Friday, May 18, 2007

Grouse Hunting in the Boundary Waters - Posted by Ted Kemen

It will have been 11 years ago this October that Mark led myself, Kris Kirby, and Ryan Froelich into the vast expanse known as the Boundary Waters. None of us had been there before. Mark had a connection with a guiding outfit. They hooked us up with two aluminum canoes and gave us a map, the rest was up to us. We found our way through a couple of lakes and landed on an island which would be our base camp. The trees were just starting to lose their colors and the night air hovered around the freezing mark. It was perfect fall weather. Our days were spent fishing and exploring. The grouse population was at the high end of it's cycle. There were grouse landing in trees ten feet away from us at our camp site. While portaging our canoes we were flushing all kinds of grouse. If you have ever hunted grouse you know it is rare to get within 10 yards of one. It was a special year. Mark decided we should probably try and harvest some of these "quail" God had blessed us with. As Kirby and Froelich portaged our canoes, Mark and I walked the trail for grouse. Our weapon of choice, rocks. Leeks spotted the first grouse on the side of the trail. He devised a plan for me to chase the grouse up a small hill and he would ambush it. Grouse are extremely skittish, they tend to run a couple of feet into thick cover and then you never see them again. Well, Leeks had the right plan. I slowly crept up on this unsuspecting grouse while Leeker got into place. This plan played out just as we hoped it would. Leeks throw was dead on as the bird ran directly toward him. We had grouse that night for dinner and a cold O'Doul's to wash it down in celebration of Kirby's 21 st birthday.
Incredible memories of an incredible guy.
-Ted Kemen 5/18/07


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