Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 15

I

Winter Grouse

T TOOK ME an hour to walk up
the west side of the mountain. The
winter sky brightened behind it as I
ascended an abandoned dirt road that
led to an old logging area near the summit. The sky was overcast and windless, emitting a soft light in the snowy
woods; ideal conditions for hunting
ruffed grouse in the winter. Reaching
the second-growth timber, I paused to
catch my breath. With each exhale, a
puff of steam rose into the frigid air, and
then slowly drifted down the mountain.
Before loading my shotgun, I shouldered it several times, swinging it right
and left, regaining its feel. It had been
sitting idle since the last day of the
fall bird season, and I felt that a few
practice swings might make the difference between success and failure. My
old side-by-side is a little heavy in the
barrels, but once you start swinging it,
it continues its motion, an important
rule to remember when wingshooting.
Opening the double barrel, I dropped
two loads of 7½s into the chambers and
quietly swung the barrels up, locking
the action.
Entering the second growth, I
walked toward a mass of greenbriers to
look for grouse sign in the snow, and to
see if any berries were still clinging to
the thorny vines. When I was within
several feet of the greenbriers a grouse
walked into an opening in the cover on
my left, spotting me immediately. The

bird took two quick steps and flushed
crossing in front of me flying low to my
right. I snapped the gun to my shoulder,
swung past the bird and fired. Most of
the string of shot hit a nearby sapling,
but enough pellets found the bird to
bring it crashing down into the snow.
The second grouse, 10 minutes later,
wasn't as dramatic. I didn't even see
or hear it flush. I was looking straight
ahead and there it was in the sky in
front of me flying hard and fast to my
left. I once again fired and the grouse
fell. I unloaded my shotgun, and picked
up the second bird. Gently brushing
the snow from its feathers, I took a moment to admire it. This one was a male,
and bigger than the first one. I carefully
placed it in my vest so I didn't disturb
the feathers of either bird.
With the weight of a limit of grouse
in my vest, I glanced at my watch and
saw it was 8 o'clock. Not in any hurry
to leave, and with an unloaded gun, of
course, I continued walking across the
logging area to see if any more grouse
would flush. Reaching the opposite
side, a third grouse rose into the air,
topped the greenbriers and flew into a
small hollow. I was glad I didn't have
to shoot at that one; it was gone from
sight faster than I can write about it.
That made three flushes in less than
45 minutes and a limit of birds in the
bag. The late 2011 grouse season was
starting better than I had anticipated.

By Ben Flickinger
JANUARY 2014

15



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - A
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - B
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Cover4
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