Every season, for close to 20 years now, a group of hunters has gathered to hunt birds out of a tent camp in northwestern Wisconsin, near the headwaters of the region's three storied rivers: the Namekagon, the St. Croix, and the Bois Brule. This part of the state--comprising Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, and Washburn Counties--boasts some 700,000 acres of public forest. Much of it is aggressively logged, ensuring a constant supply of the young, brushy, aspen-dominated woodland that's synonymous with prime grouse and woodcock habitat. The tents go up around Oct. 1 and come down roughly two weeks later. That's the heart of the grouse and woodcock season in this part of the world, a time of chilly nights and frosty dawns, of tattered clouds against blue skies and aspen leaves like wafers of sunlight, some clinging stubbornly to the treetops, others drifting down to earth.