Hooter Hunting with Todd

Todd was in town to hooter hunt.  After 3 unsuccessful deer hunts in driving rain, I figured – come down for hooters in May.  Weather is always good in May.  Todd got here Friday night in pouring rain.  And it got worse on Saturday.  We took the boat out and stopped and listened.  Either the birds weren’t hooting or the wind a tad too much to hear them.  We did see a brown bear on the Admiralty Island beach.  When we got back, we drove up to Eaglecrest,  and I heard one bird at the top of the opposite mountain.  Not gonna get any  birds today.  We gathered up Chris, who whimped out on hunting when he got up and it was raining.  Of course, when we picked him up in the middle of Juneau, we could  hear several birds hooting up on the hillside!   The three of us had a dinner down town and then returned to Chris’s house in time for nurse Janelle to hand use out ample doses of abuse.  They said they  needed a funny  movie for their 8th graders birthday party.  I told Chris to dial up Wayne’s World.  Eva the 8th grader was impressed, and added it to here movie list for the party.  I told her to get Meatballs, too. We got home late and so got up today when we got up.   Pancakes with sausages Todd brought down.  I thought we’d try a new spot that our friend Laura told us about when she was walking her dog.  She’s the recipient of stuff from our freezer, so he’s always willing to help. We headed up to the muskegs, where I figured we’d listen and keep going if we heard birds.    We heard birds.  We climbed up and up to the trail.  When we hit the trail, we heard birds.  But as we traversed the trail across the hillside, the bird hooting went away.  We decided to keep going the same direction.  Maybe a half mile later, we heard some hooting and headed off the trail and up the mountain further.   We climbed up to a knob to where we were sure the first bird had been hooting, but it quit.  Then we saw an eagle land in a nearby tree.  Mr. Grouse was playing it safe.  After a while we heard another one a hundred yards away on the same knob.  We got over there, and he kept hooting.  I got the .22 and 12 ga guns out of the pack and put them together.  We did the merry go round around the trees where the hooting was coming from.  We heard the bird we’d just left start hooting again, too.  And then Todd spotted it.  He’s the first person I’ve taken hooter hunting for the first time to see a bird before me.  Todd didn’t want to shoot because he hadn’t shot a gun in so long.  So I got a good rest and held on the birds head.  Doug and I had dialed in the .22 with a Burris 1.5×6 scope and it was shooting well.  First shot and the bird didn’t move.  The next one and the bird flew to another tree.  I saw it land.   Now he was in a branch low enough for the 12 ga, and I dropped him down.  Looked like I’d grazed his neck right below his eye with the .22.   We went back to the other bird, and found it pretty quickly.  I saw it this time.  First I thought the .22, then thought it was low enough for the 12 ga.  I shot, and the bird came sort of flying and tumbling down to us, and Todd pounced on it and wringed it’s neck.  Two for two.  Been a long time since that happened.   We couldn’t hear any hooters close enough without crossing a canyon so we headed back.  Wow, it was a long walk back.  But a beautiful sunny  day with a north wind and dry. Real Juneau May weather.