Jerry's Tips: October 2005

Intecept a circling buck; Reflush missed grouse; Make inexpensive goose decoys; Catch a trophy brookie; Train your dog to hold point

trophy brook trout

trophy brook trout

John Rice

Intercept a circling buck When you're rattling antlers or using a grunt call, set up downwind of where you think bucks are, with thick cover in front of you but a clear view of openings within shooting range to your right and left. Deer prefer to approach attractive sounds from downwind. In this setup, you're likely to get a shot at a buck that's circling to catch your scent.

Reflush missed grouse Grouse take off explosively when flushed, but they fly straight once airborne and usually land within 150 to 200 yards. If you miss, call your dog to heel. Quietly circle out 250 yards, then approach the probable landing spot from downwind. Relocated birds are nervous and often won't hold for long points, so stay close to the dog and move in fast when he starts looking birdy.

Make inexpensive goose decoys Use discarded auto tires to inexpensively increase the number of goose decoys in your field spread. Cut each tire into three even pieces. Then turn them inside out. Set on the ground, they have a humped goose-body appearance. Place them in clusters among full-bodied dekes to imitate geese feeding with their heads down. Nest them together for convenient storage.

Catch a trophy brookie in the fall Large, colorful streamer flies, bucktails, and minnow-shaped, deep-running lures are perfect for catching trophy-size brook trout in late autumn. Big males become aggressive prior to fall spawning and viciously attack any small fish that come close. Look for them in oxygenated water below a rapid, in a spot where river currents run smoothly over golf ball¿¿¿size gravel.

Train your dog to hold point Practice staunching a young bird dog on point by pushing his shoulders and hind end toward the bird. He will resist the pressure and push back against your hand, stiffening his point. Over time, he will think it was his idea to remain steady. As your dog absorbs the lesson, gradually delay flushing so that he learns to enjoy the anticipation of keeping the bird in place.