It’s finally here! The grouse hunting season 2014 has already started, andΒ I’m really excited π Now I can hike with my Winchester rifle, no one asks where I’m going to, I can stay and sleep wherever I want, and I can practice one of the basic instincts of human beings, lost by so many already – seek for prey and hunt. I feel so connected to Nature again, and I still have many weekends left to wonder my beautiful homeland on Earth, the castles made of forests, where I can witness how life born, dies, and evolves. I’m so thankful that I can breath Nature, until it’s my time to fall apart and become a part of soil under my feet. Ah, autumnal melancholy. And what an adventure the first serious trip was already, I managed to got one hazel grouse and one black wood grouse π My father has told for many years how my grand father used to sneak wood grouses, alert birds which are hard to catch. During the previous years I think I’ve finally got a small touch to the tactics of my fathers. I also know how to whiz for black grouses, and during the weekend I managed to once again awake aΒ whole forest of those black birds! Though, the one I saw through the dense thickets never came enough out for shooting it. I made a little video compilation about the birds, the hazel grouse, wood grouse, and the black grouse which managed to escape from me. Pretty hectic video huh π In the previous post, I promised to go outside for one night during the week, but I didn’t catch anything during that short trip. Anyhow, I’m already waiting for the coming weekend. Before that, let us wonder the photos I took previously, enjoy!
The first night begins.
The ancient stars above us.
I will stay here.
One thing disappoints me. During the weekend there were many auroras seen all over Finland, but I didn’t saw any. During the nights I tried to goggle through the ventilation gap of my tent, but there was absolutely nothing to see. I even reloaded CHDK into my SXH240 HS PowerShot’s memory card for taking long exposures like this image. Notice the RGB dots due to reaching the maximum performance capabilities of my camera. Luckily, I got many other cool photos during the trip. π
After a good sleep, it’s time to wake up and clean my gun. π
My old tent is a little leaky, why I bought a bottle of tent wax. I used it just before I left, let’s see how it works.
Not so far away from my camp, I found this abandoned old house.
Once again, so many rowan berries.
And here is the first catch, a hazel grouse. It was already quite late when I found this, why I needed to drive it out, because it stopped to answer to my call.
Northern forests, my castle.
Odd pile of rocks. I wonder, has someone build this in the past.
More interesting rocks.
Guess what this is? It’s a dead tree! First I thought it was a big bird and I stalked it for a while. π
Woooooow, so many Albatrellus ovinus mushrooms!!!
Cool, where do I put all of these?? π
You guys will go into my pan ^^
One of my hunting friend was simultaneously wandering elsewhere, and we agreed and met a couple of times for making coffee and baking some mushrooms. π
Oh, my tent is now dry.
I also found a nice wall of rocks and some interesting small caves in it.
Hmmm, can I fit in there?
Yep π Or did I took this photo by putting my hand into the hole, cannot remember.
Luckily I didn’t see a lynx there. π
I wished so much that I could find some ancient arrow heads, wall paintings, etc.
In the bottom.
During the Saturday evening I heard a wood grouse flying in a tree. I sneaked it for a while, until I became unsure where the bird was. I sat down and waited approximately for one hour. Then, the bird changed its position and I heard it again. I sneaked toward the wood grouse, extremely carefully and slowly. The evening became dark, but I continued further. I heard the bird rustling in an aspen, as it was eating leafs.Β I finally saw the bird and slowly raised my gun after many hours. Bang, the big bird fell down and I finished it with my knife. Such an exciting moment. I need to thank the heritage of my family for knowing how to catch these tricky birds. π
As I was wandering to my camp, I realized how bloody the disemboweled bird was. I hoped that I didn’t attract too many bears and wolfs while I was walking in the darkness. But, seriously, after I got back into my tent, I heard something rustling outside. I hope it was a moose. π
Niiiice, a beautiful misty morning. These sights mesmerizes me. π
I managed to lure this black grouse into a birch. Unfortunately, it was too far for me to shoot it.
The sacred shrine of Tapio.
An endless ocean of green and fresh moss. π
More odd rocks. Two smaller rocks were piled over each other on a bigger rock, and there was remains of a jaybird spread around the smaller rocks. Spooky. π
Blue feathers of a dead jaybird.
Chomps chomps chomps. A quick snack.
Suddenly, a million of deer flies. Gosh I hate them!
Is this picture upside down or not. π
Back into my home with the grouse catch. I decided to cook the hazel grouse instantly, even without tenderizing it. I decided to apply the oven pan recipe I used for the hare previously. It actually works quite well also for the hazel grouses, it does not dry the meat as I expected. I seasoned the meat with salt, soy sauce, beer, black, white and red pepper, and rosmarine. I melted some butter in a hot pan and quickly fried the bird to give it a nice, dark, brown color. Then I added chopped onions and sauteed them with the meat. I dipped the whole mix into an oven pan. Then I added more butter and fried the Albatrellus ovinus mushrooms with a small pour of milk and wheat flour. I poured the hot mushroom sauce over the meat and onions, and put the lid on. I preheated the oven in 250C, and waited for so long that the sauce started to boil again. Then I decreased the temperature to 110C and waited for 2h. Finally, it took about 40 extra minutes to cook the potato wedges in the same oven by reheating it to 225C. I served the dinner with fresh lingonberries. Yum. ^^
Cut and seasoned hazel grouse and its heart, liver and gizzard.
The extremely fresh, but still tender hazel grouse. π
Yesterday, I needed to take a new piece of the hare from my freezer which is getting a little tight nowadays. π
While making the new hare pan, I fried the mushrooms together with the lingonberries and onions. This setup works as well as the previous one.