Grouse Country takes you there, around, before and after the hunt. It lets you relish the sport alongside the fire, clean your gun, remember good dogs, enjoy more the many images on your walls, in literature, and your minds. Art tells his real-life stories about events, people, birds, dogs, and places, having lived all of them. A hunter talking to another hunter.
This book is not “how to”, you know about that. It recalls many fond memories of friends, and times, along a lifelong trail. For he remembers less about the birds that unluckily ran into his shot pattern, but more about his many companions, the moods, the thought provoking lasting treasury of times afield and the deeper appreciation he has for the sport. The rich tradition, the terms by which we choose to pursue birds and a reverence for it all, a sport of kings.
His stories of the “Old Pats Society,” that’s Partridge or “Pat’ridge” as they say in Maine, will bring to mind some of your own like adventures. The real beginning of the “Old Pats Society”—how it derived its name and the over forty years of hunts together that has left a treasure trove of memories, of endless stories told and retold, getting better each year—is discovered. Kindred spirits, grouse and woodcock gunners, who enjoy each other, razz each other, scam each other, trade and love their guns, had and have good dogs, poor dogs and “pot lickers,” have made great shots and missed many, have little concern for filling a bag, but at the end of the day come to smell wood smoke back at camp, partake of spirits, and dine together.