Back in the late 1970s, a young graduate student from the local state college called. It was spring and he was studying woodcock north of campus amongst the alder and popple growing wild on the edge of town. “I was told you’re affiliated with the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS).” His name was Dan and he asked, “I’m in need of $75 for supplies for my woodcock research project and wondered if your chapter could help me out?”[Read more…] about The Road to Moosehorn | A Woodcock Story
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
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
Today, the Ruffed Grouse Society brought together agency professionals from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois to focus on landscape-scale goals to enhance future young forest habitat in the Driftless Region.
Today (August 16, 2016) the Ruffed Grouse Society launched the Driftless Young Forest Symposium in La Crosse, Wisconsin to bring together agency professionals from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois to focus on landscape-scale goals to enhance young forest habitat in the Driftless Region. Symposium goals include providing a clear understanding of the area forest use trends and wildlife impacts, to recognize challenges of forest management in this region and to identify and embrace opportunities for potential landscape-scale benefits to young forest habitat in the future.[Read more…] about Driftless Young Forest Symposium
By Andrew P. Weik – RGS & AWS Regional Wildlife Biologist – New York, New England
After a spring seemingly favorable to ground nesting birds such as grouse and woodcock, summer thus far, into late July, has been drier than usual in my region. In fact, the lack of rainfall across many areas of the Northeast has resulted in drought conditions (see map below). The colors on the map show yellow as “abnormally dry”, beige as “moderate drought” and orange as “severe drought”.[Read more…] about The Effect of Drought on Woodcock
Earlier this spring, the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society determined at a strategic planning meeting that public resistance to scientifically sound habitat management practices was one of the top three significant and long-term impediments to the future of healthy forest habitat benefiting not only ruffed grouse and American woodcock but a wide array of forest wildlife.[Read more…] about RGS Responds to Anti-Forest Management Message
A GROUSE HUNTER’S ALMANAC
The Other Kind of Hunting
By Mark Parman
Published 2010 – University of Wisconsin Press
Mark Parman has been a longtime contributor of classic grouse and woodcock hunting stories to the Ruffed Grouse Society magazine. A favorite Parman articles is “What He Carried”, which was published in the fall 2013 issue and features an introspective story about the possessions and superstitions that make grouse and woodcock hunters a unique group. The story starts with, “Each possession (of a grouse hunter) brings with it reminders of special days gone by.” If you are a grouse hunter, you understand this inexplicable phenomenon. The story talks about the symbols of grouse hunting that captivate us all throughout the year. He writes, “In late winter, he notes a grouse feather floating across the wood floor of his living room or kitchen, escapees from his gamebag, or he finds one stuck to the wet nose of his dog. He doesn’t mind the feathers. He picks one up, twirls the rachis in his fingers and is carried back to October.” Has this happened to any of you during bitter cold January? I suspect it has.[Read more…] about Book Review – A Grouse Hunter’s Almanac
Getting out of Michigan in early April during a late winter weather blast is always a fun time. Earlier this year, I was fortunate to not only get out of town right before a week of forecasted “wintry mix” but also to spend time with biologists from around the country at the Woodcock Wingbee being held this year in Mobile, Alabama. The Wingbee is an annual event and culmination of the Wing-collection Survey. Here is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service description of the Survey and Wingbee:[Read more…] about The Woodcock Wingbee
This past weekend, RGS staff members were fortunate to attend the now annual Woodcock Banding Clinic at Pineridge Grouse Camp near Remer, Minnesota. I (RGS/AWS Regional Director Nick Larson) was joined by coworkers: Mark Fouts, director of member relations and outreach; Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen, regional wildlife biologist and Ted Dick, MN DNR forest game bird coordinator. We walked away from this weekend completely satisfied, excited about the future of woodcock banding as well as having an even greater appreciation for the unique and amazing bird that is the American woodcock.[Read more…] about Woodcock Banding Weekend At Pineridge Grouse Camp