Sunday, July 17, 2011

Grouse build Character

Hunting for ruffed grouse is such a “New England sort of thing”.  If you grow up in New England, early on you are told that nothing is as valuable as learning to enjoy hard work with a little misery thrown in.  With those acquired tastes you are promised to succeed at any endeavor undertaken.  That is why sports like skiing (cold and risking broken bones), sailing (wet, hoisting sails, grinding winches, all with the possibility of breakfast going over the side), and hiking (blisters, rain, sore muscles, mosquitoes) are traditional New England pastimes for families with young children.  I like to think activities such as these develop our crusty stoic character, and later produce grouse hunters.
Other than hunting “partridge”, where else could you walk until your legs ache, hoping for the chance that you might get to shoot at a target that you only glimpse and will probably miss?  During this recreational stroll an assortment of brambles will claw at your legs, attempting to shred your clothes, twigs will poke at your eyes and knock off your hat, and, after chasing a lone bird in circles through a twisted thicket for hours, you possibly will become disoriented and not find your vehicle until well after dark.
Those southerners get to ride around in wagons or on horses while the dogs search for quail.  Am I jealous?  You bet. 

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