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Hunting to me means bird hunting; specifically Ruffed Grouse or, as the locals call them, “pats”, short for partridge. The Ruffed Grouse is one of the hardest birds to hunt, primarily due to the habitat they live in and the speed at which they fly. If you can’t see the dog on point, that’s just about right. Woodcock live there too, and are much more forgiving to a young dog, holding point even with a dog nose a half foot away. But once they flush, don’t hesitate. If you wait for an open shot you could be waiting all day. Each grouse casts its spell on you, and certain coverts are remembered, not for the number of flushes but for the accomplishment of taking one of the greatest gamebirds in the most difficult of conditions. Some may disagree, but a good day pat hunting is better than just about anything else I can imagine. Combine the damp musty smells of an October morning with a slow working English Setter and a light double gun make for a very pleasant day indeed!
The Pigeon River Country By Jim Hanus
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