Just got back from my second Upper Peninsula grouse hunt with a friend and his dad. Hunted four or five different spots on public land. Populations were generally down, suppose its related to where they are in the seven year cycle, but we had 4 or 5 finds each day. Our missed shots brought some looks of disdain from the dogs.
Ruby managed to find a porcupine and this time I ended up with about 30 quills to pull out of her face. Luckily no damage done, except perhaps to her ego.
I’ve noticed when we hunt she really assumes the alpha female role with other dogs. She’s been well socialized and unless the other dog is really aggressive, she’s pretty easy going. But when she gets her collar on and the hunt is on, she really doesn’t have patience for dogs that want to still play and not work. It’s never more than a warning, but she puts them in their place and gets to work.
What was a bit unsettling this trip was the amount of wolf sign there was around the areas we hunted. Looks like they are coming back with a vengeance up there. One of the locals told me not to run her on a beeper collar as the wolves think of it as a potential dinner bell. Not sure if he was pulling my leg, but I ran her with a swiss bell, which required more paying attention from me. We saw two wolves from the truck late one day. Amazing how tall they are.