If you hang around bird hunting circles long enough, the names George Bird Evans and Old Hemlock will eventually come up in conversation. George and his wife, Kay, built their lives around their passion of pursuing Ruffed Grouse in the Allegheny mountains surrounding their home, affectionately known as Old Hemlock. George, with a Purdey Sidelock, would fervently hunt with his English Setters, a line he bred to his own exacting standards which came to be known as Old Hemlock Setters. Kay followed them through the aspen and alders with a super 8 movie camera. George kept a meticulous journal of 65 hunting seasons, the content of those journals would become the basis for more than a dozen books and countless magazine articles he authored.
Its been almost two years since our visit to Old Hemlock, but its something that we think about quite often and a memory we will always cherish. Old Hemlock is a bit of a Mecca-type journey for any serious grouse hunter, especially those who have an affection for English setters or Evans’ writing. George’s books paint a picture of an almost fairytale life surrounding grouse hunting. When you visit Old Hemlock it becomes immediately apparent that George and Kay’s life was not a magical fairytale but a beautiful reality full of elegance, romance, nature and beauty. We hope you enjoy this brief photographic catalogue of our visit and may you always have “A dog, a gun and time enough.”