RGS releases extended versions of grouse and woodcock hunting videos

A typical scene after a day in the grouse woods at New Wood, a hunting camp in northern Wisconsin: Chris Bye and his setter Piper.

A typical scene after a day in the grouse woods at New Wood, a hunting camp in northern Wisconsin: Chris Bye and his setter Piper.

When the Ruffed Grouse Society and the American Woodcock Society cast their Grouse Camp Tours 2015, better stars than Mark Fouts and Chris Bye couldn’t have been chosen.

Mark and Chris are not only passionate bird hunters but both are intelligent, thoughtful and well-spoken. (In fact, they are so entertaining and loquacious that Jerry and I could listen to their stories for hours.)

A joint venture of the sister RGS and AWS organizations, Grouse Camp Tours 2015 is a series of videos the staffs undertook to “celebrate habitat, membership and the grouse/woodcock hunting experience,” according to the website. (http://www.ruffedgrousesociety.org/) Crews traveled to various venues last October and captured the action and conversations on video.

Jerry and I are especially proud of the featured dogs. Mark and Chris are not only friends but clients of ours and have bought many dogs from us over the years. Currently, Mark owns three pointers and Chris owns two setters with another puppy reserved.

Recently extended versions of each video were released. Mark and Chris are featured in Day 3 and Day 4, respectively. For winter-weary hunters, the scenes in the woods with dogs pointing and birds flushing might be a much-needed balm.

Mark Fouts and his three pointer females: Prancer, Jordy and Timber.

Mark Fouts and his three pointer females: Prancer, Jordy and Timber.

Grouse Camp Tour Redux – Day 3
The focus of this video is the new hunter mentor program under the guidance of Mark.

People Stars
Mark Fouts, RGS Director of Member Relations & Outreach
Tucker & Wyatt Johnson and their father Greg Johnson
Nick Larson, RGS Regional Director (Minnesota & Washington)
Matt Sorberg, RGS Editor & Director of Communication

Dog Stars
Prancer (Dashaway x Fallset Fate, 2008)
Timber (CH Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011)
Jordy (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Prancer, 2014)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkloChiti9I&index=4&list=PLVqyDPKqr8Src5YPhgj4TbmRgjS6hYOI-

Grouse Camp Tour Redux – Day 4
Chris Bye and his father Chuck own a cabin in the middle of prime grouse country in northern Wisconsin. Over the years, the property’s primary purpose morphed into a grouse camp beloved by a steadfast group of friends and their English setters. Among other insights, Chris explains the extraordinary camaraderie between hunting friends and their dogs.

People Stars
Chris Bye
Chuck Bye
Henry Page
Nick Larson, RGS Regional Director (Minnesota & Washington)

Dog Stars
Roy (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2012)
Piper (Blue Riptide x Blue Ghost, 2010)
Hartley (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014)
Elmer (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014)
Kally (CH Can’t Go Wrong x Cold Creek Pearl, 2011)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-q1ywAQCsc&feature=youtu.be

Another good year for grouse hunting and guiding

Northwoods Blue Ox (CH Peace Dale Duke x Blue Silk, 2007) has always been a soft-mouthed, natural retriever.

Northwoods Blue Ox (CH Peace Dale Duke x Blue Silk, 2007) has always been a soft-mouthed, natural retriever.

Grouse populations might be up or might be down but no matter where we are in the cycle and since there are only so many autumns in a life time, October finds me in the woods. And 2015 will go down as another good year.

What a beautiful sight......and the Holland & Holland is nice, too.

What a beautiful sight……and the Holland & Holland is nice, too.

In early October, I load up our string of veteran grouse dogs and young dogs and head to Bowen Lodge, northwest of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, on Lake Winnibigoshish. I’ve been guiding for Bill and Gail Heig for almost 20 years and spend most of the month with them. Even on a day off from guiding grouse hunters, I still walk tote roads and slosh through bogs while training our young dogs.

Jim DePolo is justifiably proud when he finds his four-year-old Morris (CH Houston's Blackjack x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2011) on point.

Jim DePolo is justifiably proud when he finds his four-year-old Morris (CH Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2011) on point.

Bill and I were disappointed in the grouse numbers. We expected an uptick based on good spring drumming counts but reproduction did not follow. We flushed about the same number of grouse per hour as in 2014—which continues as the lowest number since the peak in 2010. We had better dog work on the birds we found and shot more than last year.

Northwoods Carly Simon (Blue Shaquille x Houston's Belle's Choice, 2011) receives well-deserved pets from Ben Johnson and his son Seth after a warm morning in the woods.

Northwoods Carly Simon (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2011) receives well-deserved pets from Ben Johnson and his son Seth after a warm morning in the woods.

As in 2014, we had another big year for woodcock flushes. Fortunately, woodcock keeps guiding clients happy during a slow day for grouse.

Some dogs--like Northwoods Vixen (CH Westfall's Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011)--have a natural affinity to find ruffed grouse. This gnarly, nasty cover screams grouse.

Some dogs–like Northwoods Vixen (CH Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011)–have a natural affinity to find ruffed grouse. This gnarly, nasty cover screams grouse.

As for the dogs, it was a good year, too. Four-year-old Northwoods Vixen put it all together this fall. She pointed and handled grouse as proficiently and stylishly as any. No matter time of day when—or hunting spot where—I ran veterans Ox and Carly, both were, as usual, simply outstanding. Young sisters Carbon and Bismuth and pointer Platinum advanced and by the end of the season, all handled grouse like mature dogs. While not as far along, one-year-old Nickel and Mercury still found lots of birds and pointed many.

It's hard to beat an afternoon like this in autumn--two happy hunters Ken Taylor (on left) and Jim DePolo, their handsome setters Tyler (Blue Shaquille x Houston's Belle's Choice, 2011) and Morris (CH Houston's Blackjack x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2011) and evidence of some good shooting.

It’s hard to beat an afternoon like this in autumn–two happy hunters Ken Taylor (on left) and Jim DePolo, their handsome setters Tyler (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2011) and Morris (CH Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2011) and evidence of some good shooting.

My time at Bowen Lodge is special. The dogs and the birds are instrumental but it’s the clients, too. Most have been with us for those 20 years and now are friends. In fact, I can’t wait to see them all again in 2016.

Northwoods Birds Dogs    53370 Duxbury Road, Sandstone, Minnesota 55072
Jerry: 651-492-7312     |      Betsy: 651-769-3159     |           |      Directions
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