By Mark Parman

''There are forms 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 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 during the altering bushes and foliage, thrills to the unexpected flush of thrashing wings, and holds a chicken in hand, grateful for the meal it is going to supply. 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, flora and fauna paintings, 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

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He slashed right and left, cutting through the cover, head high, tail flowing behind, ears flapping. At one point he cut his tongue on blackberries, and blood streamed down his dangling tongue and onto his black and white chest. The judges called time-out and asked if I wanted to keep going. I squirted water into Ox’s mouth and released him, and he bolted off into the cover. Ox didn’t know the meaning of quit. He responded to my commands, worked right and left. Surely he would find birds. But then doubts started to creep in as the minutes ticked away.

The fittest birds, in the Darwinian sense, flush well before the dog and I ever get near. I hear many wild flushes, but I imagine more birds sneak away undetected, running away on their strong legs, although with a good dog the chances of this happening lessen considerably. ” The old, wise ones know this, which is why they rely on their feet and not their wings. When flushed, grouse seem to have the uncanny ability to put obstacles between their flight and the hunter. Although this undoubtedly happens simply because grouse habitat is The Bird 19 so thickly wooded, it seems as though they deliberately do so.

Ornithologists know the ruffed grouse as Bonasa umbellus. ” At first thought naming a one-pound woodland bird after a half-ton prairie quadruped seems odd but maybe not if we think of a buffalo’s hooves pounding across a dry wash in Kansas, a thundering of hooves similar to the lovesick male’s thundering of wings. After all, thunder and drumming are both sonic booms, vacuums created by lightning and feathers. Little Thunderer, we could call our grouse. I 15 Early Season 16 Umbellus refers to the bird’s umbrella, the conspicuous ruff of feathers at the base of the neck, raised when grouse are mad, aroused, or spooked.

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