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Old October 26, 2011, 11:00 AM   #1
Picher
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Join Date: December 14, 2004
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Northern Maine Grouse Hunting

Last week my grown son and I went grouse hunting in the North Maine Woods. We stayed at Historic Pittston Farm Lodge and hunted more northerly than that. It rained most of the time and we don't have dogs, so except for a few jaunts down grown-up woods roads, we rode logging roads.

Staying two nights and hunting three days, we both managed to get our 8-bird possession limit by 2:00 PM the third day. That, despite rain or drizzle for most of the time.

Although I brought a 12 gauge, Rem 1100 Special Field with turkey and other chokes and rifle sights mounted on the rib, I only used it for one bird. My gun of choice was my Franchi Diamond, 20 gauge O/U with Skeet2 and Full chokes. It points quicker and better than my index finger.

Full choke was used for 40-yard ground shots and the skeet choke for closer shots and wing shots. I'm pleased that at least half of my kills were wing shots, either flushed or as a back-up to my son's ground shot.

My son used an old Stevens single-shot full choke that will nail birds out to 50 yards with #6s. He also had a 20 ga, Weatherby O/U, Im/Mod that we used on our walks, but he didn't shoot it. His third gun was a 12 ga, Rem 1187 with screw-in chokes, but he never took it out of the case.

Accomodations at Historic Pittston Farm were wonderful and food was the best we've had there in many years (they have a website).
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Old October 26, 2011, 05:27 PM   #2
rbursek
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SOme of my fondest memories of hunting with my sons is when we would be grouse hunting, as a matter of fact right now here is a 2 day teachers conference and we would be grouse hiunting right now when they were in high school. Still remember when they got there first doubles on grouse. We had a rule, no ground swatting. My sons grouse guns are the 870 Rem SF in 20ga and my wifes is the 1100SF in 20ga, which I like better, a tich heavier in the foreend and a nicer swing, they were sweet grouse guns, plus you should see the looks my boys would get on the trap range busting 23-25's with a 21" barrel 20ga, with 1oz loads, while all the "pros" had there Citori's 12 gauge with 30" barrels trap shot guns and only shooting in the low 20s. If your on, your on, and if not you miss. my fun night was using my Rem 1100 410 modified choke for trap and hitting in the high 20's. Glad you had a good time and memories.
Bob
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Old October 26, 2011, 05:39 PM   #3
Wyoredman
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I love these types of threads! Get to hear hunting stories without the comercials and magazine advertisements! For my information, there was a thread posted by another hunter from Maine a week or so ago about hunting partridge, but his pictures sure looked like ruffys to me. Do you folks out in Maine sometimes call a grouse a partridge? Thanks for the story.
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:56 AM   #4
Nevertoomanyguns
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Quote:
I love these types of threads! Get to hear hunting stories without the comercials and magazine advertisements! For my information, there was a thread posted by another hunter from Maine a week or so ago about hunting partridge, but his pictures sure looked like ruffys to me. Do you folks out in Maine sometimes call a grouse a partridge? Thanks for the story.
They are indeed Ruffed Grouse but a lot of Mainiacs refer to them as Patridge.


Picher, glad that you and your son had a great hunting trip up here! The bird count was suppose to be up this year. I wouldn't know though because I lost my AWESOME 4 year old German Shorthair Pointer, named Ike, to coyotes this spring. It's been a sad lonely bird season without him. I can't even pick up a shotgun and go for a walk, just doesn't seem right without him.

Hope you come up again next year and hopefully you'll have better weather!
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Old October 27, 2011, 06:28 AM   #5
Picher
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Nevertoomanyguns: Sorry about your dog. That would have done the same to me.

I had a Springer in the 60s that was very good on woodcock and not bad on grouse. I had to give her away due to a child's asthma condition. That was very painful!! After my son grew up, he got two springers, but neither was really great on grouse. We got just as many grouse without dogs and did okay on woodcock, but don't seem to have the energy to hunt that hard anymore.

Regarding groundsweeping, I had that rule until I turned 55 or so. Now they're fair game. We live in Central Maine and grouse hunting here is very spotty and birds often flush beyond sight or shot. I saw one yesterday along the edge of one of our fields, but didn't have a shotgun.
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Old October 27, 2011, 07:53 AM   #6
R9R
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I've only been after grouse once so far this year, will try again on saturday in western ME. I had my best luck walking logging roads (no dog) ... the birds seem to hang out on the edges under thick cover and fly when you get within 10yds or so. They do know where to fly so that you only have a second or so to sqeeze off a shot, the never fly straight down the road.
I was surprised when I flushed 4 in an hour.

With any luck I'll be checking the recipe thread saturday!
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Old October 27, 2011, 08:29 AM   #7
dahermit
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Quote:
Do you folks out in Maine sometimes call a grouse a partridge?
That is a common misnomer in my part of Michigan also. Also, growing up in poverty and hunting as much for food as sport, ground shooting of sitting birds was not an issue. When older and less impoverished, only then did the word "sport" enter into the hunting scenario.
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Old October 27, 2011, 01:48 PM   #8
Nevertoomanyguns
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Nevertoomanyguns: Sorry about your dog. That would have done the same to me.

I had a Springer in the 60s that was very good on woodcock and not bad on grouse. I had to give her away due to a child's asthma condition. That was very painful!! After my son grew up, he got two springers, but neither was really great on grouse. We got just as many grouse without dogs and did okay on woodcock, but don't seem to have the energy to hunt that hard anymore.

Regarding groundsweeping, I had that rule until I turned 55 or so. Now they're fair game. We live in Central Maine and grouse hunting here is very spotty and birds often flush beyond sight or shot. I saw one yesterday along the edge of one of our fields, but didn't have a shotgun.
Thanks he was the last of a good line that my father and I both owned. I lost Ike's Father last year just before the season to old age and then I lost Ike to coyotes right near the homestead this spring.

I was raised hunting with dogs so it just doesn't feel right for me to chase them without a dog. However, I'm not one of those hunters that looked down at others for hunting them their way. Get them however you want as long as you enjoy it.

Ike's father Bert was a really good duck dog and woodcock dog. He did good on Grouse too, but for some reason he keyed in on woodcock the most.

Ike was a great woodcock, Grouse and an alright duck dog. After awhile I could tell that when he went on point whether it was going to be a woodcock or grouse just by the way he worked it before he locked up. This is the only picture I have of the two together and it isn't even a hunting picture.

IKE IS ON THE RIGHT AND BERT IS ON THE LEFT



This is a picture of Bert the father pointing a grouse wing on a fly rod.



This is an old picture with Bert and my father when I got back from the service. We got a 2 man limit of woodcock in 40 minutes hunting thick alders. It was quick snap shooting through the thickets.



I just realized that we had a lot of great hunts with these dogs and we never broke the camera out to record them. What a shame! should have taken more pictures!

Last edited by Nevertoomanyguns; October 27, 2011 at 01:58 PM.
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:37 PM   #9
Picher
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Nevertoomanyguns: Beautiful pictures, georgous dogs, great times with your son.

Sorry about losing your dog to coyotes. I'm trying to keep the coydog population down here. Got one last week and will keep trying through deer season. We need help to allow more night coyote hunting, including laser spot designators.
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