Right after work on Friday, Crazy J the German wireghaired pointer bird dog and I hightailed it to the foothills of the North Cascades for some ruffed grouse hunting on state DNR and private timber company land. Ruffed grouse in the Pacific Northwest seem to like young second growth forests near riparian areas with red alder, maple, cottonwood, snowberry, and other soft mast. Grouse only come out in mornings and evenings and only when itís not that wet. Hunting grouse in the rain or during the afternoon is a waste of time. I like to walk down bermed & trenched old logging roads (edge habitat) with Crazy J at my side. He starts going bonkers on grouse scent, then the safety comes off and I get ready. Hopefully, a ruff then flushes up. No fool hens here. Just a brown whir of wings that only provide a second or two for a wingshot. 1 grouse ended up as a ďchickenĒ burrito for todayís lunch.
After a short evening in the timberlands, we camped at an old Forest Service gravel pit near Glacier, WA on the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The old gravel pit that now apparently occasionally serves as a shooting range, party site and dump for household rubbish. Tree spacing wasnít very good. The forest stand around the gravel pit was younger old-growth that has thinned a little bit. One understory Western hemlock in particular was in the right location but inadequate for hanging since itís root system was soft and rotten and felt like it would rip up out of the soft layer of moss and duff that forms the forest floor if a hammock were tied to it. I was able to find a sizable Douglas-fir that a stock Hennessy tree hugger was able to fit around. The other tree was a small, but solid, understory Western hemlock. However, a large healthy old-growth Douglas-fir blocked one of the 8x10 sil-nylon tarp edges.
A soft, rotting stick served as a prop for one of the tarp guylines with a stick for one stake. The stake penetrated the mossy forest floor of this almost-temperate rainforest quite well and held firm.
I put the Hennessy Super Shelter (HH SS) undercover and underquilt on the ENO Doublenest. It did not fit on as well as it did last time. The ENO is pretty long and with enough sag, lays pretty flat. However, the HH SS shortens the ENO but itís not noticeable.
One end of the HH did not fit over the ENO end so I just tied the elastic cord around the ENO. The cord held over the night. But, still; I did not like this rigging.
The big Doug-fir blocked part of the tarp so one rope end of the ENO didnít get coverage.
Crazy J slept with me in the hammoc