By Mark Parman
''There are types of searching: traditional looking, and ruffed-grouse hunting.''—Aldo Leopold, from A Sand County Almanac
Like that past grouse hunter Aldo Leopold, Mark Parman takes to the woods whilst the aspens are smoky gold. the following, 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 throughout the altering bushes and foliage, thrills to the unexpected flush of thrashing wings, and holds a chicken in hand, grateful for the meal it's going to offer. Distilling twenty seasons of grouse searching into those essays, he writes of previous 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 a watch for greater than simply game.
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Extra resources for A Grouse Hunter's Almanac: The Other Kind of Hunting
After ﬂushing the bird and following its ﬂight, I hugged him. He wanted to hunt some more and didn’t seem all that thrilled about the hug, but we turned around and headed for the truck. That was enough for that day, another story for the coming years. We did hold off getting a pup until after Gunnar died. His last autumn he seemed to get older by the day. His hips didn’t want to work in the morning when he got up, so I would grab his collar to help him down the stairs. He needed to go outside much more often, sometimes in the middle of the night, but he deserved all the comfort and care we could give.
His last autumn he seemed to get older by the day. His hips didn’t want to work in the morning when he got up, so I would grab his collar to help him down the stairs. He needed to go outside much more often, sometimes in the middle of the night, but he deserved all the comfort and care we could give. In late October, when he could no longer lift himself off his dog pad and shook from the pain of his cancer, we Early Season 32 said good-bye and put him down. I remember the awful beauty of that late October day, a few white clouds drifting in the blue sky and Gunnar’s head just visible over the seat, looking as if he were setting off on a hunt.
Some human intervention, particularly small-scale logging, actually increases their numbers, and wildlife biologists claim the state has more grouse now than it did two hundred years ago when virgin pine dominated the north woods. Aspen regenerated where much of the virgin white pine stood, creating ideal grouse habitat, although, as Wisconsin’s paper industry The Bird 21 continues to contract and the demand for popple shrinks correspondingly, Wisconsin grouse numbers might tumble as well. Neither farm country nor virgin timber offers the cover and food sources grouse need, the birds thriving along the edges of forests we create.