On Saturday March 5th, the Ruffed Grouse Society hosted the 2016 Minnesota State Workshop in Duluth, Minnesota. The event was attended by over 40 passionate grouse and woodcock hunters, conservationists and general supporters of the Ruffed Grouse and American Woodcock Societies. (Pictured: RGS MN Regional Director Nick Larson)
The agenda was action packed throughout the full day seminar and covered a broad range of topics from conservation policy and wildlife biology to grouse dogs and modern scouting techniques. Each individual presentation morphed into an open discussion with lots of interaction between presenters and attendees. (Pictured: RGS Regional Biologist Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen)
Matt Soberg updated attendees on the current state of marketing and media efforts including the RGS magazine and social media channels. Dan Dessecker provided an update on conservation policy, state of affairs and political efforts of the organization. Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen and Ted Dick provided an in-depth look at recent RGS/AWS habitat work in Minnesota, including a look at what’s to come. Mark Fouts rounded out the RGS staff presentations and provided a look at the new Hunter Mentor program rolling out in 2016. (Pictured: RGS Director of Member Relations & Outreach Mark Fouts)
The final two presentations included volunteer guest speakers that took time out of their day to provide attendees with valuable expertise on two great topics, scouting and grouse dogs. Forrest Gibeault of Steigerwaldt Land Services demonstrated some advanced techniques utilizing Google Earth, county GIS systems, and a host of other technological platforms to make the most out of your time spent in the grouse woods. To close out the day, Steve Grossman of the Little Moran Hunt Club and Double Gun Bird Hunts was joined on stage by three of his guides, Bert Benshoof, Rod Lein, and Jim Koehler. The topic of grouse dogs and the ensuing question and answer session likely could have continued well into the evening but eventually we had to call it a day.
The 2016 Minnesota State Workshop was a great event this year and we intend to build off this momentum to continue delivering events like this to our members. The individual engagement from our members and others in attendance was certainly a highlight. It was clear that given the proper forum, our members have a lot to say and that’s the way we like it! (Pitured: MN DNR Forest Gamebird Coordinator Ted Dick)