Thursday, November 14, 2013

Upland Bird Hunting In New York State 2013-14

(Entries are arranged from oldest to newest.)

September 14 - Niagara County

Upland season has not opened yet for me. But my release club ran its annual Youth Day today, and Gordie was once again invited to be a “guide dog,” effectively opening his “season.”

Gordie clearly has a happy customer.

Young Rick was a terrific young man who was very comfortable in conversation with adults. I'm glad he got his bird.

October 08 - Erie County

Weekend rains had wet down our woodcock grounds and cooled things off nicely. Gordie moved 4 birds today in less than an hour. I was hunting with my “pheasant gun,” as I planned for us to chase released birds afterwards. It’s a 16 gauge Ugartechea from LCS with a nice finish added by Doug Turnbull. It’s a bit tight and stout for woodcock, but gunning in the gnarlies is good practice for late fall hunting for ditch parrots.

Uggie 16 gauge and the season's first woodcock.

October 13 - Erie County

I hunted The Big West Field today with Jim S. and Gordie. There was an on-and-off drizzle that cooled our coverts off so that Gordie was able to enjoy an active 90 minutes. We flushed 5 birds, shot at 4 and brought 3 home. Rumor has it that Jim will be serving those birds and some other goodies as well come this Wednesday night. I’ll let you know.

October 18 - Allegany County

Gordie and I headed to the Southern Tier today. In a spot where we have taken woodcock before, we took one more. It’s a nice spot.

October 19 - Erie County

Gordie flushed three today in the rain behind The Rifle Range. He’s now settled in for a warm nap.

October 20 - Erie County

We hunted the Big West Field with Jim S. and his friend Tom. I’m delighted that Gordie got him his first-ever woodcock.

October 22 - Erie County

Gordie and I hunted the Big West Field on a crisp, bright day that made the ubiquitous too deep puddles less onerous. Gordie flushed 4 woodcock and 2 snipe in a bit over an hour. Sweet!

October 23 - Erie County

Gordie and I hunted the Rotten Gun Club today on a confused day of black showers here, sun drenched cumulus clouds there. Gordie flushed 4 woodcock and I went two for two on the birds I actually saw. My shooting starts to fall into form around the 3rd week of the season. That’s probably because the leaves and vegetation have begun to fall, providing better sight of the target birds, and because I’ve just gotten back into the habit of shouldering my gun well.

October 25 - Erie County

Gordie and I hunted North Of The Pond today. Of the four birds that Gordie flushed, I took the only one I was able to get a shot at.

Winds of Biblical proportion are forecast for tomorrow. We’ll see.

October 26 - Erie County

“Winds of Biblical proportion are forecast for tomorrow. We’ll see.”  is what I wrote yesterday. While it was windy, it was far from a problem. The problem was there were no birds, as Gordie flushed only one in a cold and wet hour.

We took Dan on the Rock’s advice and warmed up with some soup when we got home.

October 27 - Erie County

Gordie flushed four today. I should have brought home two but missed a simple straight away. Ouch!

November 12 - Erie and Niagara Counties

Gordie flushed 3 wc today. I have never found them quite this late in the year. Maybe I should have been looking harder?

He also found two beautiful roosters in Niagara County.

November 14 - Erie County

Gordie flushed just one wc today, and happily marks the end of NY’s wc season. I’m giving him tomorrow off. Then we’ll chase ditch parrots in relatively safe areas until deer season ends. After that, if the snows aren’t too deep, we’ll head to ski country for some late season grouse hunting.

(This space saved for the next hunt.)