Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Zen of Grouse Hunting

Ruffed Grouse at Bow Narrows, Red Lake
If there is a more soul-satisfying activity than hunting ruffed grouse in Northwestern Ontario in the fall, I haven't discovered it.
So far I have honored a commitment to myself and my Chocolate Lab, Sam, to get out grouse hunting every day.
After a fishing season where Brenda and I and our staff have worked 24/7 for months, the time I spend with Sam walking quietly over trails while crimson and yellow leaves are falling all around us is worth more than all the gold and diamonds in the world.
Yesterday we explored a new trail left by prospectors and were fascinated by all the tracks of moose and deer we found. So fascinated, in fact, that I was totally unprepared for the thunderous whirr of a grouse taking off right at my feet. By the time I remembered I was carrying a shotgun this grey-tail variety bird was gliding out of sight. We could have pursued him but decided to stick to the trail instead and see what lay ahead.
The autumn leaves are slow to change color this year. Despite what the expert say about frost having nothing to do with this annual event, anyone who lives in the bush knows that a frost will make the entire forest explode with brilliant golds and reds within a few days.
There have been many flocks of snow geese and sandhill cranes passing overhead. They are going from their summer breeding grounds on Hudson Bay west to Manitoba where they will rest and feed before heading south for the winter.
They mostly don't land here at Red Lake unless they encounter bad weather or head winds.
We are approaching our last week of fishing for the season. The weather has been beautiful with highs in the 60s F (17 C) and quite dry.
The morning air smells of wood smoke as our guests build fires in the stoves in their cabins.
It's a fine way to end the season.
Click to return to our website:
Click to see the latest on the blog:

No comments: