Biological Pest Control & Sneaking up on Wood Grouse

The grouse hunting season is now over. I spent two weeks in a forest, sleeping mostly in a tent, for hunting grouses, collecting mushrooms and berries, cooking some delicious dinners on a campfire and watching northern lights. I’m going to make a video compilation and tell the whole story in another post, as soon as I have enough time to do that (and possibly a new computer for editing HD video, not to use the Youtube’s clumsy online editor).

Yesterday, after my long trip, my girlfriend and I went back to the hunting club’s cottage for setting up a couple of self-made nest box for pygmy owls. Those are for biological pest controlling, since there are living some mice in the cottage. Now we just have to wait for pygmy owls to find their new homes, and hope that the mice will come outside sometimes 🙂

I also wanted to show a couple of boreal owls living in a nearby forest. We saw one and heard a couple of them calling each other in the dusk. As we wandered in the dark forest, I also heard one wood grouse rustling in a pine. I used my acrobatic skills to sneak up on it in the cold, crispy forest. I tried to keep my body constantly behind the covering trees; I advanced like liquid 😀 Soon, I was under the tree and took some photos from the wood grouse! Oh, how much I wish that I would have seen the bird a couple of days earlier, during the hunting season! I managed to catch a couple of hazel grouses and one black grouse during the previous trip, but not any wood grouse. This is the third time during this autumn when I have sneaked close to a wood grouse. In the first time I managed to got one, in the second time it was too dark to shoot the bird with a rifle (I didn’t have a shotgun back then with me), and now the hunting season was over. I’m feeling like a real caveman, because wood grouses are tricky to catch, and I have learned to play with them. I also wish that I could finally finish my bow project and start quickly to practice for the coming season! If I would have had a bow, I believe that I would have caught at least two wood grouses from the three I saw 🙂

Here are some photos from the pygmy owl nest box and the wood grouse.

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Chopping some grass for the initial nest material.

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Setting up the first nest box. The box is faced towards the cottage. As the pygmy owl goes outside, it probably flies towards the cottage and hunts the pests we want to get rid off.

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The second box was installed in opposite side of the cottage. The mice will be under constant cross-fire as the springtime comes 😀

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Here is the wood grouse I managed to sneak up on. Why didn’t you showed up a couple of days earlier, during the end of the hunting season???

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Go and fly away, we will meet during next season! Then I’m probably going to introduce you my self-made hunting bow 😉

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