It’s finally time for hunting season - Grouse hunting!
September 10th is the opening date for hunting ptarmigan and other game birds in Norway. Unfortunately I was sick with double pneumonia the first five days of the season, but by Saturday September 15th I was finally ready to take the dog on a hunting trip. We went to the mountains to try our luck at hunting ptarmigan. The weather was great and everything seemed to promise a great hunting weekend. You can watch the movie in the end of this article.
Having arrived safely, we felt ready and excited to get going immediately. It didn't take long into our hike before the first brood of black grouse took to their wings up ahead of us. Unfortunately, all 5 of them quickly disappeared behind some trees despite Chicko's exemplary work. It felt great to get an immediate confirmation that the dog was doing his job well, and that there in fact were birds in the terrain. We kept going and hiked uphill in hopes of finding ptarmigan. Chicko held steady once again and I knew we were in luck. I approached slowly, but the birds took off too soon. Chicko chased them at an incredibly high speed and I moved as fast as I could after them. All of a sudden one of the ptarmigans took to flight and I took the shot. "MISSED!" I thought as I saw the bird stretch its wings and glide quickly downwind. I glanced back at the spot where I had fired and noticed a dusting of feathers falling to the ground. Did I hit it after all? I looked back at the gliding bird and there; it fell to the ground about 500 meters downhill. After two hours of searching we gave up, the bird was impossible to retrieve.
After a small bite to eat, we decided to head uphill. At approximately 1000 mas I saw two ptarmigans. The dog was searching nearby and I froze. The birds hadn't seen me yet, and I hoped Chicko would chase them and make them fly my way. And that's exactly what happened! They flew directly towards us as I charged, loaded and took the shot. It was a clear hit and the bird went down. What a great feeling, and a beautiful display of cooperation between hunter and dog.
There were unfortunately little other game birds to see that day. Chicko made approximately 50 km of search in total, and I had trudged around 18. We had seen two broods of black grouse, and 4 broods of ptarmigan. Great work from Chicko, but the ptarmigans had been quick to take flight and difficult to get good shots at.
The next day we decided to travel back down to the eastern lowland and try our luck at larger game birds. You can read about the amazing trip here.
Check out my YouTube channel here, subscribe, like & share. I regularly post films from hunting, fishing and other outdoors activities!
//Christer Nannestad - Youtube & Instagram: Nansen_Bamsen
Translated by Bergljot Sindredottir Støer - Instagram: bergy_b