A Passion for Grouse


The Lore and Legend of America’s Premier Game Bird
Edited by Thomas R. Pero

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Hardcover in jacket
560 pages
ISBN 978098523608
Standard edition: $150
Limited edition: $500

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Introduction by Steve Smith

Featuring the photography of Dale C. Spartas and Timothy C. Flanigan

Independent Publisher “IPPY” Gold Medal Winner for Best Sports and Recreation Book of the Year

Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal Winner for Best Sports and Recreation Book of the Year

  • Outdoor Writers Association of America Second Place Book Award

At more than 500 pages, this exciting new title is not only the biggest book about hunting ruffed grouse ever published; it is also the most impressive. The writing is first-rate. The graphic presentation is stunning. We have spared no expense or effort in bringing together today’s renowned experts on grouse biology, dogs, guns, hunting strategies and tactics. Evocative regional essays cover the contemporary upland scene—from the ancient stone walls and apple orchards of New England, to the rhododendron and grapevine tangles of the Appalachians, to the tag alders and poplars of the Great Lakes.

Extensive interviews with dedicated bird hunters throughout grouse country invite you to pour a bourbon on the rocks, and sit in on a series of rich, highly personal conversations with many legends of the sport. The meticulously kept game log of one veteran, for instance, records an astonishing lifetime of 38,000 grouse flushes. As noted Michigan bird-hunting writer Steve Smith points out in his introduction to the book, it boggles the mind to consider that within these pages are at least 1,000 years of collective experience chasing the King of Game Birds.

A Passion for Grouse is illustrated with hundreds of spectacular color photographs that bring the reader right into the authors’ favorite coverts, the smell of autumn in the crisp air, moving up behind a white dog frozen on point and shivering with excitement.

The hefty volume showcases an all-star lineup of contemporary writers on ruffed grouse:

  • “Drummer in the Woods—the Natural History and Management of Ruffed Grouse” by world-renowned grouse biologist R. J. Gutiérrez of the University of Minnesota
  • “Dogs for Grouse” by Ryan L. Frame of Pennsylvania
  • “Guns for Grouse” by Larry Brown of Wisconsin
  • “Grouse of the Northwoods” by Mark Parman of Wisconsin
  • “Grouse of the Appalachians” by Ron Ellis of Kentucky
  • “Grouse of New England” by Jerry Allen of Massachusetts
  • “The Future of Ruffed Grouse” by Daniel R. Dessecker of Wisconsin
  • “Forest Activism and the Grouse Hunter” by Dennis LaBare of Tennessee

A Passion for Grouse also brings you fascinating long-form interviews on the king of game birds:

  • Art Wheaton of Maine talks with the late George King of Pennsylvania
  • Tim Lintz of Michigan talks with Tom Prawdzik of Michigan
  • Lawrence Pyne of Vermont talks with Sydney Lea of Vermont
  • Lawrence Pyne of Vermont talks with Bruce Bowlen of Vermont
  • Tim Eisele of Wisconsin talks with John Kubisiak of Wisconsin
  • Bill Horn of Florida talks with Walter A. Lesser of West Virginia
  • Art Wheaton of Maine talks with Tom Hennessey of Maine

Readers are also treated to literary tributes to iconic grouse writers:

  • John James Audubon on how difficult it is to hit a flying ruffed grouse
  • Dana S. Lamb’s immortal “Grouse Gunner’s Prayer”
  • “Gordon MacQuarrie—He Wrote Love Letters to Grouse” by Keith R. Crowley of Wisconsin
  • “William Harnden Foster—He Illustrated His Own American Grouse Classic” by Art Wheaton of Maine
  • “George Bird Evans—He Sang the Melodious Song of the Grouse” by James A. Casada of South Carolina
  • “Burton L. Spiller—Hunting with Mr. Grouse” by Lamar Underwood of New Jersey
  • “Corey Ford—The Brilliant and Beloved Bard of His Own Lower Forty” by James W. Hall III of Oregon

As if that’s not enough, A Passion for Grouse finishes with an original poem “On Missing” by noted poet Augustus Lee Merrill, plus dozens of favorite recipes for cooking ruffed grouse from all the contributors.

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