Our arrival at Long Point Lodge coincides with the arrival of a light and persistent rain. Seasoned grouse hunters know that a calm, wet day usually drives birds to the roads and their edges and we are itching to hop on the ATVs. Our host, Gord Bolen, helps us unload our gear and his wife Lise appears from the rustic main lodge to hand us our lunches for the day. As it would turn out the first-class service is on par with the hunting during our northern grouse adventure.
Hit the Trail
Along meandering and rugged Highway 560, between Elk Lake and Gowganda, are thousands of kilometres of logging roads and walking trails accessible directly from the lodge. After settling in to our clean, well-appointed, cabin we jump on our ATVs, cross the highway and head down the Beauty Lake Road. As expected, grouse are abundant and before we hit the 10 km marker a handful of birds are harvested. My hunting mutt, Muskie, is doing a commendable job of retrieving our mix of ruffed and spruce grouse from the thick bush.
Young aspen and birch dominate the mixed woods, providing ideal grouse habitat along the trails. We also find grouse in young Jack pine plantations and other guests at the camp would talk of success with their pointers hunting clear-cut edges.
Scoping out the Place
Lise's culinary skills are showcased after we arrive just in time for a hearty roast beef dinner in the main lodge.& It's only at the next morning's pancake breakfast that we notice the picturesque view of Long Point Lake from the dining room window. The lake has healthy populations of trophy-sized pike and smallmouth bass, apparent from the taxidermy at the lodge's entrance.