Check out our latest bird hunting audio books from classic upland authors and writers.
Hidden away on dusty bookshelves, in forgotten camps, and in other places where the relics of our past go to be forgotten is a collection of upland hunting books that set the foundations of modern wingshooting. While some of these books are more than a hundred years old, not much about bird hunting over a dog has changed since the modern shotgun was invented in the 19th century. And while much of our everyday lives have changed, the very birds that evaded our predecessors are still the same ones we pursue today. It is important to link ourselves to this past, to understand where we came from, and to grasp the idea that although not all things have changed, some have.
The way we consume our media represents both a technological and cultural change. Sitting fireside in the evening and reading a book is a luxury that not all can afford today. Just like radio has evolved into podcast, ready to be consumed with ease, so have books evolved into forms like that of Amazon Audible.
Project Upland decided that we have a responsibility to those who came before us to adapt their words into modern form, both to carry on their legacy and to preserve their knowledge. For the past couple of years, we have worked to bring some of the most important upland classics to life in audio book format. This provides many new ways to consume these upland classics with ease. Have a lot of windshield time on your next hunting adventure or work trip? Want to hear stories around campfires from some hunting icons? These audio books give flexibility to enjoy our history in a modern format.
We have multiple ongoing productions and will keep this list updated as we go, so check back once in a while to see our latest audio releases.
The Upland Shooting Life by George Bird Evans
Published in 1971
George Bird Evans is a man to whom upland shooting had been a way of life for over 60 years, and his book is both a creed for shooters and a fascinating sharing of the experiences of a true specialist. It is not a book for meat hunters (although possession of the game means as much to the author as to the next man), rather it is a book, half “how-to,” half anecdotal and philosophical, that reveals in rich and intimate detail the unity that makes upland shooting that triad of bird-dog-gun in which no part is complete without the others.
George Evans has gunned bobwhites, shoots that gaudy foreigner, the ringneck pheasant, tries his skill with the turkey gobbler, but mostly he and his Old Hemlock setters (he breeds a now distinguished line) haunt the old hill-farm fields grown to briars, the hemlock and rhododendron thickets, and the alder swamps in his Allegheny country for grouse and woodcock.
The coverts described in this book are the real coverts gunned in; the comments as to the effects of weather, food conditions, and flight behavior are based on a gun diary kept in scrupulous detail since 1932. And while the book is mellow with the character of men who shoot, it is also incisive with original opinions and rich advice. The chapter on wing shooting and the section on gun fit, to take but two examples, are crammed with instructive suggestions for the shooter who is taking his first gun afield, as well as for the man who has shot long enough to have encountered all the problems. The dogs, whose work is described so engagingly in this book, are actual gun dogs that were bred, trained, worried over, and gloried in by the author. And the guns, old friends of the author’s, almost become characters in the story.
The Upland Shooting Life will be enjoyed by a grateful audience of listeners and shooters for many years to come-and without question read more than once, now to share vicariously the author’s experiences, now to glean from this rich lore tips on why one misses a straightaway grouse in the pines or stands sometimes goggle-eyed, with mouth agape, when the timberdoodle offers him an open shot. Advice on loads, shot size, gun types-indeed on every aspect of upland shooting informs every episode and enriches every chapter. George Evans is an upland shooter’s shooter and a writer for every man who goes afield with the scatter gun.
New England Grouse Shooting by William Harnden Foster
Published in 1942
Download on Audible: New England Grouse Shooting
William Harnden Foster is considered by many to be the father of modern ruffed grouse hunting. This iconic classic upland book, New England Grouse Shooting, is both a historical look at ruffed grouse hunting, habitat, and culture as well as a how-to that still has practical application for the modern grouse hunter no matter which part of the country they hail from. Among many things, Foster was a famous artist whose work has been seen all over the world. He created much of the iconic artwork of the Parker shotgun brand. Foster served as an editor for the forgotten Boston publication National Sportsman as well as popularized skeet shooting, a sport he created with a fellow grouse hunter.
New England Grouse Shooting takes us from the market shooting days to the introduction of modern hunting rules and regulations and the transition into the now-famous breeds of ruffed grouse hunting like the English Setter and Pointer. His concepts of the perfect grouse gun are still applicable today. And while we may have more modern dog crates and boots, the methods used for successful hunting and shooting ruffed grouse are very relevant today.
Woodcock Shooting by Edmund Davis
Published in 1908
Download on Audible: Woodcock Shooting
The American woodcock has captured many younger and newer hunters’ hearts and minds in recent years. But the embracing of hunting American woodcock over a pointing dog was first declared in writing by Edmund Davis, a Rhode Island business man that would venture into northern New England and southern Canada to pursue these unusual birds. His only known writing on the topic was Woodcock Shooting, written in 1908
Edmund Davis is the O.G. of woodcock hunting that pioneered some of the very methods we use today by preserving them in words. From gear, shotguns and loads, and even dogs, Davis explores practical techniques that remain relevant today. It also serves as a very unique look at a different time in the world of the American woodcock.
Davis, a world-renowned salmon fisherman, met his death in June of 1908. His death was surrounded by mysterious circumstances that have speculated from “an accident cleaning his shotgun” to murder by his son. Research has shown that Davis most likely was clinically sick at the time, leaving many people to speculate that he committed suicide to end his suffering. In fact, some of the very famous words published in Woodcock Shooting only months before were, “Is not the instant killing a more merciful end than that of starvation or through the misery of old age?”
The Setter by Edward Laverack
Published in 1872
Download on Audible: The Setter
The English Setter is without a doubt one of the most popular pointing dogs for the modern wingshooter in American culture. Its history starts in the United Kingdom well before Americans would get their hands on this iconic breed. Laverack is one of the founding fathers of the breed and this book explores a cast of characters and names one would still recognize today, such as Llewellin. This book dives into many breeds that make up the larger setter population like the Gordon, Irish, and English. Laverack explores the relevant trials and kennels of the day including an inside look at the ideals that carried on this iconic breed.
A.J. DeRosa founded Project Upland in 2014 as an excuse to go hunting more often (and it worked). A New England native, he grew up hunting and has spent over 35 years in pursuit of big and small game species across three continents. He has a passion for side-by-side shotguns, inspiring him to travel the world to meet the people and places from which they come. Looking to turn his passion into inspiration for others, AJ was first published in 2004 and went on to write his first book The Urban Deer Complex in 2014. He soon discovered a love for filmmaking, particularly the challenge of capturing ruffed grouse with a camera, which led to the award-winning Project Upland film series. AJ's love for all things wild has caused him to advocate on the federal and state levels to promote and expand conservation policy, habitat funding, and upland game bird awareness. He currently serves as the Strafford County New Hampshire Fish & Game Commissioner in order to give back to his community and to further the mission of the agency. When those hunting excuses are in play, you can find him wandering behind his Wirehaired Pointing Griffon in the mountains of New England and anywhere else the birds take them.