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Ruffed Grouse - Woodland Drummer by Michael Furtman

Ruffed Grouse - Woodland Drummer is a very nice book by Michael Furtman, recently re-released by Stackpole books. Written in 1999, it is still full of some of the most up-to-date digestable information on the ruffed grouse.

The highlight of this book is the color photography. If it were not in a 6" x 9" paperback format, this would make a fine "coffee-table" book in the tradition of Leonard Lee Rue. The pictures are stunning.

The book covers all of the topics one would expect in such a book: taxonomy, habitat, range and diet, the life cycle and dispersion. It's not a book on "how to hunt" grouse or about bird dogs and grouse, but simply everything you wanted to know about grouse. As such, the hunter will glean much in learning about the habitat of the grouse, and its food preferences.

"I've been fortunate enough to be startled frequently by grouse. It may be a strange thing to some - that I relish the momentary fright - but to me it means that I've been spending time in the grouse woods, time enough to encounter this special bird."

Photographs in this book, which is printed on fine glossy paper, come from a host of sources - including Paul Carlson, Erwin and Peggy Bauer, Bill Marchel, and, you guessed it, Leonard Lee Rue III.

At 140 pages, its not deep scholarly reading, but I found all of the information to be very useful and actually learned a few things. It's the kind of book you can put down and pick up as you please and one that should be a staple on every hunting camp bookshelf.

Duck and Goose Cookbook by A.D. Livingston

A.D. Livingston, a food writer for Gray's Sporting Journal and author of several game cookbooks, has assembled this most excellent waterfowl cookbook.

  • Ducks and Geese in the Oven
  • Ducks and Geese in the Skillet
  • Frying Ducks and Geese
  • Ducks and Geese in the Big Pot
  • Steamed and Simmered Ducks and Geese
  • Grilling and Smoking Ducks and Geese
  • Broiled Ducks and Geese
  • Pies and Casseroles
  • Soups, Stews and Gumbos
  • Giblets and Appetizers
  • Marinades, Sauces and Go-withs

What caught my eye with this book is that it is not regionally biased, nor is it solely focused on gourmet cooking. Like some of the old Bradford Angier books published by Stackpole, it includes some basic "good-eating" recipes. In fact, the book includes a recipe for "Old Duck Bradford Angier."

Unlike many general cookbooks which include a chapter on ducks and geese, this cookbook features recipes for wild duck and geese. If you have seen the amount of grease that comes off of domestic waterfowl, you will know that they really are not the same creature. At least not in the kitchen.

Livingston, being a hunter, also spices up the recipes with tidbits such as this: "If you are having guests, refrain from telling about how Carl, your retriever, chased a duck into the next county. Your wife also might be tired of hearing the story."

In our household, I am always in charge of the game cookery; and we eat a lot of game. I have seen a lot of game cookbooks over the years and this one really impressed me as most of the recipes use simple ingredients and procedures. The recipes cover the gamut of cooking styles - roasting, stewing, baking, frying - but each recipe is designed to avoid toughening the game. And some recipes, like "Old Duck Bradford Angier," are designed for game that is already tough.

I'll enjoy having this book around this fall during the duck and goose seasons.

Copies of these books are available from:
Spaniel Journal Bookstore

Ruffled Grouse - Woodland Drummer
Copyright © 1999 Michael Furtman
Stackpole Books
ISBN 0-8117-3122-7

Duck & Goose Cookbook
Copyright © A.D. Livingston
Stackpole Books
ISBN 0-8117-2742-4

Bill Fawcett resides in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with his wife, Cindy, and his Smythwicks Springers: Jenna, Beebe, Chip and Dottie. He is a hunter, field trialer, breeder and member of the M-AHSC and the ESSFTA. He maintains a public FB ESS pedigree database at

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