By John Floyd
I hit the skidder trail with a calm ease that belied my anticipation of the previous day. The cool, brisk October air in my lungs and the sun warming my way, I felt invigorated. The colors of the treetops exploded against the horizon. Reds, oranges and yellows a stark contrast to the deep blue sky.
The spruce and fir, with varying shades of green acted as referees in this riotous silence. The feel of the earth, the snap of a twig along the trail awakened my senses, long dulled by the humdrum of the daily grind.
I broke open my shotgun and dropped in the shells. I briefly remembered deciding on the 12 gauge, leaving my usual 20 gauge in the cabinet, my thoughts on the thick cover I’d be moving through and the bigger gun’s ability to bust through the edges of the wood line. I snapped the action closed, clicked on the safety and smiled. My grouse season has begun and the hunt was on.