A look into the Winter 2019 Issue of Project Upland Magazine.
As I write this, the foot of snow which recently covered my yard has already melted away. But that doesn’t mean that winter is over, in fact it hasn’t even officially begun and that first real snowfall certainly put me in the winter spirit.
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Here at Project Upland, winter kicks off when the Winter issue of the magazine hits your mailbox. Here’s a sampling of just some of the great stories this issue has in store:
The Flushers March
Author and filmmaker Adam Regier gives readers a behind the scenes look at the Project Upland original film Flushing Grouse in this article. Adam joins brothers Fritz and Ric Heller and their flushers as they search for ruffed grouse in Traverse City, Michigan. It was an eye-opening experience for Adam, as he’d never hunted behind flushers before, and it is one he’ll always remember.
“At the end of the day, there’s a multitude of people, including Fritz and Ric, who are embarking on the ‘Flushers march’ as I like to think of it. The happiness of those folks, and the legacies of their dogs, have and will continue to leave their marks on the grouse hunting world for years to come, and that can never be overlooked.”
The Birds are Here
In this piece, author Stefan Grow discusses life with a pointer in the south sharing early mornings, bobwhite quail hunts and couches.
“Although perhaps becoming more common in the South, having a bird dog in the house is pretty rare — let alone a pointer. In fact, I can think of only one other person this side of the Mason-Dixon Line who keeps a pointer in the house… Despite their status as the bird dog to hunt the bobwhite quail, the pointer remains and odd paradox caught somewhere between being a king that adorns cypress panelled walls in the form of ornate oil paintings and merely a tool relegated to commercial kennel life and boot camp-like training regimes. Yet my pointer, Hugo, is probably the best house I have ever had — and rather good at finding the birds whose entire existence in the South appears to be in question.”
Portraits of Pheasants and Ice
“Today, as an adult, the experience with them is enjoyed at a level that only upland hunters would understand. Most who take the field in pursuit of pheasants would probably say hunting is not about them shooting a bird, but instead watching their dog work.”
All Wild – Hunting Arizona with Pat Flanagan
Managing Partner of Business Affairs at Northwoods Collective, and author, Chet Hervey takes a deep dive into the world of Pat Flanagan, proprietor/guide/chief bottle washer of Border to Border Outfitters. Pat lives and breathes for wild birds and expansive spaces. When he’s not guiding, he’s out hunting on his own.
Watch Pat’s Film: All Wild – An Arizona Quail Hunting Film
“When I was thinking of the theme for this article, the word zealot kept popping up in my mind. While the term is typically applied to religious folks, I wouldn’t describe Pat’s devotion as very much less than a religious commitment to his craft, both as a guide and as a hunter. He has spent countless miles driving from spot to spot to scout new opportunities for his clients and countless more hours poking around on his onX Hunt app scouring every nook and cranny of southern Arizona for new covers.”
A Camp of Women, Guns, and Dogs
Author Nancy Anisfield discusses the history and tales from the annual Bitch Hunt that’s been going strong in Maine for more than 25 years.
“A few basic elements are integral to our personal use of the term. We “Bitches” are passionate about our bird dogs, we are serious about hunting ruffed grouse and woodcock, we train our own dogs, and we know the five days each year we come together to hunt the big Maine woods without our spouses, partners, and kids are some of the most special days of autumn.”
The In-Between Bird
In this article, author Matt Breuer discusses the past, present, and future of sharp-tailed grouse in the Midwest.
“While my love for sharpies may surpass my love for hunting them, I still enjoy walking behind my bird dog — watching him bob and weave from willow patch to willow patch, hitting every blade of grass in between… When I miss, I tell myself that I’m doing it on purpose just to hear them chuckle as they fly away. Who knows, maybe I do. Regardless, that chuckling sound is one of my favorite sounds in nature.”
The Father of Woodcock – The Edmund Davis Story
Author Jay Dowd takes a historical look at the life and times of Edmund Davis, author of the 1908 book Woodcock Shooting.
“Edmund Davis’ Woodcock Shooting sheds light on a time when sport hunting and conservation in North America were in their relative infancy. For those of us who wax romantic about the golden age of North American wingshooting and have kindled a fondness for ‘the little russet feller,’ his book is a true treasure.”
Know When to Quit Roosters
Anthony Hauck regales readers with a tale about a late season hunt that turns icy and proves that pheasant hunters are insatiable for better or for worse.
“The first order of business is to get back across, but in my furor, I decide to leapfrog it. I expect to get a little wet, but not up to my waist. My core temp has joined my hopes in fading, set against a mounting backdrop of questionable decisions. Sopping, I reach the mark.”
This Old Good Dog
To author Dave White, his dog Bokeh is more than his best dog. In this article, Dave shares tales about his 12-year-old hunting companion, the hunts, the field trials, and the memories.
“Although he is still strong, I can see fatigue and a bit of wobble in his rear legs. The strength is seeping away. His dynamic speed is now just a memory. The hearing is all but gone and his eyes have lost some luster. Sometimes I look at him and I feel my heart draining down because of what I know. All too soon, time will call in its due on this old dog. And I’m not ready.”
Passion for the Uplands
In this profile piece by managing editor Rachelle Blair-Frasier, self-proclaimed adult onset hunter Marissa Jensen proves it’s never too late to fall in love with upland hunting. Here she discusses how she got into upland hunting, the challenges, the joys, and how it has changed the course of her life and career. Learn more about Marissa in the original Project Upland film Never Too Late.
“Upland hunting is life altering. I spend any possible free moment out there, even if it is only got an hour or 30 minutes, I’m out there. It seems I am definitely trying to make up for my lack of years with time on the ground every season.”
Looking Ahead to the Spring 2020 Issue
The holiday lights are barely up outside houses and the ball is still a ways off from dropping at Times Square, but we are already planning for the Spring 2020 issue of Project Upland. Kicking off the second volume of Project Upland will be a focus on hunting grouse — of all varieties from ruffed to ptarmigan to sooty — all on public lands. This the official issue of the upcoming 1 hour feature film #PublicGrouse in collaboration with Backcountry Hunters and Angler and presented by OnX Hunt, and in association with Eukanuba Sporting Dog.
Some highlights to look forward to in spring include a look at hunting Southern Appalachian grouse by author Durrell Smith, a look into an early season hunt searching for ptarmigan and duskys in Utah by managing editor Rachelle Blair-Frasier, and chasing spring sooty grouse in Alaska by author Grace Lee.
That’s just a taste of what’s to come in the Spring 2020 issue of Project Upland. Stay tuned!
Rachelle Blair-Frasier is a Michigan native, bird dog enthusiast, and Managing Editor of Project Upland Magazine.