What does the grouse hunting experience mean for you?
New Hampshire ruffed grouse hunter Harry Rowell talks a little about what the experience of walking through "grouse woods" means to him. I'm guessing that Rowell's thoughts ring true to most grouse hunters. They certainly echo my feelings.
I'd venture to guess that for many of us, like Rowell, ruffed grouse and the places they hang out - be it aspen groves melting into pine and hardwood forests in the Midwest, or long-abandoned farms and overgrown orchards in the East - conjure feelings and memories of family and tradition.
Grouse hunting is also the adrenaline-fueled surprise we feel at the explosive flight of a bird, even when we're "expecting" them to burst from cover. Grouse woods are, to my mind, a curious and seductive mix of both comfort and excitement.
Rowell takes something of a philosophical and appreciative attitude towards each day he gets to hunt such woods:
"It's great if we are lucky enough to have another day in the woods. But if we didn't, at least we had today. It was pretty amazing."
'The Experience' is one in a series of short films in Project Upland, "a film initiative to help promote the future of upland bird hunting and the non-profit The Ruffed Grouse Society. Geared to not only capture the essence of the Grouse Woods, it seeks to inspire a future generation of upland bird hunters."