Woodcock Rising, an eloquently simple phrase that depicts imagery in one’s mind. The image could be an alder-strewn creek bottom in the Northeast, young growth popple in the upper Midwest, the ew Jersey Cape or Louisiana lowlands. The common denominator in all of these mental images is habitat. Woodcock Rising is also the eloquently simple title of Steve Smith’s new book, published by Wilderness Adventures Press, Inc., Belgrade Montana. As a sporting author, Steve Smith needs no introduction. His track record of writing and editing wingshooting books and articles stands alone. With the release of Woodcock Rising he has raised even his own standard. In the realm of wingshooting books, there typically are two styles: lyrical and how to. It seems every book penned is in one or the other voice. In Woodcock Rising, the author has blended both formats into a unified voice that provides not only biological and technical data, but the practical wisdom and experience from years of hunting this mystical bird. He writes in an authoritative tone, while not being the loud know-it-all that we’ve all met at the gun club. Yet his passages flow as if you were joining him for a mid-winter cocktail to reminiscence of seasons past. I found this tone thoroughly enjoyable. I am not alone in this view. John B. Eichinger, president and CEO of RGS & AWS who wrote the foreword, said: ‘Steve’s lighthearted writing style is entertaining, but don’t deceive yourself into thinking that’s all this book has to offer. It’s packed full of valuable information that will make it a book to be read over and over again.’ As in most books of this sort, the author has included chapters on dogs, guns, recipes and such. These chapters are strong and full of sound advice, a culmination of experience, from hours traipsing coverts. These views may not be accepted by many as gospel, but they are certainly valid and should be pondered without kennel blindness. With that stated, the biological-based chapters regarding the bird itself, habitat and its migration must also be mentioned. Whether you are a seasoned woodcock hunter or just joining the ranks, these chapters will enhance your next day in the field. The chapter titled Woodcock Flights provides insight not only to woodcock migration, but the current GPS research that is being utilized – research that will certainly help with woodcock habitat projects along the migration path. Adorning the pages of Woodcock Rising are illustrations by the author’s son, Christopher Smith. When Wilderness Adventures Press chose this artist, they did so due to talent, not nepotism. Chris’s original line drawings enhance his father’s words, in a firm, yet subtle fashion – sketches that resonate crispness, yet are soft, so not to overpower the readers eye – illustrations that exhibit an old-school hand in a digital age. Woodcock Rising is simply, a well written treatise, regarding an eloquent bird.