Upland bird hunters in Vermont enjoy a ruffed grouse season that runs through the last day of the year. Yet while grouse are found throughout the state, partridge hunting in December is especially good in the eastern foothills-south of Montpelier and adjacent to the Connecticut River. According to John Gobeille, the state's small-game specialist, the mix of habitat up and down this region is nearly ideal, with plenty of edgeland in the valleys along working and abandoned farmland and numerous small clear-cuts that favor grouse on the slopes of the foothills. There are several wildlife management areas here that hold excellent grouse cover, including the Arthur Davis, Les Newell and Knapp Brook wildlife management units. Hunting also may be available in state and local forests and on federal land. Refer to the state's new Hunt Vermont Official Map and Guide to pinpoint these areas. It's available for free from Welcome Centers, Department of Fish and Wildlife offices or by calling the department's main office in Waterbury (802-241-3700). Contact: John Gobeille, small-game wildlife biologist, Pittsford District Natural Resource office (317 Sanitorium Road, West Wing, Pittsford, VT 05763-9358; 802-483-2172).