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    Flushes & Noteworthy Points

    Gluttonous Grouse?

    It appears this ruffed grouse choked to death on an acorn it couldn’t properly digest. (Photo/Steve Lavalle)
    It appears this ruffed grouse choked to death on an acorn it couldn’t properly digest. (Photo/Steve Lavalle)
    Reader Steve Lavalle of Manchester, New Hampshire, submitted this photo of a grouse he found while hunting in central Wisconsin. Apparently, the grouse had choked to death on an acorn that was too big to pass through his crop.

    A subsequent and highly nonscientific poll of a half-dozen grouse hunters with a combined total of more than 200 years’ experience revealed none of them had ever previously beheld the phenomenon.

    Have any of you ever run across something like this? Please let us know by writing to info@uplandalmanac.com

    So That’s How It Started …
    From the New York Times:


    “In 1889, at the age of 26, Florence A. Merriam Bailey published Birds Through an Opera-Glass, considered the first field guide to American birds. The book suggested that the best way to view birds was through the lenses of opera glasses, not a shotgun sight. Her approach, now commonly practiced with binoculars, helped form the basis of modern bird watching.

    “‘When going to watch birds,’ she wrote, ‘proceed to some good birdy place — the bushy bank of a stream or an old juniper pasture — and sit down in the undergrowth or against a concealing tree-trunk, with your back to the dun, to look and listen in silence.’”


    Tips from the Field

    A 1-inch-wide nylon lead works well to thread through the hinge openings in a vehicle’s hatchback.  (Photo/Tailfeather Communications, LLC)
    A 1-inch-wide nylon lead works well to thread through the hinge openings in a vehicle’s hatchback. (Photo/Tailfeather Communications, LLC)

    It really works! — On no fewer than five occasions last autumn, we encountered the need to employ the “Standing Solo Restraint” technique introduced in Dr. Hank’s column in the Winter 2019 issue (“Restraint Techniques for Emergency Situations”). Dr. Hank’s instruction instantly became the most helpful dog handling suggestion we’ve ever encountered. Dogs stayed calm and could move around a little, but they mostly stayed still.

    Dr. Hank’s “Standing Solo Restraint” worked perfectly several times since it first appeared in the pages of The Upland Almanac.  (Photo/Tailfeather Communications, LLC)
    Dr. Hank’s “Standing Solo Restraint” worked perfectly several times since it first appeared in the pages of The Upland Almanac. (Photo/Tailfeather Communications, LLC)

    The restraint allowed us to trim all the toenails on two dogs in less time than we usually spend trying to corral and snip a single foot on one dog.

    We found that 1-inch-wide, flat nylon slip leads slid through the hinge openings on our SUV worked extremely well. The dog stood still at a comfortable height at which to work. And our ability to actually work with both hands was a most welcome surprise.

    On another note — Some of us are deathly afraid of losing our dogs in the woods, and that’s why we equip them with GPS collars. We might also like the traditional tinkling of a bell, so we put those on our dogs. For those of us with

    For a triple play blend of technologies, try this combo: a GPS collar for peace of mind, a Swiss bell for a touch of the traditional and a beeper collar for ease in locating a dog on point in thick cover. (Photo/Tailfeather Communications, LLC)
    For a triple play blend of technologies, try this combo: a GPS collar for peace of mind, a Swiss bell for a touch of the traditional and a beeper collar for ease in locating a dog on point in thick cover. (Photo/Tailfeather Communications, LLC)
    pointing dogs, locating a dog on point in the thick woods while checking the GPS screen every few seconds becomes a dizzying task. So we might also prefer to put a beeper on the dog.

    No matter that some ingrates might scold us for putting too much “bling” on the dog, if it works for us, it works. Cut and dried.

    One technique we tried to use took the extra weight — and the Beep-beeping of the collar — away from the dog’s neck and ears. We strapped it on the back end of the dog, and it worked quite well. Now, we have the best of all three worlds: hearing the pleasant sound of a dog’s bell, being notified when the dog is on point and where it is and knowing the GPS will keep us informed if the dog gets too far off.

    While no beepers were lost in the testing of this method, we found that after a few minutes in the field, we had to tighten the beeper collar around the dog’s haunches, much as one cinches up a saddle on a horse. We are looking to pair the beeper with a wider band or perhaps a dog brush vest, just something to give it more “grip” on the dog.

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