column By: John C. Gosselin | November, 17
The other afternoon, some gusty winds and moderate rain made my dogs and me seek shelter from the pheasant fields. Back home, I hopped onto my computer, and I found a “quiz” of sorts that supposedly determines where you should live based on the choices you make between images they show you.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that none of the suggested places for me to live included large cities or crowds of people. They didn’t offer a lot of cultural events, and they weren’t within an hour’s drive of major metropolitan areas. But each place did offer easy and nearby access to public lands that offer good to great upland bird hunting. Birds and places to hunt them. What else could a person want?
And that got me to thinking of different bird hunting “scenes” I’ve experienced in my life: ruffed grouse and woodcock in the Maine woods, desert quail in the Southwest, battalions of pheasants flying over some CRP land in South Dakota.
If you’re like me, the thinking about the places we hunt is as important a memory of our hunts as the dog work and availability of birds are.
That’s why we are pleased to be offering you, the readers of The Upland Almanac, a new “occasional” feature, “Hunting Grounds.” This is a single-page feature, one that challenges a writer to give a descriptive feel for a place in less than 100 words and has an artist create an image to match up with the writing.
For this inaugural “Hunting Grounds,” UA’s contributing artist Glenn Wolff worked his usual magic on words supplied by well-known writer Tom Huggler. Anyone who has read much of Tom’s stuff knows that his favorite game bird is the American woodcock, and this brief essay describes one of his favorite coverts for hunting them.
Speaking of Tom Huggler, please join me and the rest of The Upland Almanac staff in congratulating him. The Michigan Outdoor Writers Association (MOWA) recently established the Michigan Outdoors Hall of Fame, meant to recognize and honor individuals and companies for their efforts in promoting and encouraging participation in Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities. Tom is part of the inaugural class of inductees.
And speaking of honors, please join me in congratulating a pair of regular contributors to the magazine. Among the prizes Jodi Stemler won in the 2017 “Excellence in Craft Contests” from the Outdoor Writers Association of America is a First Place in the “Gear/Technical” category of the “Magazine/Ezine” division. Her “Beyond Shrinking and Pinking,” a look at how manufacturers are starting to pay more attention to designing gear for women, appeared in the Autumn 2016 issue of this magazine.
Also, Editor Tom Carney took a First Place in the “Consumptive Activities” category, Magazine division, in MOWA’s 2017 craft awards. His “Caps Up, Collars Charged,” about a traditional Georgia quail hunt at Sinkola Plantation, appeared in the Winter 2016 issue.
Kudos to Tom, Jodi and Tom.