Hunter walking trails wind through prime grouse habitat throughout central and northern MinnesotaWritten By: Steve Hoffman
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.