MUZZLELOADER Magazine    The Campfire: Main Forum List  Hop To Forum Categories  The Campfire Discussion Forums  Hop To Forums  Hunting    Snowshoe and Grouse with a GPR
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Snowshoe and Grouse with a GPR
 Login/Join
 
Graybeard
posted
I took my 54 cal Lyman Great Plains Rifle out this afternoon to look for a snowshoe hare. I built this rifle from a kit several years ago. It still had a load of 95 grains 3F Goex with a patched round ball in it from last season. After I took a deer with it last year I cleaned it and loaded it but never had a chance at another deer or elk that season. I haven’t got around to shooting it since then so I figured if I didn’t get a shot at a hare today I’d at least fire it and clean it. I hadn’t made it 50 yards into the woods when I jumped a snowshoe. He blew out and was never seen again. I started working around likely looking cover and eventually spotted another one. This one hesitated long enough for me to get a shot. When the smoke cleared I saw I’d made a clean head shot.

I reloaded the gun with a 30 grain charge of Goex 3F, a .018 pillow ticking patch lubed with Bumblin’ Bear Grease and a .530 ball. I tried this load last year out to 30 yards and found it to be very accurate. I figured it would be a perfect small game load. I collected the hare and set out to look for another one. It didn’t take long before I found one holding in a patch of heavy cover. This one also held long enough for me to take a shot and I had my second snowshoe of the day. I made another clean head shot. You could not see a difference in the damage caused by the 95gr load compared to the 30gr load on such a small animal.



I spent a while looking for another snowshoe without luck. I decided to head for the creek to clean these two before calling it a day. There’s an old log next to the creek that I’ve used many times as a work bench when cleaning small game. As I started to clean the rabbits I heard the four note “whistle” of a spruce grouse. I imitated the call back and it whistled again. Grouse season is open so I figured as soon as I was done cleaning the hares I’d go look for the grouse. We called back and forth several more times and then the grouse quit calling.

I was looking down, focused on what I was doing when suddenly there was a thump on the same log I was working on. I’d been seeing fresh bear sign all day so without thinking I grabbed my rifle as I looked up to see what hit the log. It was a grouse! I’ve called back and forth with them before but I’ve never called one in! Thankfully it was only a grouse since I only had the 30gr load in the gun. I wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. As Del Gue said in Jeremiah Johnson "Mother Gue never raised such a foolish child!" My mother didn't either. There was a second grouse with it and when I started to raise the rifle they both flew across the creek and landed. I was able to make a clean head shot on one but the other one blew out at the sound of the shot. I crossed the creek and collected the bird. Getting a grouse was a nice surprise. I finished cleaning the hares and then cleaned the grouse.



Afternoon was turning to evening which is usually a time when grouse active. The daily limit on grouse is three so I figured I’d take a quick look around to see if I could find two more. I started working a spot where I often see grouse. After about short time I spotted one and took it. I quickly reloaded and collected the grouse. I could tell I hit this one a little lower than I wanted to. I clipped the neck but it looked like I might have got the butt of the wing and a little bit of the breast. You can see the broken wing on the bird on the right in the picture. I figured I might as well head for the vehicle and call it a day. Before I went too far I came across another grouse. I made a clean shot clipping the neck and lower portion of the head.



This turned out to be a great afternoon! Two snowshoe hares and a limit of grouse taken with my 54 cal GPR! Here’s all the afternoons take together before I cleaned the last two grouse. In case anyone is wondering the wing is still attached to the breast of the first grouse. By law here you have to leave one wing attached to the breast for identification.



I didn’t lose much meat with my bad shot on the second grouse. You can see it took a little of the meat but not much.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: pab1,


Experience is the best teacher, hunger good sauce.
Osborne Russell Journal of a Trapper
 
Posts: 212 | Location: SW Montana | Registered: 17 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
I can only wish for such a day. Lucky you.
 
Posts: 353 | Location: Pocono Mts. in PA | Registered: 12 June 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
Picture of Hanshi
posted Hide Post
You really did do a good job and hit paydirt for your efforts. Sounds like a kind of dreamy day, to me.


*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
 
Posts: 3493 | Location: Maine (by way of Georgia then Va.) | Registered: 26 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
Nice!


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1928 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
posted Hide Post
Thanks guys!


Experience is the best teacher, hunger good sauce.
Osborne Russell Journal of a Trapper
 
Posts: 212 | Location: SW Montana | Registered: 17 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Free Trapper
Picture of TurkeyCreek
posted Hide Post
That's some fine eatin' you got there Pab! Thanks for the story! Sure do miss livin' up there where the spruce grouse live. I envy you!


"They do not live their lives 'by your leave'! They hack it out of the wilderness with their own two hands, bearing their children along the way!" - Cora Monroe - "Last Of The Mohicans"
 
Posts: 186 | Location: Turkey Creek on Cimarron Drainage | Registered: 10 September 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Cado
posted Hide Post
Good for you, looks like a great day. Thanks for the post
 
Posts: 617 | Location: Republic of Texas | Registered: 19 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
posted Hide Post
Great day, great story! Thanks!
 
