Peter Patenaude, a registered Maine guide, has been a Filson advocate for over six years. His blog Boot & Canoe, focuses on traditional skills and Maine’s outdoor heritage. Peter shares six tips to a successful partridge hunt.
It is partridge hunting season here in Maine– Ruffed Grouse for the rest of you. I look forward to October all year, not just for the attractive hunting scenery, but because it has always been my opinion that a better tasting white meat does not exist. This woods chicken can be enjoyed sliced, breaded and fried in a cast iron, or slow cooked in a batch of baked beans to name a few of my favorites.
I cannot think of a more fair way to harvest an animal than in the thick woods of Maine. It is exciting to hear the thunder sound of the bird's wings as it busts out from under you, but equally disappointing when you attempt to raise your gun and are held down by all of the branches.
Because of the bird's nature to fly and run, it can be easy to become turned around. Here are a few things that I try to have on me every time I go in after a partridge:
1. Bubble compass- I pin it onto my suspenders so it is always on me, and can be easily accessed before walking into the woods for a back bearing.
2. Whistle- It does not take up any room in my pocket, and is much louder than my voice.
3. Lighter- What would you pay for a 99 cent lighter if you were lost and needed one?
4. Knife- It is a great all-purpose tool in the woods.
5. Extra shells- They are great to have if you spot more birds, or if necessary, they can be used for signaling if you are in distress.
6. Eye protection- Admittedly, this is something that I do not do, but realize I should; the most common serious injury in the woods is a stick in the eye.
Good luck to everyone this season!