A Hunter's Book of Days

Charles Fergus, one of America's best-known upland bird writers, has a new book. It tackles a topic most Northeastern hunters can relate to: losing their hunting land.

Released this summer, A Hunter's Book of Days reflects Fergus's decision to leave behind his home bird coverts of central Pennsylvania and move the family and springer and cocker spaniels to northern New England. He was pushed out in part because of urban sprawl. The landscape became increasingly inhospitable for ruffed grouse, pheasants, woodcock and the hunters who enjoy chasing them.

Fergus's new home is in northern Vermont. "I was fortunate to walk away from something I saw as very painful," he said. "Most people don't have that flexibility. I suppose the best thing to do in places where development and hunting coexist is to be proactive, to project a good image as a hunter."

He said northern New England is a place where people still keep land open. "I lost woodcock and grouse coverts to development," Fergus said. "That can happen here, but I see a healthy respect for open land." (Countrysport Press; 800-685-7962; countrysportpress.com)