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Joined: Dec 2012
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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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I've come into the possession of information (about both fish and birds) that is sorely-tempting me to deviate from my normal start of the small game season here. Doves have traditionally been the September 1st kick-off, but this year....something different my be in the offing. While elk hunting last November, the son of the hunt manager (on the Ranching for Wildlife location we had drawn) made mention of the exceptional number of birds he'd encountered in a very specific a location while archery hunting earlier in the season. Blue grouse (now officially called "Dusky" by the twerps at the Division of Wildlife) out here are usually a hit or miss proposition at best. Lots of walking (mostly & rather-dramatically straight up and down) for very little shooting seems to be the rule normally but... it now seems I have a "pinpointed" location to actually go try. Combining that with additional (and very recent) first-hand information about a high-mountain lake (in the same general vicinity) that is reported to have been successfully stocked (for several years now) with easily-caught artic grayling and you have the makings of either a serious boondoggle or a fairly exotic cast & blast opportunity. Fishing here lately (& in general), has been overrun by the hordes of refugees from both coasts (but mostly the left one), so I've let my flyrods languish for the past few summers. Perhaps it's time to dig out a little bamboo and a subgauge shotgun and go for a walk?

Last edited by Lloyd3; 08/01/22 09:23 AM.
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Sounds like a plan

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Sounds like Shangri-Law. Post pics if successful.

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Best to keep the “location” a secret or your will be over run with people. Years ago, a minor Sunday paper article mentioned a out of the way location with surprising number of wild quail. Opening day of quail season saw over two dozen hunters at that location. Birds were burned out in a weekend and never really recovered. That State land might have been 150 acres and had so many dogs out you would have thought it was a field trial.

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Hope it happens Lloyd, sounds like fun and a little out of the ordinary.

I'll edit to add, high mountains, and same general vicinity, could be quite a walk, hope the gun and the bamboo are the light versions.

Last edited by craigd; 08/01/22 11:10 AM.
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You had me at "Blue Grouse".
I enjoyed the glory days of Blue Grouse in the late 60s and early 70s, as a young man on Vancouver Island.
I also found a few at higher elevations in the West Kootenay of B.C.
They're a handsome bird.
Good luck with your hunt.

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Young of the year Duskies are quite delicious.
Many people shoot them with a bow walking in to their elk stands.

If I had a choice between shooting Duskies, or plains sharp tails on September 1, I would go after the dusky’s just because they are better eating and the temperatures will be cooler.

Hoppers and berries along the park edges, or riparian corridors.

Have fun!

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Yes the blues are now either duskies or sooties. A mildly exotic hunt for us was a weekend in Lewistown MT to hunt the Judith range for duskies and then to the northeast for sage grouse.

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Fifty-two years ago, when I was going to school at Lowry AFB, Colorado was a hunting and fishing paradise. We got out of school at noon and by 2 o'clock I would be on St Louis Creek catching Rainbows. When Dove season came in, I found a great spot on some game department land near Greely where a powerline crossed the South Platte and the Doves funneled along the powerline. Then Outdoor Life did an article on Sage Grouse which stated the best Sage Grouse hunting in the country was around Craig, Colorado. I was otherwise occupied opening weekend, but the next Friday I was at the sporting goods store in Craig just as the owner was locking up. He gave me a map of the local area which included the land owners and where to go to ask permission!

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Later great Pheasant hunting an hour or so east of Denver.

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My only problem with Blues is getting them to flush when hunting them. I have the same issue with Ruffs. I love mountain grouse hunting, but the struggle to get them to be sporting at times is real. It’s frustrating when you have a setter locked up, you make it to them, start walking in for the flush….and the bird hops on a log and stares at you….and as you try to get him to flush…they fly up a couple branches and continue to stare at you. Very similar to Spruce grouse behavior I experienced when I lived in Alaska. They’re ok eating, but I think Sharptails and Chukars are unbeatable table fare. Sharpies and Chuks are also infinitely more sporting in my opinion too.
I’ve actually had blues follow me up the trail while out hiking too. I’ve had them hang out in camp as well. Literally staying the entire time I was camped.😂
This pic is one I took a couple years ago on a mountain grouse hunt. I didn’t shoot him. He wanted to be friends and just hang out. He sure was a handsome fella though.
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

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