Four days off in October grouse camp sounds like heaven for me. Good friends, dogs, food, and traveling the grouse covers of Minnesota in the best time of the year. This year’s camp was soggy wet hunting and few ruffed grouse flushed. But the woodcock populations are just fine and allowed some gunning.
Gear, Good and Bad
I had a sole that cried “uncle” this fall but some marine epoxy overnight did the trick. Good gear is worth the maintenance.
But some gear should never enter the grouse woods.
Case in point, I had a guest come with for grouse camp, that normally duck hunts. First morning, he asked where he could put up a big sheet of paper to pattern his gun.
So when loading up the truck to leave, I got a look at the gun.
It had a Poly-choke.
That’s right, he brought some crappy 50-year-old gun to grouse camp that he’d never fired before. For those unfamiliar, the Poly-choke was a really bad idea back in the age when shotguns came in only one choke. Thus the Poly-choke was invented– just saw off the end of your barrel and put this bulbous thing on that ruins the balance, looks, and pretty much any value in your gun. I believe it’s from the French design, the Polaise-Choque, which translates as “piece of dog excrement stuck to the end of my gun barrel”.
I said “Dude, where is your duck gun”? He replied this one is a loaner, it’s a few pounds lighter than his duck gun. A loaner? Hmm, that’s even worse. Who despises my friend so much to loan him that piece of crap to bring to grouse camp?
Suffice to say, it made for some good camp ribbing, which I will torture my friend with until the day he dies.
By Joel Schnell
Posted November 8, 2017.
Joel Schnell is publisher of www.ruffedgrouseminnesota.com
He can be reached at info[at]ruffedgrouseminnesota.com