Hunting in the clouds

Thursday night was one of heavy rain, but Friday morning was cool and cloudy when we set out on our sharptail grouse hunt. Our hunt party consisted me and a friend, Doc and Mia.

Doc and Mia happy to be hunting.

Doc and Mia happy to be hunting.

Neither of us had hunted this particular area before, and it was perfect hunting weather with temperatures in the low 50s with occasional light drizzles.

Looking down on the farms.

Looking down on the farms.

We hunted the hillsides above the farms without seeing any sign of birds and decided to drive farther up the canyon to hunt the ridge tops. Low clouds engulfed us from time to time and although we saw a variety of wildlife including four deer, the only sign of birds was some fresh sage grouse droppings.

Low clouds move in while hunting.

Low clouds move in while hunting.

Light rain began falling while we ate lunch and by the time we finished and drove back down the canyon, it had turned to a heavy rain. Our intention was to drive south and hunt an area where I’d found partridge a few years before.

Doc surveys the countryside.

Doc surveys the countryside.

The steady, heavy rain ended that plan; although the gravel roads were still in good shape, the dirt road leading to the hunt area was impassible. After fish tailing and sliding in the mud for about a hundred yards, it was evident that even if I was able to stay on the road, there was no way I would make it up the steep hillside ahead of us.

Doc and Mia work back up the hillside.

Doc and Mia work back up the hillside.

So even though we didn’t come home with any birds, we did find a new hunt area worth returning to.

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