We took the little gal grouse hunting today. She loaded her 20 gauge in a scabbard on her horse and she, Hank, myself and Daisy our bird dog headed up the trail. We headed up an area where Hank and I had seen birds a couple of weeks prior when we were scouting for bear. The ride involved a little bush whacking, but she is a star outdoors little gal and she pushed the branches out of the way as we made our way up the hills to search for birds.
We plowed through the brush and made our way into the clearing where we had seen several grouse before. The little gal asked how we would find them. The three of us sat on our horses and made a plan. We would flush the birds on horseback. Hank would ride into the trees, I would skirt the edge of the trees and the little gal would ride the edge of the meadow.
We followed our plan on the East side of the meadow and then around the North, over to the West and ended back up on the South where we had started. Not a single bird flushed. We let out a short sigh and continued on. We then went on through the center of the meadow from the South up to the North and up into the thick trees again. All the while through the trees we were searching for birds but saw nothing.
We proceeded to another meadow to the West and used a similar flushing technique to the one we had used in the first meadow. Still no luck. The little gal was getting a little bored since our plan was not producing anything. Her excitement was waning. It was time to take a break.
We dismounted and sat in the grass with the little gal and ate some lunch. It was quality family time in the beautiful fall sunshine. It was a time that I cherish as a mother.
We told stories and imagined who had been in this meadow before us. We told stories of the hunters who probably sat on this little bluff watching the bulls come from the timber and we told stories about the turkey hunts we had been on before. We teased Daisy the bird dog because she wasn’t finding us any birds.
She didn’t seem to mind the heckling much. It was more like attention that the poor neglected Daisy never gets. We rubbed and scratched her then we got her pumped up to go look for more birds!
We mounted our horses again and headed up the trail through the timber. Now Daisy the bird dog was pretty serious. She was sniffing and running shortly ahead of us. Then it was on! She pointed. We knew she had success. Hank quickly helped the little gal dismount from her horse and got her gun ready. Then Daisy was off. She scattered three birds and the little gal had her shot-gun ready. She aimed and shot with great accuracy. The bird did not sputter or spin. It sank directly to the ground. The little gal stood there in amazement at her success. She was so happy and proud.
We hunted the rest of the day and then finally headed for home. The little gal breasted her birds and was as happy as anyone could ever imagine to learn how to cook a grouse. We have never been more proud to eat a supper that was put on the table by a proud little huntress.
Dang! She sure is a good provider!