by Randy Lawrence
I loaded the dogs and left Ohio early on a Sunday the week before Christmas. An unabashed sentimentalist, I kept punching up stations playing holiday music all the way ‘til the only two channels the truck radio could fetch were mariachi music and a Top-40 megawatt blowtorch from somewhere in Canada. I was almost to the motel reservation on the edge of a small town on the northern plains before I ran out of tunes.
Aspenglow DawnBut Dawn had them, a pack of grouse burrowed in the snow. The first bird flushed in a spray of white before tumbling to Nancy’s 20-gauge, the shot a hollow pop in the hard blow. But that was all the rest of the pack would take. The snow all around Dawn erupted into chuckling, clucking sharptails, silver shapes launching as singles and pairs before three lay birds flushed almost under the dog’s nose.