Friday, March 14, 2014

Forest Service Now Offers Digital Maps for Mobile Devices - Ruffed Grouse

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Forest Service now offers access to a variety of visitor maps for people using Android and iOS devices.

"This mobile app makes it easier than ever to plan your visit to a national forest or grassland," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "By putting important forest information right at your fingertips, it will encourage more Americans to get outside and explore their forests."

The digital maps are part of USDA's work toward reaching President Obama's initiative to create a paperless government that also provides the American public with better, more accessible information. Online customer surveys also indicated a desire for more online products and information, such as maps. The Forest Service is currently working on the first phase of a website redesign, expected to debut early in 2014, which centers on a map-based tool for planning trips onto our nation's forests, grasslands and other special places.

The PDF Maps Mobile App, developed by Avenza Systems Inc., is available as a free download from iTunes and the Android Play Store. The app provides access to Forest Service maps, such as motor-vehicle-use maps, which are free while pages from national forest atlases are 99 cents and forest visitor maps are $4.99. Prices are pending for other agency maps.


Read the rest of the OutdoorWire article



Link to Avenza Systems

Sunday, March 9, 2014

OLD HEMLOCK HD TRAILER - English Setter - Ruffed Grouse Video



*** The video was pulled from YouTube.  I'll repost it if I can find it again.

Old Hemlock Foundation is currently planning a video on the history, status and future of the Old Hemlock Setter Line developed by George Bird Evans and currently managed by Roger Brown.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ruffed Grouse hunt brings endings and beginnings

By Jeery Davis

DRUMMOND — Four decades ago I began going north every autumn to hunt ruffed grouse and enjoy what autumns have to offer.

Many dogs, relatives, friends and seasons later cycles continue. No, not the cycle of the bird that brings us here, but the cycle of one end overlapping with a beginning. Sometimes a cycle is a son becoming a hunter and a father putting away his shotgun. This year was a dog cycle.

Tim, my older son from Mount Horeb, lost one of his golden retrievers to a major illness this summer.
Like Chester and Kyla before, Maddy’s ashes were placed under a special red maple, one that seems to know that at least some hunters come north as early as mid-September, well before almost any autumn colors have arrived. But this tree is one of the first, in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, to turn red. Regardless of when hunters come with shotguns, dogs and high hopes of hunting successes, it seems this tree has some red leaves to show off to those visitors.

This tree has become known to us, then, as The Red Maple of Forest Road 231.

This Oct. 6 was that special day. A few red leaves still swayed in the breeze; most had fallen. Some fell as Tim stepped up a steep bank with a can painted on all sides with paw prints. Inside the can a felt bag held a plastic bag of ashes.

RGS Reports National Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock Hunt Results

The RGS reports national ruffed grouse and woodcock hunt results.  The Ruffed Grouse Society’s National Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock Hunt is conducted during the second week in October each year in and around Grand Rapids, Minnesota. This world-class event is sponsored and coordinated by the Grand Rapids MN Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society. Chapter volunteers contribute literally thousands of hours of their time to make the Hunt happen.  The hunt is hosted at the Sawmill Inn, owned by the Jacobson family.  ”We are proud to host this annual event each year; it gives us an opportunity to showcase the very best Grand Rapids has to offer,” Wayne Jacobson shares.

The Hunt provides an unparalleled opportunity to study the population ecology of ruffed grouse and woodcock. The manner in which the Hunt is structured is what makes it so unique in the field of wildlife research and so valuable to wildlife conservation.


The late Gordon W. Gullion, universally acknowledged as the world’s expert on ruffed grouse, immediately recognized the scientific potential of the Hunt when the event was first held in 1982. Gullion understood that because the Hunt is conducted in the same locale, at the same time each year and using the same methods, it provides an outstanding opportunity to study the annual variation of the local ruffed grouse population and how that variation relates to the 10-year cycle.

Maine Road Trip: Rough It For Grouse


Article by Lawrence Pyne

To experience the best "pa'tridge" country left, just drive northeast.

Good ruffed grouse covers are getting harder and harder to find, which is why my brother and I make a point of annually heading up to northern Maine. Thanks to large-scale forest management, there is so much productive habitat here that the biggest challenge is simply deciding where to jump in.

Northern Maine encompasses more than 10 million acres of mostly working timberland—almost all of which is potential grouse cover. Much of the best is found in the 3.5-million-acre North Maine Woods (NMW), managed by a consortium of private landowners, which is open to the public for a modest fee. Because it is commercially logged, the NMW has hundreds of thousands of acres of young, regenerating forest that provides great habitat for grouse as well as woodcock. Its 5,000 or so miles of gravel and dirt logging roads weave through more cover than you can hunt in a lifetime. If that wasn't enough, scattered throughout the NMW are more than 300 campsites and a dozen sporting camps. It's an ideal destination for both D.I.Y. hunters and those looking for more luxurious accommodations and perhaps a guide.

Access to the NMW is via 15 checkpoints on primary entry roads. Although it's possible to hunt there on a day-trip basis from gateway towns like Greenville and Millinocket, the farther in you go, the less pressure you'll find—and the more birds you'll encounter. Getting 30 or more miles back in and camping is the best way to get the most out of a trip and save wear and tear on your vehicle.

Fat-tire bike allows grouse hunter to get deeper in the woods

On an overcast October morning, Hansi Johnson of Thomson walks down an old logging trail flanked by young aspen. He carries his old Browning 12-gauge A-5, inherited from his grandfather, ready to swing on a ruffed grouse.

