Last weekend, I went out to a covert that holds both grouse and woodcock. I’m not sure how many shells were in my vest before I put it on but thought I had plenty. I have run out of shells on a walk before so I thought better of it and grabbed the remaining five shells in my box and tossed them in with the others.
I was locked and loaded and unleashed the hounds. We weren’t ten minutes into the walk when Stella went on point in some thick, young cover. I made my way to her and approached her from the side. A woodcock tweeted up and away. I swung on the bird and was stopped by a young aspen. I lifted the muzzle up and around the tree and got back on the bird as quick as I could and pulled the trigger. The bird was off a ways but I saw it fall. As Stella was retrieving the bird, I thought to myself, “I’m one for one, I should just stop now”.
I quickly disregarded the thought but was happy to be batting 1000 to start. As suspected, that was the pinnacle of my shooting for the day. Over the next four hours, we put up six grouse and 11 woodcock. I was shocked when after I shot at the last woodcock Stella pointed, I reached into my vest and couldn’t find another shell. I took the shell in my top barrel and put it in the bottom barrel for the last part of the walk.
If I counted correctly, I shot at 13 of those birds and proudly walked out with my limit of woodcock. The grouse were on their “A Game” and escaped me unscathed. I’m sure I took two shots at nearly every bird I missed and thinking back, I probably went through close to a box of shells. I can’t complain though, I absolutely love the smell of gunpowder.
Stella was absolutely on fire, pinning woodcock left and right. She pointed nearly every woodcock I saw. I didn’t see Surly work any woodcock but I would put money on the fact that he got some action in the woods without me knowing. He did have an awesome point on a grouse that I missed, twice. He was about 40 yards off and the bird flushed before I could make it to him. I tried my best but was just unable to connect for him. Surly is also showing some phenomenal instincts and has begun honoring naturally. He’s going to be a fun one!
Lesson learned; bring more shells than you think you will ever need!