Hunting on Tamarack Road

Posted by Joel Schnell on Mar 11, 2020 in hunting | No Comments

By Joel Schnell

for Ruffed Grouse Minnesota

I can still smell it. 

The grouse woods, damp and cool. At times colorful, but mostly drab and quiet. It’s just Levi and me, prowling for woodcock and grouse. Past prime time, but before deer hunting, is the moment.

That old white pine stump in the photo above, I’ve been watching it for ten years. Nice to see a youngster fir take root. That stump has seen a lot of ruffed grouse around it, some of them falling to my gun.

A hush in the pines, mossy and wet. Like we stumbled upon a lost and ancient land. Black spruce and tamarack are like sentinels to another world.

Tamaracks in the sun. Anything more vibrant? It’s like they emit light of their own. A window of color that doesn’t last long. Take a moment when you find them.

When the tamarack needles fall, it becomes a carpet. A road to grouse land, paved with great promise. Levi is fierce on the hunt. No time to mess around, there is big business ahead. It’s November in the Northwoods, where would you rather be?

At the end of the day, Levi finds the spot, between the hot wood stove and my drying boots. He’s earned a break. Soak it up, buddy. Tomorrow we hunt again.

A few grouse feathers to decorate the sun visor. Something to take home. Brings a smile to my face every time.

By Joel Schnell

Posted March 11, 2020.

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