To my mind, there is something lovely about a person who loves the place he is from. It is easy, after all, to take a long look toward the horizon and to long for what is out there, assuming it must be better than what is near at hand. Andy Wayment, whose home state provides a backdrop for his latest book, Idaho Upland Days, is unabashedly in love with all that lies just out the back door.
Wayment is a known quantity in the upland space. Alongside his brother Shawn, he has shared his experiences and thoughts for years in the “Upland Ways” blog (uplandways.com), supplementing these writings with an active social-media presence that showcases the many birds and dogs and hunting buddies that accompany his days afield. His words and pictures are all painted upon a backdrop that is purely Idaho in all its majesty: sagebrush flats and scree slopes, timbered ridges and willow thickets. And within that landscape there are always birds—the grouse species having become Wayment’s primary distraction, with pheasants, quail and partridge filling in the margins.
Idaho Upland Days is the follow-up to Wayment’s 2018 Idaho Ruffed Grouse Hunting, though the stories contained in the latest work depict a younger man afield with a lineage of dogs and days that now comprise fond memories. In 260 pages Wayment tells the story of his young adulthood, one filled with green young shorthairs, afternoons stolen from the more pressing needs of law school, and a rural countryside wherein a polite knock on a farmer’s door was met more often than not with a handshake of permission. Wayment brings the reader in with relatable tales of triumph and folly, lost birds and epic points, long walks that returned unexpected banner days. Idaho Upland Days is fundamentally a memoir and a tribute to fine country and those who appreciate its worth.
Paperback and hardcover editions are available from Amazon for $19.95 and $26.95 or signed paperbacks from uplandways.com.