Joe Jackson


Alaska’s true king of the uplands by Joe Jackson This is a tale of two spruce grouse, and it begins in mid-September.  The dawn is stingingly cold and the leaves flutter groundward to remind me that another year has passed. I try to ignore the impending winter and focus on the task at hand: a side-by-side shotgun in my grip, a pocket full of shells, a flurry of daydreams filled with hard-flushing grouse. That’s when I came upon the first bird of our story. He was a doddering male spruce grouse propped stoically in the middle of the trail, his tail fan spread proud as a turkey. I approached carefully. Given the circumstances—him sitting there all innocent, me refusing to shoot grouse on the ground—I decided to let this one go, but not before seeing how close he’d let me get. Each step brought me closer. Finally, as I nearly…