Outdoors blog: Awaiting ruffed grouse drumming counts
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
Wondering about ruffed grouse
Have you heard many grouse drumming this spring? The ruffed grouse drumming counts should be coming out from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources soon, and I'm eager to see whether counts went up this spring, held about even with last year or dropped some.
Last year, you'll remember, they increased dramatically in Northeastern Minnesota and less dramatically in northwestern Wisconsin, and it was a decent hunting season.
Personally, I heard what I thought was quite a bit of drumming on early trips this spring. I asked Tom Rusch, DNR area wildlife manager at Tower, what his impression was of the drumming this spring, and he concurred. He said he had heard a lot, too.
Martha Minchak, DNR assistant area wildlife manager in Duluth, said counts were down just slightly along seven routes in the Cloquet management area (Carlton County, southeastern St. Louis County and Pine County).
"Three were up moderately. Three were down moderately. And one was down dramatically," Minchak said. "I think it'll be similar to last year. There were plenty of birds out there, but the leaves held on for a long time, and when leaves left the trees and the weather turned nice, people had moved on to other things."