Friday, December 26, 2008

Long overdue update

This blog format wasn't user friendly enough for me so this blog went neglected. I'll give it another go and see what happens.

The Mounties have a good bit more mileage on them now - hunting, scouting and rimfire cowboy silhouette. I am very pleased with their performance, reliability and precision. I will elaborate as I can in this entry and in subsequent posts.

Hunting/Scouting- During the Fall 2007 Grouse and Deer seasons my most recent Mountie accompanied me on a number of excursions. Rather than using a sling I found the Kifaru "Gun Bearer" works very well with the Marlin Mountie while carrying a pack. The carbine is held securely and easily removed when the opportunity for a shot presents itself. Carried this way my hands are free to use maps, GPS, compass, binoculars, calls and steady myself when footing is trecherous or steep. The short barrel of the Mountie does not overly obstruct my field of view nor does the forward position get hung up in branches or brush.

Our game laws allow for the use of rimfires to harvest Grouse and the Mountie is more than up to the task. Base of the neck and head shots are easily accomplished at the Grouse stalking range. Even a center mass shot does less damage to the meat than shot from a shotgun blast.

Grouse hunting tactics are simple - Forested areas with openings near water often contain Grouse. Walk slowly, observe and listen for movement. More often than not I will hear them or flush them before seeing them. They don't often fly a great distance once alarmed. Pay close attention to the direction and you will likely be able to find them again. It is common for one or two to flush and more to remain nearby in cover so don't abandon the area and chase the flushed Grouse until observing the area they flushed from. Glass with your binoculars. If you are unable to locate them walk slowly though the area and then move in the direction they've retreated. You may hear or see them running along the ground or you may flush them again. They will typically hold still believing they are invisible (and they sometimes are) and not move until they feel threatened again. If in a tree they are more likely to hold. On the ground they are more likely to run if they sense you are stalking them. Stalk into easy range and shoot them at the base of the neck This preserves the delicious meat and makes a quick clean kill. The feathers make excellent fly tying materials and are quite beautiful.

Though not as sporting as a wing-shot with a shotgun it is challenging and will test your riflemanship. I would also like to note that careful consideration should be given to what is behind as the bullet will not stop even if it hits the grouse perfectly. I've passed on many more shots than I've taken on Grouse because they were 'skylined' or I didn't want to risk a richochette.

Grouse season usually opens several weeks in advance of Deer and Elk Season. Hunting Grouse affords you the opporunity to scout Deer and Elk hunting areas which is as close to multi-tasking as I am capable of.

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