Monday, November 28, 2016


I woke up this morning to about an inch of snow at my house. I questioned going west but decided against telling Jake to get out of the back seat of the truck. As I drove west the snow was diminishing so I was becoming more excited about my decision. Than I made the turn to the north and the snow started getting heavier again. I didn't think there was that much elevation change but by the time I got to the ridge I wanted to go up there was 3 inches of snow on the ground.

3 inches of snow didn't use to mean much to me but over the last few years I'd just as soon stay home than to hunt in it. Jake didn't feel discouraged at all and as soon as the collar was on he was ready to scale the mountain.
As you can see, there are plenty of rocks and other hidden objects in the snow. I don't glide over the snow with the ease that Jake does, in fact I do more stumbling than I do walking. I don't dare look up or I know something is going to reach up from under the snow and pull me to the ground. If I want to see if there are actually deer at the end of the tracks, I have to stop and make sure both feet are planted before I look up. At least in January when the slopes are frozen I can see whether my next step is going to propel me down the mountain. In this fresh snow I don't see those hidden surprises until it's too late.

Although I wanted off the mountain early, I stuck it out for Jake. He did his job and found birds. But the first two points resulted in flushes at 20 yards and I never even got my gun up. Finally Jake held a covey of chukar on a flatter area and I managed dropping a bird on the first shot and shot way over another bird on the second.
Watching Jake hustle down to retrieve the bird was fun but it didn't quite ease the pain I felt as I looked at the two new rock gouges on my stock. It's funny how the snow doesn't ease the sound of a gun butt hitting the rock like it does the sound of the gun going off.

The day kept going about the same for 3 hours of hunting. That was all I could handle. Even a half of dozen or more points didn't help much. Four new scratches on the gun and countless bruises that will be showing up on me tomorrow out weighed the birds shot. Jake was solid and fun to watch covering the miles looking for birds but it was better for me to get out of the snow.
One of the advantages of being retired is having the pick of days to chase chukars. I know many hunters love the snow and more power to them but for me, I'll take the burnt off slopes that has some of that softer soil to sink my soles into.


Greg Munther said...

More power to you Larry for climbing, crossing and the worst ...going downhill on those snow covered slopes. You are making me feel better for missing chukars and sitting here in AZ waiting a few days for the mearns quail opener. Lucy found 3 coveys walking up with me to check a deer waterhole so it looks like we will have something to chase again this year......and the ground, though rocky, isnt chukar quality slopes.

larry szurgot said...

Greg, when Barb get's retired I'll be picking your brain. Maybe even try the ol stick and string again.

Mooretitan said...

Great pics. Love hunting in the snow but I am a little younger. I must have missed it about a week. We were in Idaho the beginning of Thanksgiving. Wanted to thank you for this blog it was a major motivator in doing my 1st out of state trip for birds. Took a risk and it was a blast. Good memories for my kids and dad. See you also taking your grandkids. My grandpa was one of my best friends growing up.
Thanks and congrats on the birds

larry szurgot said...

Thank you Kirk. I'm glad you had a good trip with your kids and dad. Conner is my best friend and hunting companion as well as my grandson also.

Kent said...

Larry, my first trip to your Blog. Got the info from Bob McMichael. Just began to read and plan to more certainly. I would like to know when you go to the mountains in the cold I just read about, what do you use for gloves to keep warm hands while being able to handle your gun?


Kent Coen
Grand Island, NE