CORAOPOLIS, Pa. — The Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society are honored to announce the extension of a historic commitment to conservation by a critical partner organization, Purina, a premier global manufacturer of pet products. With a renewed partnership in place between the organizations, Purina will continue to support the RGS/AWS conservation network in the improvement of wildlife habitat and forest health. In addition, RGS/AWS membership will benefit through the contributions and expertise of Purina staff on all things related to bird dog health and nutrition.[Read more…] about Purina Continues Commitment to Conservation – RGS
Examining risks and foot care methods for bird dogs during the winter.
From the crusty hard snow to the dry air and freezing cold temperatures, winter conditions can take a toll on your bird dogs, especially their feet. Being prepared and knowing how to deal with foot care, maintenance and injuries simply come with the territory of owning bird dogs.
Having owned a large sled dog kennel, I am very familiar with booties, putting booties on my dogs and getting a sore back in the process. I have found it much easier to prevent problems than than trying to heal an active dog’s foot. Foot injuries take time to heal.[Read more…] about Winter Foot Care and Injury Prevention for Bird Dogs – RGS
State of Wisconsin approves first ever Ruffed Grouse Management Plan
Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) voted to approve the states very first ruffed grouse management plan. The impetuous and need for this plan was set forward after the NRB voted on an emergency rule to shorten the 2018 ruffed grouse season. Support for this plan was extensive with 15 members from 13 different government and non-government organizations making up the planning committee. Including two familiar faces: Current RGS Regional Wildlife Biologist Jon Steigerwaldt and past RGS Wildlife Biologist Gary Zimmer.[Read more…] about Wisconsin Approves Ruffed Grouse Management Plan – RGS
Why Well-Managed Aspen is the Best Grouse Habitat
If you hunt ruffed grouse on the southern fringe of its range, aspen forest may not be all that relevant to you. But if you’re an upland hunter in the Great Lakes states or Northeast, it’s almost guaranteed that one of your favorite hunting spots includes an aspen stand. Throughout its lifecycle, it provides everything a grouse needs: dense cover and food.
Managed properly, aspen stands are excellent habitat for ruffed grouse. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s some more information about aspen and its importance for upland birds and other early successional species alike.[Read more…] about The Special Relationship Between Grouse and Aspen – RGS
Examining food and cover necessary for winter grouse survival.
In northern Wisconsin, winter regrouping of ruffed grouse starts to take place toward the end of October and the first part of November. The grouse group together this time of the year, not for security or for a social gathering, but because there is good food and cover in a single location. When in a group, grouse remain individualists. Each will flush on their own accord when pressured. It is the availability of high quality habitat and food that has brought them together.[Read more…] about Winter Ruffed Grouse Survival – RGS
The working forest we hunt is full of wildness and we are drawn to these special places.
We make a big deal about preserving and protecting wilderness areas. Groups, such as the Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club, work diligently and spend millions to protect these pristine lands. On the other hand, we have far fewer people and organizations interested in protecting working landscapes and the wildness in these “ordinary” places.
These working landscapes — the farms and orchards that grow our food as well as the forests that supply our wood and paper — are just as important and just as worthy of our devotion and protection. The majority of our grouse and woodcock come from these working forests as well.[Read more…] about A Working Forest is Not Lacking in Wildness – RGS
Emergency closure of the New Jersey grouse hunting season.
On July 17th the Fish and Game Council of New Jersey voted for an emergency closure of the ruffed grouse season in New Jersey. The Fish and Game Council is comprised of three farmer and six sportsmen representatives, as well as the Chairman of the Endangered and Nongame Species Council and a public representative at large. Their purview is to “adopt a Fish and Game Code for the purpose of providing a system for the protection and conservation of fish and game” in the state.
Essentially, they advise, suggest, and oversee the regulations dictating season lengths, restrictions, bag limits, zones, and other factors relating to recreational take of game through hunting and trapping. For hunters in New Jersey, the most obvious effect of these changes are highlighted notes in the new year’s Hunting and Trapping Digest. One of those highlighted changes will affect me directly as well as any other grouse hunters left in the state.[Read more…] about The Downfall of New Jersey Grouse Hunting – RGS
Up against an endangered listing, how can we help ruffed grouse in Indiana?
Ruffed grouse used to be present across the Indiana landscape, but now they could be joining the ranks of endangered species listed under the Indiana Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. In October 2018, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Fish & Wildlife sought input from Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) to add ruffed grouse to the list of endangered species of birds in Indiana. After reviewing the evidence, biologists at RGS agreed with the proposal and submitted a petition to adopt the Administrative Rule Change. Here’s how this issue all started, how we could reverse its course, and how you could play an important part in that process.[Read more…] about Reversing Ruffed Grouse Declines in Indiana
Things to consider before your next winter grouse hunt.
Here in Wisconsin, the snow is deep, and the winds are howling, and we have settled in for the winter. However, winter grouse hunting is possible and there are still areas that have not seen as much snow or cold temperatures as certain areas of the ruffed grouse range.
If I am considering going to a new area this time of year, I first do some research. Here are some of the things that I consider before heading out:[Read more…] about Winter Grouse Hunting Strategies – RGS
New hunter mentor program allows new hunters of any age, young or old, to learn about upland bird hunting from mentors.
Kane Pa.: The Allegheny Chapter (Kane) of the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) has completed their new hunter training for 2019. The New Hunter Mentor Program (NHMP) allows new hunters of any age, young or old, to learn about upland bird hunting from mentors. During a day in the spring and a day in the fall, all attendees learn about shooting, habitat and GPS, bird dog care, and then graduate to an actual hunt for birds with dogs. Experienced grouse and woodcock hunters mentored the graduates for the actual hunt.[Read more…] about New Hunters Graduate From Mentored Hunt Training Presented by The Ruffed Grouse Society