Grouse reports from the field
Here are some anecdotal reports of ruffed grouse brood sightings this summer from people who spend a lot of time in the woods and on back roads: r Doug Nelson, Virginia, grouse hunter and backwoods angler: "This spring, I heard a lot of drumming. ...
Here are some anecdotal reports of ruffed grouse brood sightings this summer from people who spend a lot of time in the woods and on back roads:
r Doug Nelson, Virginia, grouse hunter and backwoods angler: "This spring, I heard a lot of drumming. ... Last Saturday, I jumped two coveys, one with six and one with eight. The birds were small. I'm thinking [the hens] re-nested, so the birds haven't had a chance to fully mature. I would say [those numbers] are about average."
r Chris Balzer, Minnesota DNR assistant area wildlife manager, Cloquet: "We never see too many broods in the summer when the foliage is thick. Generally, in the past, the drumming count data in the spring has been predictive of hunting success in the fall. We expect the hunting season to be an improvement over last year."
r Jeff Koehn, Grand Rapids, Minnesota DNR conservation officer and OHV specialist: "Some people are seeing young birds,. ... In the last few weeks, I've seen several broods. From what I've seen, the west Range and south of Duluth have had good numbers. I've seen a lot of young ones. The young ones are pretty well grown."
r Russ Sewell, regional biologist for the Ruffed Grouse Society in Minnesota: "I'm still hearing from a few folks that there are holes out there. ... There are probably going to be some areas that are a little less than what is expected. There will be other areas that are really good."
r Greg Kessler, Wisconsin DNR wildlife manager at Brule: "The summer brood observations are a real mixed bag. ... Some people are seeing fewer, some about the same and a few are actually seeing more broods. It's very spotty. There appear to be somewhat more birds in the Bayfield and Ashland county areas, just based on personal observation, nothing scientific.
"It appears that the cold, wet streak in early June had a pretty significant impact on those early broods. The later broods appear to have done quite well."
r Darin Fagerman, DNR conservation officer, Grand Marais: "A lot of people haven't been seeing anything. ... It doesn't look too promising. I've lived up here since '89 and hunted every year. I can't remember seeing so few."
r Kipp Duncan, DNR conservation officer, Duluth area: "I've seen very few [broods]. ... I did talk to someone who is a logger, and he was telling me he's been seeing quite a bit from Isabella down toward Two Harbors on logging roads."