We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
These are just some of the places we've been to or heard about first-hand. Here's a good source for Maine outfitters.
Photo: A cabin at Bosebuck, where the only heat is your wood stove and your dog, the bunks are lumpy, the Canada Jays steal the dog kibbles of a slow eater, and where the locals cruise the dirt roads and shoot the partidges along the road from their pick-ups, while the sports in their expensive attire bust the brush with their dogs. Grouse huntin' ain't shopping. It's a rare occasion when I've limited out at 4 birds in an 8-hour, leg-testing day in the woods and marsh edges (think 8 hours of singles tennis in mud, bogs, raspberry brambles and cage-like alder thickets). It's a work-out. At some point, you start wondering how long it is to cocktail hour. The Woodcock keep it interesting and varied. It's a 20 ga. sport, or even 28 ga.
Hunting grouse is wonderfully difficult, challenging, and frustrating - but you get to spend time in the wild woods with dogs and pals and guns, smoking at will and accumulating precious memories to re-live in your old age.
Out here it's Ruffed Grouse. It's my favorite hunting. I have always used a 20 guage though I am going to buy a 28. That tamarack trees in the fall, the leaves, oh my...In my best year, I actually shot a triple, all on the wing, and it wasn't luck(I maintain). One to the left, one to the right, then one to the left going back. I'd take a backpack, some sandwiches, even a little wine. And I had a perfect Brittany Spaniel, who would do anything I wanted, with a simple hand signal. What good times. And what good eating too.
I like the 28 very much, as well - ballistically efficient, according to the sages who made them around here at Remington, Winchester, Mossberg, etc.
However, while helping out in my friend's sporting goods store, a sweet SxS 16 ga. Sauer/Ambercrombie walked in one day, and left with me the same day! It is a natural pointer, and it's all I use for grouse. It's the only gauge I don't reload for, and I should start.
Here in PA - hunting grouse is mostly taking your gun for a nice walk in the woods. Then all of a sudden there is a woosh and it scares the heck out of me and I'm a half second slow with my nice light Ithica 20 side by side.
Beer is good at the truck at the end of the day though. Right now I am thinking of a Founders Red Rye PA - one of my new favorites
All lovely destinations, luckily not mine .... I suspect aside from the characteristics attributed to the grouse hunter above, one must also include "tight lipped" and "protective" of ones covers and haunts.
Speaking of which, just back from a wonderful week "Up There"