...because I like the swing characteristics better at that weight...
I smiled at that, thinking about my own bird hunting.
Swing? Who gets to swing?
I am hunting with the setter, Belle, in the game lands up on North Mt. in PA. She is quartering and then, suddenly, stops in front of one of a gazillion huckleberry bushes that surround us. She is quivering in a classic point. I walk up to her...I know the bird is there. Makes no difference.....as I approach, a rocket clothed in feathers erupts from the other side of the bush at about a million miles an hour and accelerates. I see feathers through the branches. Somehow the gun is up at my shoulder (did I do that?) and I fire the right barrel through the bush at the ever smaller target. Sometimes I get lucky.
So....I want a gun that points fast.
I had to smile too and for the same reasons you did, darkgael. Most of my grouse/woodcock hunting happens in the same kind of cover you referenced and to actually swing
my gun is a luxury that happens once or twice a season and, when it does, it invariably occurs on the proverbial "meatball" shots-which I routinely miss; a miss that haunts me for the rest of the year...
The other "myth" I read from time to time comes from outdoor writers who admonish their readers for "hurrying" their shots when shooting at grouse; advising that grouse hunters "have more time than you think. Slow your shot down and kill more birds". Seriously? Of course, I don't hunt the New Hampshire coverts, divided with stone fences that separate apple orchards from grape vines, that you see pictured on those classic oil paintings depicting staunch setters pointing a bird with an azure sky as a backdrop. No, my hunting is usually in a Michigan cedar swamp and occurs mostly in the early fall when the bright-colored foilage makes spotting an already hard to see grouse even tougher. And when you do finally pick it up with your eyes, your trigger finger had best not be dwaddling.
I confess that my grouse/woodcock hunting shooting skills are such that I'm sure to bring along some hotdogs if I plan on having meat for supper.
Pete-it's interesting that your setter's name is Belle. It's the same name my hunting partner's setter has. Sadly, my great, old setter Kate died last year. I'm finally on the lookout for a "replacement" (that will never
replace her); probably an older, "started" dog. I'm a little long in the tooth to be fussing with a pup-as much as I love puppies.