Book Review: Idaho Ruffed Grouse Hunting

For those upland hunters residing in Montana, Idaho or even Alaska, the book titled Idaho Ruffed Grouse Hunting: The Heartbeat of the Woods, wouldn’t cause much consternation. But, for those died-in-the-wool partridge hunters from the classis New England grouse woods, it might provoke some curiosity or even doubt.  Idaho? Ruffs?  The Potato State? Really? Can’t be.

Yes, there are ruffed grouse west of the Great Lakes states. And the author is just the authority that can attest to their presence in the stunning Idaho foothills.

If you spend any time perusing upland wingshooting accounts on social media, especially during the autumn months, you will undoubtedly bump into the Wayment Brothers. (Not the Wayans brothers from Hollywood. Not sure they own bird dogs) Shawn (@birddogdoc) and Andrew (@andywayment) are avid bird hunters who hail from Idaho.  Their passion for bird dogs, shotguns and the birds they chase is profound and is definitely helping to keep the legacy of bird hunting alive in the digital era.

Andy’s recently published book, Idaho Ruffed Grouse Hunting has filled a void that has existed since hunters have walked with dog and scattergun, hoping for that explosive wingbeat from the thick cover ruffs so often seek. Wayment’s best attribute is describing his home coverts with endearing monikers, perfectly describing the surroundings and the previous days enjoyed there.  Akin to a golfer that can recall that magical hole-in-one a decade earlier, Wayment vividly recollects a special day in the grouse woods where dog, bird and hunter all interacted accordingly, forever etched in memory and now in print for all of us to enjoy.

Don’t look for Wayment’s tales to include a lot of how-to or where-to-go clues.  Fittingly, it is about the days afield with favorite dogs and fortunate friends and family.  While the coverts and flora may vary from Idaho to Michigan to Vermont, the bird doesn’t. Some days they sit tight for a dog to get a bead on, others they sneak off, not offering a hope of a shot.  Wayment admits that his days afield don’t always demand limits, but instead, enjoy every bird as a trophy.  A true prize in the hand and on the table.  Idaho Ruffed Grouse Hunting is a great off-season read that brings you back to the creek bottoms and aspen groves that the author looks forward to every season, bringing him back to his past and creating excitement for the future in the western uplands.

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