Posts: 101 | Location: Davidsville , PA | Registered: 10 August 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
Awesome! Sounds like a perfect day, and a great story too.

Next time I have on the outdoor channel I guess I better look for the "This segment brought to you by Pab's Gauranteed Grouse Calls" header. Smiler
 
Posts: 429 | Location: Delmarva | Registered: 22 December 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Osprey:
Next time I have on the outdoor channel I guess I better look for the "This segment brought to you by Pab's Gauranteed Grouse Calls" header. Smiler


I still chuckle thinking about that guy jumping up on the log. I don't know why the males gather flocks this time of year. They go off on their own after breeding in the spring and while the chicks grow through the summer. Then they gather a flock in late summer. The males will fan and strut around the females just like a mini-turkey. The flocks break up before October.

Thanks everyone!


Experience is the best teacher, hunger good sauce.
Osborne Russell Journal of a Trapper
 
Posts: 212 | Location: SW Montana | Registered: 17 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Idaho Mountainneer
posted Hide Post
Cool. Congrats on the hunt.
 
Posts: 330 | Location: Twin Falls ID | Registered: 29 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
posted Hide Post
Well done, and you did it very frugally too.

Huh?

Well most folks using a 28 gauge (smoothbore .54/.55) would have used 3/4 ounce of shot per critter, while you used a 1/2 ounce ball. So that was 2.5 ounces of lead (and a lot less powder) than a person using a 2 dram load and 3/4 ounces of shot for each animal, which would've been 3.75 ounces of lead used up. Eeker

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
L.D.,you sure are smart,I never figured out that he was being frugal,I just figured he used what he had.... Wink


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1928 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
posted Hide Post
Good point! Never thought of the frugal aspect. I could have really pinched pennies and saved lead using my .32s with 45gr (7/64oz) balls. I usually use close to the same powder charge (at least with the .32 rifle) so that would have been a wash. Big Grin

I do have some smoothbores (.56/.62) but I've never really got into hunting with shot (or shotguns). Never really thought about the amount of lead used in a typical shot load compared to using a ball. That's a good comparison.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: pab1,


Experience is the best teacher, hunger good sauce.
Osborne Russell Journal of a Trapper
 
Posts: 212 | Location: SW Montana | Registered: 17 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
posted Hide Post
I only pointed this out, since a lot of folks like the smooth bore trade guns and such for "versatility", which they get. BUT..., even though they were a lot cheaper in history compared to their rifled cousins, the cost per shot was a lot more for the fowler shooter than for the rifleman, even as in your case, you're using a large caliber deer/elk rifle.

So sometimes folks will say, "If I was back in the day I'd get a 20 gauge or 28 gauge fusil". Which is fine, and I'd probably fall into that category. Yet as Boartooth pointed out, you used what you had, and still filled the pot in a very respectable manner. So IF [back in the day] you had an accurate rifle and were a good shot, you could put that small game in the pot with that "Bar Ryfel". (The only problem today is some jurisdictions wouldn't let you hunt the birds at certain times of the year with a single shot rifle. )

You also demonstrated that the rifle would shoot after being loaded for a year. Wink

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by pab1:
quote:
Originally posted by Osprey:
Next time I have on the outdoor channel I guess I better look for the "This segment brought to you by Pab's Gauranteed Grouse Calls" header. Smiler


I still chuckle thinking about that guy jumping up on the log. I don't know why the males gather flocks this time of year. They go off on their own after breeding in the spring and while the chicks grow through the summer. Then they gather a flock in late summer. The males will fan and strut around the females just like a mini-turkey. The flocks break up before October.

Thanks everyone!


For anyone interested I think I learned the reason for this behavior yesterday. Birds are triggered to breed in the spring by the photoperiod. In the fall, the photoperiod is similar which causes many bird species to behave like they do during breeding season. I thought that was interesting!


Experience is the best teacher, hunger good sauce.
Osborne Russell Journal of a Trapper
 
Posts: 212 | Location: SW Montana | Registered: 17 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Crawdad
posted Hide Post
You did a great job on that Lyman GPR!!! In the hands of someone who knows what he is doing the Lyman GPR is a great rifle. But it never occurred to me that it can be a great upland game gun also. Wink
 
Posts: 678 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: 30 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
posted Hide Post
Thanks Crawdad!


Experience is the best teacher, hunger good sauce.
Osborne Russell Journal of a Trapper
 
Posts: 212 | Location: SW Montana | Registered: 17 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

MUZZLELOADER Magazine    The Campfire: Main Forum List  Hop To Forum Categories  The Campfire Discussion Forums  Hop To Forums  Hunting    Snowshoe and Grouse with a GPR

2014 Historical Enterprises, LLC