November is deer season in Maine. Puck and I stay home most of the month and leave the woods to the people in orange with the anxious trigger fingers. But we’re not bitter about it. We know the best part of the bird season is on its way.
December is our favorite time to hunt grouse. As the trees tuck themselves in for the long nights and cold weeks ahead, the grouse concentrate on the shorter and shorter list of foods available to them. So when you find some food, you find plenty of birds.
Puck and I are even more alone in the woods this time of year, but we’re also more together. With the leaves down, I see more of her. I can be impressed with her leaps, wonder at what she pauses to smell, and see her turn to find me as a blow on my whistle. We have hundreds of acres all to ourselves. And the clanging of a bell, the whirl of a flush, and the rhythm of our steps to keep us company.