September 1 was the hunting opener for grouse. For me and my springer spaniel, Echo it has been and excruciating wait. We have hiked or run in the woods surrounding Whitefish almost daily since last hunting season ended. We have seen countless grouse on those treks and each one of these amazing and beautiful birds flushes, it makes us crave hunting season.

Finally September 1 arrived and we were out the door an hour before sunrise to head out to one of our favorite trails. Last season began with Echo as just an 11 month old puppy. She had a great season considering her age... but this year as a two year old, I have high hopes for the number of birds she will be able to sniff out and flush. On opener she did amazingly well -almost too well as we had our limit of grouse within a few miles and had to head back home much sooner than either of us would have liked.

We will be in the woods 3 or 4 days per week this fall hiking and hunting and enjoying the amazing beauty of the Rocky Mountains of Montana. It is going to be a spectacular season!