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by Joe Scott

As soon as the morning air gets crisp & the leaves begin to change it becomes time to leave all other priorities behind. It becomes a time when more time is spent with the dogs in the grouse woods of northern Wisconsin, the pheasant fields of South Dakota, or duck blind tucked away in the marsh than there is at home.


For three seasons out of the year we go about our business just like anyone else – a blue collar, 9 to 5 job (if we’re lucky enough to only work those hours) with barbecues on the weekends with family. But as hunting season starts to creep closer & closer the over/under Browning Citori’s get cracked open for an inspection & our upland vests get loaded up with 8 shot.

After all, in just a few short weeks there will be lead pouring from these barrels chasing a thunderous grouse or a whistling woodcock.


There aren’t any alarms needed here – the dogs won’t let us lay in bed long enough to hear them. As soon as that sun even hints at shedding light over the horizon, the bird dogs start whining, doing laps around the house, and jumping on the bed to wake us up. It’s time to get up and chase some birds!


There just isn’t anything quite the same as filling up that mug of coffee, throwing on the brush pants, and lacing up that old beat up pair of boots that are perfectly broken in on a brisk morning. Stepping out onto the frost-covered deck of the log cabin that we built with our own two hands & looking over the lake as we pile into the truck with the dogs brings back that feeling of deja vu, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.


After bouncing around the truck for the 15 minutes down an old logging road, we’re finally there. We’ve arrived at our favorite patch of grouse woods. Logged off in different sections over the past 9 years, this spot isn’t easy to get to but you know it will all be worth it in the end. We pile out of the truck with the dogs, crack open the over/under, throw a couple 8-shot shells in, and head after the dogs in search of our first grouse of the season.

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