Friday was the last day of sage grouse season so I decided to explore some new areas and hopefully have better luck. Along with Doc and Mia, we began the morning hunting along the edge of lava flows and were greeted with a chorus of coyote yips and howls.
After hunting for an hour or so without any luck, we caught the attention of a coyote that barked and yapped at us. Doc wanted to go visit but I called him back, and from then on they ignored the coyote which was either curious or was trying to draw Doc and Mia back to the pack to serve as breakfast.
I figured that there wouldn’t be any birds in the area with the coyotes nearby so we returned to the truck with the coyote following us most of the way back, keeping a distance of a couple hundred yards. Other than the coyote and some pronghorns, we saw nothing but a number of jack rabbits and judging from what I’ve seen these last two weekends, we may be due for another population explosion.
From there we went to another area and hunted until noon. In the good old days that kind of terrain would have produced a number of sage hen, but on Friday there was no sign either sage grouse or partridge.
The sun was intense in spite of the relatively cool temperature, so I was keeping a close eye on the dogs. During our last hunt, I watered them from the bota bags about every 10 minutes which also allowed me to check the color of their mouths to make sure they weren’t overheating. We didn’t hunt long due to the heat and that lava rocks are exceedingly rough on their feet.
After seeing nothing but more jack rabbits, I called it quits, loaded the guys into the cab of the truck and headed for home. After a close inspection of Doc and Mia’s feet and legs for cactus thorns, I took Doc to CAL Ranch and bought a duck stamp. Waterfowl season opens locally next weekend and hopefully we’ll have better luck with that.