Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Autumn is here.

You can feel it in the air, the change of season. Cold breeze, sub-zero nights every now and then, leaves changing colour and falling. Autumn means the start of hunting seasons as well. Bear and moose hunting is on, season for capercaillies and willow grouses starts in few days.

After the summer hunting dogs can run unleashed again. I've been walking in the forests and fells quite a bit lately, Kumu running free to gain some endurance, Pyry as a senior mostly walking leashed.

Sometimes you'd think a dog can enjoy the scenery too.

Autumn is an easy season with the campfire. Ground is pretty much always so wet or moist that you can safely light up the fire.

Sometimes a craftsman gets lucky with finding a decent moose or reindeer antler. This one was too rotten, had some greenish colour already, and clear signs of cracks running deep inside. So it remained there, left for voles to chew.

A cold day, but obviously too warm for a furry guy, as he wanted to cool down in a pond.

This is the main game for Kumu to look for. A capercaillie ( Tetrao Urogallus ). He's very interested in moose as well, baying and barking at them. As I want Kumu to be mainly a bird hunting dog, I've either ignored the moose he's barking at, or used a whistle to get him away.

When treeing a capercaillie, Kumu is barking by the tree, getting the bird concentrated on him. This way the master can approach withouth the bird noticing him that easily. Sounds simple, right? It's quite not that easy always. Sometimes capercaillies are really alert, flying away almost immediately, or from the smallest disruption. Sometimes they stay there for an hour or two, just watching the dog bark. It's also quite unbelievable how easy it can be not to spot a relatively large bird on the tree in the forest.

On a good day it can be easy. Below is a short video of Kumu barking at a capercaillie. I was staying just 10 meters away, Kumu giving me a look occasionally, like saying " There's a bird, you see it? Why aren't you doing anything? There's bird, you moron!"  After more than half an hour I walked closer, and it took off. As it's not a hunting season yet, all the shooting was done with the camera.

"Yeah, I know you're not interested in voles, but I simply can't resist them"

Vole and lemming population seems to be decent again. This means usually a good amount of stops in Kumu's search for the "real" game. If the vole hunt lasts untill I'm there too, Pyry is happy to join. Sometimes they furiously dig for one, as most of the dogs would do.

High numbers of voles and lemmings immediately affects on the population of foxes, owls, and hawks. This hawk owl was watching us passing by.

Pyry never seems to be bothered to be leashed, although he sees Kumu running free all the time. Sometimes I let him free, but tell him to stay nearby. When it's time to be leashed again, he simply doesn't care.

At work I've been working on this small set of birch bark handle puukkos. This time with slightly longer blades from my regular size. By now the handles are ready, sheaths stitched and drying. These will be for sale in two days. If you're interested in one, stay tuned!


  1. Wonderful as usual. Capercaillie really is hard to spot. They used to scare the living bejezus out of me, but not so much anymore.
    You should frame that image of Kumu and the scenery.

    1. Yeah, capercaillies surely can take you by surprise sometimes. Especially males, as their take-off is much more powerfull compared to females. :-D

  2. Great pictures and beautiful scenery as always. Hope that you're having good success with your hunting.

    1. Thanks, Bradley. Hunting has been good so far. Bird population isn't that bad after all.