To this day, some of my best memories in the upland woods come from hunting with those there for nothing more than the fun and camaraderie that came with a fall day in the grouse woods.
As I am now peering on the dawn of my 20th season in the grouse woods, I have a great deal on which to look back and be thankful. I didn’t grow up in a hunting family. I did have the fortune of being raised with trips to the family farm which fostered my appreciation for the great outdoors. Once I was old enough to take the hunters safety course, I took it upon myself to find friends and others to enable my time in the woods. Heck, I didn’t see my first grouse till I was 15 years old, and even then, I wasn’t entirely sure at what I had shot. I was out alone squirrel hunting, and when the bird flushed, I instinctively mounted my Mossberg 500 20-gauge pump and pulled the trigger. The bird hadn’t flown too far, and somehow I connected. I had seen pictures, but at the time, it was just one more animal to fill the day’s bag. I had no real appreciation for the what, when and where finesse of chasing ol’ ruff.[Read more…] about Why We Hunt, with Member Dave Veldman