By then Tina had reappeared, racing ahead only to hit point so suddenly she was bent like the letter C. I scraped in her direction, reloading as I went, and when two grouse erupted, I connected on one but missed the other. Tina retrieved the bird I killed, a gorgeous, chocolate-brown grouse with glossy green-tinted ruffs and an impressive fan, and as I pushed it into my gamebag I realized I hadn’t picked up the first grouse yet. I’d lost my mark in the confusion, but when I waved Tina in the general direction and exhorted her to hunt dead she found the bird in short order. This bird was gray. When I cupped its bulging crop, it felt like a bag full of marbles.