On Saturday Sage and I headed out to try our luck once again. This time we focused on an 18,000 acre BMA in the Bridger Range. I spent just shy of an hour meandering thru the vastness of the Block Management Area trying to carefully select what I thought would be a good spot to stop and embark on our adventure. Once we settled on a promising looking area we cheerfully set out armed with my Berretta and big can of bear spray.
We worked our way up a steep mountainside that eventually leveled off and opened up to pristine mountain fields. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and the granite peaks in the distance were covered in snow. It felt glorious. It felt like what hunting should.
We had been hiking for close to 40 minutes when a covey of 8 big fat grouse exploded from the under region of a tree. Sage stayed steady and held back from giving chase but she did shoot me a borderline fanatical look as if she was saying, "For Christs Sake woman get up here already". As I closed in she broke free covering the area where the covey had been held up. She was wild eyed and in a frenzy. My heart was beaming. It was what I had been waiting for, the wheels were turning she was figuring it out. I watched the covey fly off and settle down the side of the mountain. I made a mental note to work it on our way back.
As soon as I had shot the bird and it fell into its final descent Sage and I looked at each other completely shocked. I smiled and said, "You did't think I'd get it did you!!" Then I sent her in for the retrieve while belly laughing alone in the woods. She mouthed it first and then drug it halfway. Not that I gave her the opportunity to bring it all the way in. I was entirely to pumped. She found us birds, I shot us one. It was our first successful time out. It was amazing. It was everything and more than I had hoped it would be. Now that we've had some luck these mountain grouse don't stand a chance.
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