Partridge Hunting


Partridge Hunting – 12 Partridge in a Squirrelly Tree

l had to share this next story, because it was like that age old question “Which came first the chicken or the egg”.. We all have had that argument right or thoughts on it. As my Pops would say, had to be the chicken or would be no egg. That’s his story and well he is sticking to it.In this particular hunting story, the logic of what to do was discussed, before the event took place. Partridge or ruffed grouse, whatever you would like to call them, were very plentiful when I was a kid growing up, ruffed grouse liked to be in numbers,social critters, and man when they took off, your heart did that pitter patter, scared the bejeepers out of you.

There was nothing better than a good feed of these critters, and when Pops said hey boys want to go hunting, he did not have to ask twice..We would hound the heck out of him until we left , if we even thought he was going to try and back out/ we pestered him even more….Now on this particular day, in Smithers ,Bc, the sun was shining, the perfect day for a hunt.So we loaded up the 22’s and off we went. As we were taught, we headed for their habitat, berry bushes/ swampy areas, in the morning, gravel roadways early afternoon, into the evening.They liked to eat that clover, berries, and then wash it down with good old gravel soup.Their tonic for digestive purposes.

Every so often, we would be getting close and they would explode, before we could get a shot, it was just the way it was. Now as the morning progressed, we had come close, but no cigar just yet.Pops suggested that we get into a little thicker thicket, and that is when he spotted a nice old squirrell tree. The grouse had been exploding from the swampy areas and were heading into the cover of these trees . A squirrell tree, is just that a home to the little chatter boxes, and they let you know it when you were in their home. Also very thick, and hard to access, which is why these birds, loved it in there.

Pops said after seeing something in this particular squirrell tree, okay squirrell boys in to get them we go, Ken, Braden and I just looked at him with a puzzled  look..What had he seen , that our eyes had missed. Pops also said, “I will be doing the shooting, not to be unfair to you, but I will ask you each a question”..”If you saw six grouse on a top  branch, and another six on a bottom branch..which ones would you shoot first?. We all laughed, right Pops, are you kidding with us.”.Answer the question he said again”.I looked at my two brothers and thought, is this another one of his infamous..jokes..

Now, we really had to think, and well the discussion lasted for all of twenty seconds.”.too long he said, watch and learn and please be very quiet..I need the 22 with the scope”..what in sam hell was he up too we were thinking.. So we followed, and you could hear a pin drop. Then he went down into his famous crouches, and when he put the gun up, we could not believe our eyes, six grouse  on the top branch  six on the bottom branch.. Class of 12 dummies 101.. had to be all from the same family..You could just see my pops licking his chops . Then we were really thinking, what is he going to do ?.As he was always so fast on his feet, he made his decision, and we watched, as he picked each and every one off one by one. Talk about birds with no loyalty to their own siblings…

Okay my fine feathered reader friends, what did he do ? Concentrate on the top row first or the bottom row first? Makes you wonder what you would do right ? Now I am going to keep you thinking for awhile, in suspense. He did get all twelve birds, and you have to ask yourself, why they did not spook, as we did .Pops laughed and said “well boys we are going to be eating well tonight , your mom will be some happy, with seven mouths to feed, that will make a nice supper”. Then we started to think of the mashed potatoes, and moms gravy, groovy gravy she called it, a secret recipe, and carrots ,and fresh baked buns. .hmm hell with the hunting.

So we cleaned up the birds, had a drink of pop and headed home. Still got you thinking about what you would do right?. It is very simple folks.. Well at least when he told us his logic it made perfect sense, and well he did get all twelve, so how could we argue right? In the car he said this, if I had of taken the ones on the top first, the ones on the bottom would  have seen their fine feathered friends falling  right before their very eyes? Then they would have taken off, and well, we would not have gotten them all. So I concentrated on the bottom six first, no spectators to was the only logical choice.

Man is Pops ever smart we thought, and well those birds not the sharpest bunch in the drawer.
Home we went with the harvest, and the story went around the table time and time again.Mom and our sisters, just thought this was great, and we told our friends and they told their friends, and I am telling you… more friends..and you know how this ends… the true tail from the Squirrell’s nest…