By Scott Johnson Grand Rapids Police Chief Where have all the ruffed grouse gone?
After all, this is the first week of the hunting season. Somehow, regardless of the 10-year cycles, there just don’t seem to be as many birds in the woods. I am sure wildlife biologists can provide their scientific best guess, but I’m not really sure it matters. After all, the purpose never was to see how many grouse you could return home with after a hunting trip.
Growing up, we never called them ruffed grouse. I think I was a teenager before I knew that is what they were called. To us it was, “Going partridge hunting,” and it was an annual fall tradition. My father would take my younger brother and me to “The Falls” to visit relatives and spend three days in the woods. We usually each got a partridge or two. Our dad taught us to clean the birds and then they would go into the freezer. He taught us many things about the woods and the history of the land.
There is just something about walking down a logging trail with the crimson and yellow leaves, a coolness in the air, as the sun is rising further over the horizon. It is about the connection to each other and the woods.
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