The history, significance and future of ruffed grouse in the Catskills.
A sense of loss is wedded to hunting. When we’re in the woods, we fight the inevitable passing of time like characters in a tragedy whose ending is assured. Though it’s not the reason why we hunt, death is the logical conclusion of the enterprise, and a tinge of mourning follows the balletic descent of a shot grouse. Our beloved bird dogs barrel through the brush, and we smile, but we know they only have so many seasons in their short lives, and we want to hold on to those moments we share with them. We also develop an attachment to grouse habitat itself. Will birds still be here next year, or will the woods have aged just enough to crowd them out? Will parcelization decrease the integrity of the remaining habitat?[Read more…] about Ruffed Grouse in the Catskills, Then and Now