Hoarfrost Huns

Hoarfrost Huns

It was December, and I was hunting for sharp-tailed grouse with my trained gyrfalcon near Oyen, Alberta. The previous evening and well into that morning there had been heavy patches of fog with very little wind: the perfect recipe for hoarfrost. While driving around, I was paying special attention to animal tracks through the cultivated fields. All tracks were glaringly obvious, because the frost had gotten knocked off the vegetation easily. I was using the sign to search for my quarry, and that’s how I spotted this covey of gray partridge off a rural two-track. I eased down the windows to evacuate the warm air from the truck and avoid the dreaded heat waves that result when using a telephoto lens from a heated vehicle on a cold day. The partridge were in the stubble on a hillside, giving me an eye-level perspective right from the driver’s seat. I clicked off a series of photos, knowing the hoarfrost would provide a unique background for a favorite gamebird that hunters on the prairie know so well.  —Jon Groves, grovesphoto.com


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