Down East 2013 ©
Sam Lucy has been hunting upland birds and waterfowl for 30 years and now characterizes his avocation this way: "It’s a lot more about friendships shared and the dogs. Hunting has become more pretty places and the silence and the rawness of the birds themselves. It has also become the great celebration of eating their wild goodness, more than the numbers bagged.
"The mystique is what first caught me and it is what holds me to this day: the fascination of the untouchable; the reckless emotion that hits me at sunrise on a quiet marsh; the final turn of a call-fooled mallard drake; the sudden roar of the ruffed grouseï¿½s flush through the November wood; or the twitter and teeter of the timberdoodle."
These words perfectly describe the mood Lucy creates in this extraordinary collection of stories. Whether he is writing about a noble Lab’s final retrieve, the halting steps of a young setter with a nose full of grouse scent, or the homecoming of a young woman reconnecting with her past, the author is a consummate craftsman whose prose and poetry will touch everyone for whom bird hunting in all its facets is a lifetime gift.
"The prose in Holding Ground is understated and powerful. A good observer who trusts his subject matter, Lucy supplies vivid, closely observed details that pull us into his stories.... A fine book.... is good at capturing the subtle impressions that, taken together, make hunting the intense, elegiac pleasure it is." --Charles Fergus, Shooting Sportsman
"Lucy’s knowledge and experience are melded into a thoughtful work of art. Holding Ground will give any reader a new appreciation of the skill and symbolism of the sport of bird hunting." -- Big Sky Journal
"Here are images of a noble labrador hunting dog’s final retrieve, the halting steps of a young setter with a nose full of grouse scent, the homecoming of a young woman reconnecting with her past, and so much more that will resonate in the mind of the reader long after Holding Ground is finished and set back upon the shelf." --Small Press Bookwatch
"!!!!! Must Read" -- Todays’ Books
" is a dedicated hunter who observes beauty in all that he sees from sunrise to snowstorms, to blue cold, windy days and all the unknown that is just over every hill. He is a writer who quickly grabs you and brings you into his story." -- New Hampshire Wildlife