▶ I hope you enjoyed leisurely strolls along forest trails last month. November's ruffs move into the lowlands, where the cover is thicker, some "green" manages to hang on for feed, and predators (including two-legged ones) are less likely to tread. Weave your way through tag alder, willow, dogwood, and witch-hazel thickets. Claw through bramble patches and berry cane jungles. Straddle the margin between wet bog and dry ground. Wade into grassy swaths on windy days, because grouse will burrow in.
▶ Sharpies enjoy a good view, but after a few solid freezes, the grassy knolls that the birds favored last month just don't offer enough cover anymore. So drop off the benches and ease down into coulees and draws. Concentrate on the brushy north and west sides, where November's gales blow over the top (and the birds can warm themselves on sunny days). Sharptails will still come out to feed in stubble fields and tablelands early and late in the day; glass from a promontory and watch where they return to, then hunt there the next midday.