Lessons in life are always there if we can only let ourselves take time to learn them. This past weekend was one of those times that I continued to learn. As President of the Kentucky River Ruffed Grouse Society, I have been leading the charge to help this bellwether bird of forest health for this period of time. From habitat search to fundraisers I have been involved.[Read more…] about Kentucky Grouse | Life is a Journey – RGS
We hope everyone is ready, today we’re launching the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society (RGS/AWS) 2020 Conservation Calendar Contest. Dust off the best photos of your grouse and woodcock dogs and let’s see ’em. Everyone loves a bird dog, right?[Read more…] about Enter To Win | Bird Dog Photo Contest
Watch the latest trailer for an upcoming Ruffed Grouse Society film.
This is a story about the grouse woods, unpredictable weather, witty birds, first hunts, and friends. Join RGS/AWS as you feel the experience and Live For October.
Full Film to be released August 2019
Hunting ruffed grouse through the golden age, whenever it may be for you.
“Golden Ages” come and go. Consider for a moment why the term even exists. The idea itself can be relative. My ‘Golden Age’ can be different than it might be when examining a larger timeline. The individual elements that define my Golden Age may vary greatly compared with those of others. This story reflects some of those moments, but the term relative seems to be a much more relevant word . . .[Read more…] about In the Time of Ruffed Grouse…
By Matt Soberg, RGS & AWS Editor & Director of Communications
Now is your window to help RGS & AWS create healthy forests and increase the voice for the future of grouse and woodcock – New member drive ends April 1!
I was flying to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the Ruffed Grouse Society headquarters, watching a movie on my smartphone through the GoGo entertainment app offered by Delta, when I heard a character say, “Give me a window, that’s all I need.”[Read more…] about EDITOR NOTE: GIVE ME A WINDOW . . . That’s all I need . . .
A focus on simple gateways to grouse hunting can recruit our next generation of hunters.
By Matt Soberg, RGS/AWS Editor & Director of Communications
We always hear about perceived barriers to entry purportedly inherent in grouse and woodcock hunting. “There are no birds around, and it’s hard to find them. The cover is so thick, too hard and strenuous. When you do find birds, the shots are impossible. Guns are intimidating, and I don’t know how to train a bird dog.” Blah, blah, blah.
Grouse hunting is not that scary. Trust me.[Read more…] about GROUSE AND WOODCOCK HUNTING GATEWAYS
” . . . and part of the reason I hunt is because I love the bonds that this sport creates. The bond between a man or woman and a dog, the bond between fellow hunters, and the bond between the hunter and the hunted. Being able to share a hobby and passion with the ones I love means everything to me.” RGS Member Morgan Wolfe
I remember the first grouse flush I ever saw. It was in a New Hampshire cover we call “Spilled Milk”. The dairy farmer who owned the land passed away a long time ago, but before he did he left an old milk can down by the river. It’s on its side as if it spilled the milk, and it’s near a tremendous amount of Japanese knotweed. We find woodcock are in there, but further up where the feeder stream joins the river are some old apple trees. We always work the cover counter-clockwise beginning with the knotweed and woodcock and closing out with the apples and grouse.[Read more…] about WHY WE HUNT, Member Morgan Wolfe
I grouse hunt because it’s in my DNA. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have to be passed down through genetics. Take a stroll through the grouse woods and you might find it quickly imprinted in yours.
The story of grouse hunting for me starts somewhere in the Deep South . . . in a part of Georgia, oddly enough, where there are no grouse. I’m still a third generation bird hunter – Every winter from December to the middle of January, we hunt the bird every grouse hunter knows: woodcock.
At a young age I was always with the bird dogs in the kennels until I was old enough to go and watch, then shoot. Prior to grouse hunting, I had hunted quail, chukar, pheasant and woodcock. Most of my hunting was with my dad, so grouse was the only bird he had hunted that I hadn’t. He made his first trip to grouse country a couple years before I did. The bird dogs are my world, and when I found another game bird to hunt, I wanted to burst with excitement.[Read more…] about WHY WE HUNT, Member Payton Gunby
Our sport will die out if we’re not bringing in new hunters. In the sales world, we say if you’re not growing you’re dying. In the hunting world, the same may be true.
I was about 8 years old when I rounded the corner of a bean field in Hyde County, North Carolina, and it was there I saw what would guide me through the rest of my life. That was 40 years ago, and I can still see the combination of five English setters and pointers locked up on the edge of that field. Walking in on that first point was a blur of wings, sights, sounds and pure exhilaration. I am sure I shot in self-defense, and I don’t remember the first quail I bagged, nor the first woodcock or grouse. But I have points and birds from 40 years of upland hunting scattered throughout my memory. I cannot remember what I went to the grocery store for on a normal day, but I can see a woodcock I bagged over an old setter when I was about 12, just like it was yesterday. From the UP of Michigan to Louisiana, the “Little Russet Feller” has haunted me ever since. When my son bagged his first using the same gun on which I learned, he jumped up and down with excitement. He was hooked, and I was delighted.[Read more…] about WHY WE HUNT, Member Stephen Faust
The sun was making its way across a high top in the Nantahala Mountains, and the first rays of light hit the frozen windshield of my truck. The thoughts of previous hunts high in the Carolina hills fought for a piece of time in my memories. The memories make grouse hunting so unique . . . no two are ever the same. Every dog has its own slot, every bird too, and the covers, well they reside down the deepest passage in the rooms of the brain, only visible to me and those in which I choose to share them.[Read more…] about WHY WE HUNT, Member Noah Smith