Friday, October 4, 2019

Minnesota DNR offers hunting tips, locations for new grouse hunters

Hunter walking trails wind through prime grouse habitat throughout central and northern Minnesota


Minnesota has 600 miles of hunter walking trails located in the northern forested area of the state where grouse are most abundant. There are more than 200 hunter walking trails, and most have marked parking areas at the trailhead.
“Hunter walking trails are a fun way to check out new areas and they do provide good hunting,” said Ted Dick, forest game bird coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “New hunters can follow these trails and not worry about getting lost or wandering off public land. And you can get away from trucks and four-wheelers and into some decent grouse habitat.”

An avid grouse and woodcock hunter himself, Dick has taken youth and new hunters on hunter walking trails over the years and uses the trails as a convenient way to discover new hunting areas.
The DNR partners with other organizations and land managers to maintain hunter walking trails. A $300,000 grant from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund to the Minnesota Ruffed Grouse Society will restore approximately 200 trailheads and 80 miles of existing trails, add 20 miles of new trails and update trail maps for land managers and trail users.

The DNR and partners developed the system of hunter walking trails beginning in the 1970s. Timber harvest around the trails is the main tool used to create quality grouse and woodcock habitat. The trails wind their way through wildlife management areas, ruffed grouse management areas, state forests and other types of public land.

Downloadable maps of hunter walking trails and more information can be found on the hunter walking trails page at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/hwt/index.html.

Read the full Duluth News Tribune article for more tips and info.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Maine Biologist expects 2019 solid grouse numbers to highlight bird hunting season that begins Saturday

By John Holyoke

Over three decades helping manage the state’s bird populations, biologist Brad Allen has learned a lot about the game birds — like ruffed grouse — that Mainers like to hunt.
One of the things the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s bird group leader has learned bodes well for the state’s bird hunters.
 “Grouse-hunting in Maine, I tell everybody, is always good,” Allen said. “[This year is] not going to be a boom, it’s not going to be a bust. I want to say average, but I think it’ll be slightly better than average,”
Decent weather — cool but not too cold — during the nesting season shouldn’t have hampered reproductive efforts, he said, and the population of grouse should be solid.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Grouseman - Orvis Presents Video


For wingshooting guide Steve Grossman, the hunt is about so much more than shooting a limit of birds. Ever since he was a teenager, he has devoted himself to chasing wild birds and training dogs. 

He is a student of his art, constantly learning more about how the birds respond to changes in their environment and how birddogs and hunters can work together. He's become an inspiration to his children and the younger generation of wild-bird enthusiasts.

Learn more about Steve and The Grouse Lodge

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock Hunting in New Hampshire - Live for October Video


Join Northeast Regional Director of the Ruffed Grouse Society Joe Levesque as he mentors owner of ANR Design Alex Costa on his first hunting adventure. Along with friend Zach Hein the head to the north woods of New Hampshire as they hunt ruffed grouse and American woodcock. This film explores the camp culture of New England, the future of hunting, and the critical conservation issues that the Ruffed Grouse Society pursues.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

WI DNR board moves toward shortening 2019 grouse season

The state Department of Natural Resources board is moving toward shortening Wisconsin's ruffed grouse season to as the population dwindles.
The board voted unanimously Tuesday to allow the department to craft an emergency rule that would close the season across the northwestern two-thirds of the state on Jan. 5. The season currently runs from mid-September through Jan. 31 in that portion of the state.
The DNR is concerned that the ruffed grouse population is declining. Drumming activity dropped 34% from 2017 to 2018. Hunters took only 173,347 birds last year, the lowest total in 35 years of hunter surveys.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin testing ruffed grouse to gauge West Nile exposure

Under the program, now in its second year, researchers in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin collect the carcasses of ruffed grouse along with blood samples from the birds during the states' respective grouse seasons.
 Each state's DNR searches the birds' organs for signs of West Nile and sends the blood samples to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study group at the University of Georgia for further testing.
The data collected by the group then helps researchers evaluate the effects of West Nile on grouse populations throughout Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

New Jersey 2019 Grouse Season Closure Announced

At their regular meeting on July 17, the Fish and Game Council unanimously voted to close the ruffed grouse hunting season statewide. Recognizing that grouse populations in the state were declining, the season length and daily bag limit were reduced, and the state was divided into two zones, in 2005, with the southern zone having a shorter season than the northern zone. The closure takes effect immediately.

Ruffed grouse populations in the state have declined due to lack of suitable habitat (young-aged forests) which they require. Such forests now comprise less than 1% of the state's forests. Anecdotal reports of hunters seeing grouse have dwindled as forests continue to age due to lack of forest management. Although hunting is not the cause of the decline, and in fact, the number of grouse hunters has a parallel declining trend, the Division and the Fish and Game Council feels that current grouse population levels cannot support a hunt at this time.