“I have read many definitions of what is a conservationist, and written not a few myself, but I suspect that the best one is written not with a pen, but with an axe. It is a matter of what a man thinks about while chopping, or while deciding what to chop. A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke he is writing his signature on the face of his land.”[Read more…] about PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: What are “Healthy Forests”?
NEW YORK & NEW ENGLAND
2017 GROUSE CAMP TOUR
October 21 – 29
“There is an old New England saying to the effect that if you give a man a shotgun, a bird dog and a violin, he won’t amount to a damn.”
~William Harnden Foster ~
Join the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society for the third Grouse Camp Tour, where we celebrate habitat, membership, volunteers and the grouse/woodcock hunting experience. This year’s Tour will be throughout the New York and New England region: New York Grouse & Woodcock Benefit Hunt – Malone, NY, Vermont, Western Massachusetts and Southern Maine.[Read more…] about GROUSE CAMP TOUR STARTS TODAY!
The thought of losing the little things we love about grouse and woodcock hunting reveals truly what’s at stake for the future of our sporting traditions if we don’t strive to create healthy forests now.
On a Friday evening this past February, I rounded into the entryway of my home and spied my blaze hunting vest hanging on the wall in the same place I had it after every hunt since September. I stood there for a moment while numerous memories from October and November flooded through my mind and honestly felt sad knowing the season was over. That unfortunate and inevitable time had come to put it away until next year.[Read more…] about THE LITTLE THINGS – EDITOR NOTE
By Dave Hansroth, RGS & AWS Regional Director
For several years, Maryland RGS chapters floated the idea of a Maryland Dog of the Year Challenge. Both active chapters in Maryland (Potomac Valley and Backbone Mountain) previously held individual chukar challenges, and logistics were complicated to make the new idea happen. However, it really started to take shape when Brad and Mark Minnick offered their Twin Ridge Game Farm for an entire weekend for just the cost of the birds. They also agreed to help market the event and to provide some of the help needed to run an event of this magnitude. It was hard to turn down a deal like that![Read more…] about SUCCESS: Inaugural Maryland Dog of the Year & Chukar Challenge
By Richard Elliott II
Treasurer/Retention & Recruitment Coordinator Allegheny RGS Chapter
Assistant Huntsman Coordinater UBH RGS Chapter
I’m very grateful for and to the RGS and AWS staff and to the many other people making this program a possibility. I believe this is a program every chapter can use to benefit the next generation of upland hunters.[Read more…] about New Hunters Gain Momentum in Pennsylvania
Is the glass half full, or is it half empty? That is the classic question people ask to decide if someone is an optimist or a pessimist. When considering the mission of the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society regarding healthy forests, abundant wildlife and our sporting traditions, what are you . . . an optimist or pessimist?[Read more…] about President’s Message – Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Risk and Reward for the American Woodcock: the Energy Balance of an Early Migrant in a Late-Winter Storm
By Andy Weik, RGS & AWS Regional Wildlife Biologist
In the snowy North, we look forward to the arrival of woodcock and red-winged blackbirds as the first signs of spring. Woodcock are among the first – if not THE first – ground-nesting birds to begin nesting. Woodcock really push the envelope as they migrate north from southern wintering grounds, moving into open ground along spring seeps, streams and south-facing slopes in search of earthworms and grubs as snow cover recedes. In years when winter segues smoothly into spring, the early-arriving woodcock is rewarded with sufficient food and mild weather to hatch its four-egg clutch within a month of arriving on the breeding range, before most of its predators have extra mouths of their own to feed.[Read more…] about Risk and Reward for the American Woodcock
By Meadow Kouffeld, RGS & AWS Regional Wildlife Biologist
Despite the current negative state and federal climate toward public land holding, RGS and partners are working with government agencies to reverse this trend.
Coming from the West, I appreciate public land. The nature of our western big game requires that large tracts of land are available to support populations substantial enough for hunters to pursue. Huntable numbers of mule deer, blacktails, bighorn sheep, moose, caribou, mountain goats and elk don’t occupy 40-acre stands of trees in seas of corn. Very few people have the financial wherewithal to own thousands of western acres, however America’s greatness comes from our ability to enjoy the great outdoors, hunting and fishing notwithstanding personal wealth.[Read more…] about PUBLIC LANDS, ACCESS & THINKING LONG TERM
THEY SAID IT! . . . Best Quotes from the Spring RGS Magazine
By Matt Soberg
Are you an upland hunter? Bird dog owner? Shotgun lover?
Have you become afflicted by the grouse and woodcock hunting addiction? Do you care about the future of our sporting traditions?
If you answer “yes” to any of the above, the Ruffed Grouse Society magazine is a must see – a one stop shop for everything grouse and woodcock hunting and forest habitat conservation – hunting tips, bird dog info, gun reviews, book reviews, cooking recipes, classic hunting stories, habitat management information . . . the list goes on and on.[Read more…] about THEY SAID IT! . . . Best Quotes from the Spring RGS Magazine
CONNECTING THE DOTS . . . From Habitat to Hunting
By Matt Soberg, RGS & AWS Editor & Director of Communications
This is what it’s like to watch a spring drummer connect the dots from habitat to hunting . . .
I lifted my Kromer above my left ear thinking I had heard a faint rustle of leaves down the hill from my strategically placed location. I set my Thermos cup of coffee onto the ground’s newly-green, late-April shoots and leaned my head forward toward one of the opened blind windows for a better vantage point. Sure enough, my ears were right . . . the pitter-patter of small feet traipsing across the forest floor was getting closer . . . and louder . . . and closer.[Read more…] about What is it like to watch a drummer?