It’s funny how some things are just so timely. Catie and I had moved to Colorado this summer and we quickly found ourselves immersed in a different topography, surrounded by different critters, and somewhat baffled by the hunting situation in our new state. Scrolling through Instagram one day I saw one of the many upland personalities I followed online, Andrew Wayment, had authored a book on one of my favorite and self deprecating of hobbies, hunting ruffed grouse. He was based in Idaho, and in the grand scheme of western distances, it wasn’t that terribly far away from Colorado. I’ve since come to know that his brother Shawn has a veterinary practice right down the road from us!
I hadn’t even updated the addresses in my address in Amazon yet and I quickly cut an order for Andrew’s book, not sure at the time what would be in store for me. I loved all manner of grouse books, but was only beginning my collection with a Burton Spiller book, More Grouse Feathers, and some more instructional texts from Dennis Walrod (Grouse Hunter’s Guide).
Andrew’s book, Idaho Ruffed Grouse Hunting: The Heartbeat of the Woods is a great collection of short stories that makes the reader feel like he’s hunting right beside Andy over Misty and Sunny through the years. In it’s thirty six short chapters there is something to appeal to every hunter. Stories of solitary hunting, a man bonding with his bird dogs, the social hunter — when Andy brings his friends and their children along, or one of my favorites when he discovers new coverts “Easy Picken’s and Butt Kicken’s”. I too have had my butt kicked by a number of grouse coverts.
I found myself taking notes while I read along, keeping track of other grouse books to pick up. He effortlessly weaves in quotes and ideas from other authors into his own. Looking at the Bibliography is enough to show this well read grouse hunter knows his stuff.
It’s a quick read and the short chapters read as independent stories that weave together into Andy’s lifetime of hunting. I found it easy to pick up the book and read a few chapters before bed or in the morning as I mulled over where to go chase dusky grouse before finishing my pot of coffee. As someone who has pored over maps looking for something like Tinkhamtown, and having recently read a reprint of the Field and Stream article, that chapter holds a special place in my heart.
I highly recommend the book, adding it to your no doubt growing collection of upland hunting books. This will surely become a classic in your library and likely will turn you on to additional brushworn authors. Get it from Amazon.com or from Andy’s site. If you choose amazon, consider using smile.amazon.com and selecting Ruffed Grouse Society as your charity of choice.