New Hampshire’s bird hunting season opens on October 1 (and runs through Dec. 31), and many of our guests return to the North Country every autumn in search of ruffled grouse, woodcock.
With more than 200,000 acres of spruce forests, recently cut woodlands now covered in brush, high mountain bogs, and fast-running streams, the Pittsburg area is some of the finest bird-hunting terrain in New England. And all the well-maintained logging roads makes it easy to access.
We put in a call to our Head Upland Bird Hunting Guide, Dave Trahan, to talk about the upcoming hunting season.
“All indications are that the upcoming hunting season should be one of the best in a long time. Sean Searles, Lopstick’s other hunting guide, and I have been out since August scouting the territory with our German short-haired pointers. As we walk the woods, showing the dogs where we’ll be hunting in a few months, we flush the coveys and can get a good idea of the number of birds in the area. This year, the counts have been high, which is usually a good indication of how the season will be.
“It’s hard to predict where the hunting will be good. We basically divide the area up into quadrants around the town of Pittsburg: North, South, East and West. When the season starts, we get reports and feedback from other hunters and guides about where the birds seem to be congregating, and that’s where we go.
“New Hampshire, of course, allows recreational hunting on the private land owned by the logging and lumber companies, which is most of the area around Pittsburg and Lopstick. But we try to be respectful of private property, and people consider their grouse covers as special. Sean and I know most of the people around these parts, and we know where we can go and where to avoid.
“Lots of our regular guests have been hunting up here for years, and they have their favorite spots to hunt. It’s like fishermen on the Trophy Stretch…they’ve had success in the past in a certain place, next to a certain rock, and they like to go back there. Hunters are the same way.
“Those who are hunting up here for the first time can hire a guide for a half-day or full-day hunt, with either Sean or I to guide, and with our dogs. We can’t guarantee success, of course, nor can we guarantee nice weather, but most of the time our guests will get into some birds.
“If you’re planning to come up for the hunt, I recommend that you have a good pair of rubber boots. Strongly! There will be some wet ground out there, guaranteed.
Your shotgun, any gauge will do should be set up for 8 or 7.5 shot. I recommend an open choke or a skeet.
“A good hat is a must. Rain gear. Lots of layers, since the fall weather can range from 20° and sleet to 70° and sunny! And, of course, your orange vest and hat.
“We look forward to seeing all our old friends again this year, and meeting some new ones.”
Join us for a North Woods hunting adventure. Let us show you the grouse woods of Northern New England!
The day afield begins at 8 am at our office where you meet your guide. From there we take to the woods. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch and return to your cabin in time to relax before dinner.
Advance reservations are encouraged for bird hunting guide service due to the season length and guide availability.
Lopstick also offers excellent three-day Upland Grouse and Woodcock Hunting Packages. For full details on hunting at Lopstick, call us at 800-538-6659 or click here