are out walking in the forest, they automatically go into hunting dog mode because they know that they just might be lucky enough to flush a grouse along the way. Freighter has not had as much experience as they have had because for a few years grouse were kind of scarce in our forest. Grouse populations are cyclical so there are periods of lower and higher populations. Also, there was an overabundance of coyotes in the area which lowered the population. The coyote hunters have done a fantastic job of clearing them out so we have seen the deer, turkey and grouse populations improving.
Freighter doesn’t know or care about any of that. He just knew he got a snout-full of grouse and so he was going to see if maybe he could find more.
Freighter uses his nose.
In addition to the grouse that flushed on the ridge, we saw a ton of tracks so we knew there were birds in the area.
Freighter worked all along and under some brush on the ridge. Grouse like this habitat.
Unfortunately there were no more flushes. There were so many tracks we figure that they were probably running just ahead of Freighter. That happens sometimes. If we were truly hunting this area instead of just out for a walk, we probably would have brought a second dog. Two dogs probably would have had a lot of success.
A hunting dog who gets out to hunt is a happy dog.
New Year’s Day was the last day of grouse hunting in Michigan. Freighter missed all of the season because hubby was not able to hunt this year per his doctor’s orders. On the last day of the season, it was great that Freighter got out to do some hunting even if it was not planned.
The season is closed but you never know when you might flush a bird or two when out walking in the forest.