By Mark Parman
''There are types of looking: usual looking, and ruffed-grouse hunting.''—Aldo Leopold, from A Sand County Almanac
Like that prior grouse hunter Aldo Leopold, Mark Parman takes to the woods while the aspens are smoky gold. right here, in an evocative almanac that chronicles the early season of the grouse hunt via its lead to the snows of January, Parman follows his puppy in the course of the altering bushes and foliage, thrills to the unexpected flush of thrashing wings, and holds a poultry in hand, grateful for the meal it's going to offer. Distilling twenty seasons of grouse searching into those essays, he writes of outdated canine and gun lust, hide and transparent slicing, weather swap, partners female and male, natural world artwork, and stumps. A Grouse Hunter’s Almanac delves into the brain of a hunter, exploring the Northwoods with an eye fixed for greater than simply game.
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Extra info for A Grouse Hunter's Almanac: The Other Kind of Hunting
And so now we start over with a new pup who has reintroduced us to the patter of happy feet on wood ﬂoors, shredded shoes and gloves, and seemingly limitless energy. First come the house and yard training, and, since we lost Ox a few weeks after we brought Fergus home, he will be it. No doubt the pup will bump several birds in his ﬁrst hunting season, and it will be maddening to watch them ﬂy off into the woods without ﬁring. I did check to see how many grouse we had in the freezer since I’m expecting a lean year with a dog that will be seven months old when the season opens.
Its colors subtly combine rust, cinnamon, cream, black, gray, and white and a hundred other shades better painted than photographed. I try not to look at the eyes, especially when dispatching a wounded bird. Those times, I wish shoot-and-release hunting were a possibility in this world of ours. It’s then that all my misgivings about hunting, as well as the barbs of the antihunting rhetoric, creep into my thoughts as the bird shudders and twitches to its end. ” My dogs, on the other hand, sleep with a clear conscience, having no such qualms or second thoughts about death.
I teach English and journalism, and grading essays and articles is a subjective task if ever there was one. But in doing so I try to set and maintain standards. And if pointing a bird at a pointingdog trial isn’t a standard, then what is? Essentially, winning depended on whether the cover allotted held any birds since the puppy stake seemed to be a matter of simply locating them. Too bad if the dog didn’t get good cover. I almost turned around to demand an explanation from the judges and the organizer of the trial, but for once I kept my mouth shut.