It isn't unusual to find Johnson, an avid grouse and duck hunter, deep in the woods this time of year. But he didn't get here in the usual way.

He pedaled.

Parked somewhere behind him along the trail is his fat-tire mountain bike built specifically for hunters. It's a Cogburn CB4, a beefy bicycle with tires nearly 4 inches wide. It's fitted with a sturdy scabbard that holds a shotgun, a rifle or a bow. What it doesn't come with is a motor.

"I love the fact that the gun is off my back and on my bike," says Johnson, who is Midwest region director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association. "It's a total feeling of freedom, especially if you've done it with the gun on your back for a long time."

Johnson has been riding trails to ruffed grouse for as long as mountain bikes have been around. He first rode a standard mountain bike with tires about 2 inches wide. Good, not great, for hunting.


WI New habitat area ideal for ruffed grouse, woodcock hunting

On October 21, 2013, the Ruffed Grouse Society dedicated a new management area in honor of David V. Uihlein, Sr. on 2,045 acres of the Forest County Forest in northeast Wisconsin. The David V. Uihlein, Sr. Ruffed Grouse Management Area will use timber management, especially aspen harvests, to promote habitat for ruffed grouse and American woodcock. In addition, the Area is managed for multiple uses including a hunter walking area and a snowmobile trail through the northern portion of the property.

David V. Uihlein, Sr. was an ardent naturalist and outdoorsman who passed away on January 29, 2010 at the age of 89. He was a founder and president of the Ruffed Grouse Society Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter (Milwaukee area), which was later named in his honor. He was an extremely strong supporter of RGS, serving on its national board as a director from October 1981 until October 1996 and its President from December 1986 until December 1988, and through his Foundation, his support continues. He had a strong passion for habitat in northeast Wisconsin where he and his family spent time enjoying the outdoors in Forest County.

This is the second cooperative ruffed grouse management area RGS has developed with the outstanding cooperation of the Forest County Forestry and Parks Department who make these projects possible. The other is the 800-acre Otter Creek Ruffed Grouse Management Area located between Crandon and Laona. Two other cooperative areas in Forest County are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the McDonald Creek east of Eagle River and Bushaefer Road northeast of Wabeno.

The David V. Uihlein Sr. Ruffed Grouse Management Area is one of over 700 projects in 28 states in which RGS is involved. This new management area is one of over 100 cooperative management areas RGS has developed on public lands in Wisconsin since 1986. The RGS Management Area Program began in 1985 and to-date, the Society has provided close to $1 million dollars to support habitat management efforts on over 145,000 acres of public land projects in Wisconsin and over $3.5 million to enhance over 500,000 public acres nationwide. To accomplish this, RGS has used funds raised primarily by dedicated volunteers of RGS chapters across the country.


Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is North America’s foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

Information on RGS, its mission, management projects and membership can be found on the web at: www.ruffedgrousesociety.org.

Media contact:
For photographs or questions about this release, contact:
Matt Soberg
412-203-4118


Ruffed Grouse Hunter Kills Attacking Black Bear With Birdshot


By Jackson Schmidtke

Barron County (WQOW) - Sometimes when you go hunting you come across animals you're not looking to hunt. A Barron County grouse hunter's encounter on Saturday put him and his dog in the hospital.

"It was a spot where he would have never seen this bear laying on the ground," said DNR Conservation Warden Phillip Dorn.

Phil Anderson was hunting ruffed grouse at the Loon Lake Wildlife Area when he heard branches cracking. He thought it was a deer but it turned out to be a black bear.

"I heard my dog squealing in distress and I kind of figured out what was happening," Anderson said.

Anderson's dog had encountered a mother bear and her cubs in Barron county.

"I yelled for the dog and immediately the adult bear came from that direction and charged at me and knocked me on my back," said Anderson "She batted me a few times and shook me and then she went back to my dog."

After regaining his feet, Anderson yelled at the bear hoping to scare it. The bear left the dog and charged Anderson again. This time Anderson was prepared and was able to shoot the bear point blank in the face with birdshot, a lightweight ammo that typically would not down a bear.

"Birdshot doesn't really penetrate that well from distances," said Dorn "but this was very close range. Probably within three feet."
The 275-pound bear died instantly.



Pennsylvania Blue Mountain habitat created to help ruffed grouse, other wildlife



Working his way across State Game Lands 127 in Monroe County, Jim Boburka watches his dog, a 3-year-old Brittany named Dash, dig into the thick cover that dots many sections of the expansive public hunting grounds. And while he's hoping to flush, or possibly even get a shot at one of the ruffed grouse in the area, the Bethlehem resident's thoughts aren't far from another public parcel closer to home -- one that will one day hopefully hold more grouse than it presently does, thanks to a partnership between the Ruffed Grouse Society and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

This past April, Boburka and 27 other individuals, many of them members of the RGS's Lehigh Valley Chapter, planted 1,000 Norway and white spruce seedlings on a 130-acre tract of timbered land on SGL 217 near Slatington. The work on the Blue Mountain is part of a three-year habitat enhancement project bringing together the PGC and Pennsylvania's newest RGS chapter in an effort to create the young forest habitat that's so crucial to grouse and other wildlife.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Ruffed Grouse Management Plan for 2011-2020, grouse populations in the state have been decreasing since 1980. As part of its strategy for boosting the bird's numbers, the agency is working to increase the amount of early successional habitat -- the 5- to 15-year-old forests that provide ideal cover for the bird -- by more than 900,000 acres by the end of decade. One of the keys to meeting this goal is developing new partnerships and enhancing existing ones, which is where conservation organizations such as the Ruffed Grouse Society play an important role.