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2021 Ontario Hunting


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finsfurfeathers

So the hunting season Started officially on the 25th but for me the Upland season started today. Couldn't ask for a nicer start. Fall colours just starting to hint of whats to come. Alot has changed in one of my favourite coverts. Seems the beavers reclaimmed a long abandonned beaver pond causing one on my usually productive valleys to flood out. In all the forest is in good condition as throughout the area lots of standing puddles that should be ideal for the migrating birds for now the dogs had to cover alot of ground to find widely scattered birds. Lost count of woodcock flushes but would guess about the same as last year at this time. Managed 3 grouse flushes 2 would say a bit wild the third though would of been an easy shot for my wingman as I flushed it from under Stella's nose.
Got some vid of Stella pointing a woodcock.  

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As solid as their live bird work is was really pressed with their recovery work today. Usually can tell if the bird is hit or not but today 2 left me uncertain. Was those shots where bird flies through the trees you shoot and a bunch of leaves drop also. If I have a clue can guide the dogs to the general area but these 2 where blind retreives. Needles to say was quite please when they where recovered. 

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So the hunting season Started officially on the 25th but for me the Upland season started today. Couldn't ask for a nicer start. Fall colours just starting to hint of whats to come. Alot has changed i

Wasn't hard to cash in a vac-day today. Gorgeous fall day beckoned a run with the dogs. Legs are burning now as todays route took a more bush wacking course. Getting hard to negociate beaver cuts but

Figured it be a short hunt today. Got out at first light and conditions near perfect. Found birds pretty quick shooting was a bit better today. Got warm quick though, Atv's and bikes showed up tried a

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finsfurfeathers

Wasn't hard to cash in a vac-day today. Gorgeous fall day beckoned a run with the dogs. Legs are burning now as todays route took a more bush wacking course. Getting hard to negociate beaver cuts but thats where the birds are. Most of the run was singles here and there except for one flooded seep that had a cloister of birds about 7-8. Only 1 grouse heard today hopeing its just the broods haven't broken up yet.
Shooting was rough today with being in the heaviest thickets.
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Went out for a short hunt this morning - planned to drive between a few spots and put Gus on the ground for short jaunts to see if the birds are around. 

 

Got into a good number of woodcock in the first cover, but the cover was thick and shooting opportunities non-existent.

 

Second cover - a grown over orchard - Gus' out of bell range (or so I thought) and no beeper is sounding.  He's usually always in bell range - so I start calling.  No dog for about ten minutes.  Finally he shows up and he's not winded.  I check the beeper and it is dead.  He might have been on point the whole time I was calling him!

 

No third cover - I can't chase a dog around in this brush without a beeper.  I used to - but not anymore.

 

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finsfurfeathers

yup why I pack a spare beeper and extra batteries. Hopefully will get out again after the rains pass.

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2 hours ago, finsfurfeathers said:

yup why I pack a spare beeper and extra batteries. Hopefully will get out again after the rains pass.

I had spare batteries. And a fresh one in the beeper. Ordered a new beeper yesterday.

 

Started following pointing dogs thirty years ago, and only with a beeper the last six. Amazing how dependent I have become on it to find my dog!

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finsfurfeathers

Soggy conditions had the birds tucked under cover more than usual. Trees are colouring up leaves are falling a bit but with no weather of frost pushing them along numbers seem to be consistent no more and no less today as shooting sucked. pushed around a few grouse, some woodcock and even flushed a turkey today.
Ran into a couple of young hunters doing it right, unvited them to tag along as neither hunted over a dog before.  
Back at it tomorrow conditions should be a bit better at least in the morning as although dry its going to be a hot one.

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finsfurfeathers

Figured it be a short hunt today. Got out at first light and conditions near perfect. Found birds pretty quick shooting was a bit better today. Got warm quick though, Atv's and bikes showed up tried a couple of other spots but birds were absent there. With Thanksgiving traffic clogging the hyways and the dogs feeling the heat called it short.
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finsfurfeathers

Hope its just midseason doldrums. Didn't expect much today as it was calling for another warm day. Figured might as well run a couple of new tracts today. Although didn't look ideal as seemed old forest however there had been alot of tree removeal so quite a bit new growth comming up. Drew a blank there. Wasn't too far from where I was Monday so figured a run threw there should be good.
Moved only 1 woodcock. Was a fun bird as it was a runner took Stella a few minutes to ferret it out. When she finnally pinned it down, on the flush it fluttered through some young pine giving no shot.
Packed it in and made a stop a Cabelas to see if I can get some more shells. Cleaned out the last 6 boxes of 20g 71/2's.

Don't know what's going on but ammo is no longer available in Ontario.
Waiting on some weather to move the birds along

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finsfurfeathers

Hunting woodcock in a teeshirt in mid Oct just isn't right. Prospected a new bush today. Cover looked good sign was present just couldn't find 'em. 1 pointed bird, another bust as Stella got winded in the heat.
Must of moved 6-7 grouse good point on 1 however all bustedway out of range.

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finsfurfeathers

Birds are on the move however no big push so numbers are consistent. Lots of old splash and new just not the white wash forest floor of a big push. Finding stacked birds mostly on high points surrounded by water in the forest. Birds are quite jumpy even stella had trouble holding them today. With no big fronts on the horizon should be good for a while.
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finsfurfeathers

Finally starting to feel like october, granted could of done without the lake effect dizzle comming down. Pull into the first spot to find another hunter already there with his dogs. A gracious offer to hunt together was declined as didn't want to interfer or detract from his hunt so I moved on to the next spot. Put Nova down regretting didn't have vid of the hunt as it was one of those comdey of errors hunt. Started off with Nova piling up at the start of the pine plantation. Expecting a woodcock started stomping the rasberry patch trying to get it up. To my suprise a grouse poped up and flew straight down the row, before I could think hey grouse a second busted to my left. Yup caught flat footed didn't even bring up the gun. Continued on to a ridge I found some birds on last year and sure enough caught a flight. Nova must of worked up a dozen woodcock most offered no shot as they flew low. others managed to evade shot. Was able to connect with one as Nova went in to retreive he picked it up and spat it out to turn around and point another bird. Had to go pick of the first than try to flush the second with no joy. Completed his shift with another bird.
Returned to the first spot to find the hunter wrapping up and getting ready to leave. Figured might as well put Stella down even though an eglish pointer and setter just ran it.
She didn't disappoint as she pinned 8 birds only managed 1 though.
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Thanks for taking us along!

 I have really enjoyed the hunt reports. 

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finsfurfeathers

Woodcock numbers have really dried up in the northeast. Only had 4 finds today. Still uncertain if we've seen the last of them  as haven't had so much of a frost yet. Grouse   have been taughting me though. Had 1 good point and 2 attempted ones with no shot oppurtunity, on the trail back to the jeep with dog on the lease and gun on the shoulder doesn't four bust from the forest edge. 
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