Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Missouri Restocking Ruffed Grouse

By Joe Healy
After many years of population declines, Missouri’s ruffed grouse finally may be seeing a turnaround. This past year, in a collaborative effort between the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF), of Buffalo, Missouri, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), 100 ruffed grouse were relocated from Wisconsin to Missouri’s Daniel Boone Conservation Area, in Warren County.

QUWF credits more than a decade of hard work, constant fundraising, generous sponsors, cooperative landowners and MDC personnel with the success of the effort. Craig Alderman, a research biologist and the founder and executive director of QUWF, cites in particular support from Ruger Firearms and personal interest from Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris.

According to Alderman: “Our plan this year is to capture another 100 grouse and bring them down to Missouri and release them. We have a grouse coop right now of about 110 to 112 members that encompasses about 100,000 acres, and we’ve been doing extremely intensive timber-improvement work to prepare for a minimum of a 25-year plan for the grouse to stay, adapt and grow . . . . Between the chapters and the private landowners, I’d say we’ve seen an investment of well over $2 million in timber harvest and getting lands ready.”

Read the rest of the full Shooting Sportsman article

Monday, July 1, 2019

MN 2019 Ruffed Grouse counts similar to last year




















Minnesota’s ruffed grouse spring drumming counts were similar statewide this year to last year. 

DNR biologists have monitored ruffed grouse populations for the past 70 years and this year, DNR staff and cooperators from 14 organizations surveyed 131 established routes across the state’s forested region. 

Each year on the routes, surveyors count the number of grouse drums they hear. Drumming is the low sound male grouse make as they beat their wings rapidly and in increasing frequency to signal the location of their territory and attract females ready to begin nesting. 

Drumming counts are an indicator of the ruffed grouse breeding population. Grouse populations tend to rise and fall on a 10-year cycle that can vary from 8 to 11 years, and Minnesota’s most recent population peak was in 2017.

2019 survey results

The 2019 survey results for ruffed grouse were 1.5 drums per stop statewide. The averages during 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 were 0.9, 1.1, 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, and 1.5, respectively. Counts vary from about 0.6 drums per stop during years of low grouse abundance to about 2.0 during years of high abundance.
Results this year follow a decrease from 2017 to 2018. In the northeast survey region, which is the core of Minnesota’s grouse range, counts were 1.6 drums per stop; in the northwest there were 2.1 drums per stop; in the central hardwoods, 0.8 drums per stop; and in the southeast, 0.7 drums per stop. 
Check the DNR’s grouse hunting webpage for the 2019 grouse survey report and grouse hunting information.