Exploring Our Love (and Hatred) of Alder Thickets
Maybe in your grouse hunting career, you’ve explored the edges of a tangled alder swamp while looking for birds. You’ve quite possibly shot at a grouse that flew into one, requiring you to trudge in after it. Perhaps you have even willingly adventured into one to see what secrets it keeps. No matter which of these is true, if you’ve ever had to navigate through an alder swamp or thicket, you know the misery that they can be.[Read more…] about The Importance of Alders for Grouse and Woodcock
A Wisconsin ruffed grouse and woodcock hunter appreciates the local and sustainable nature of working forests.
A few years ago, I was helping my neighbor, a contractor, frame up a house. Carrying 2 x 6s from the pile to the foundation, I noticed they were stamped MADE IN GERMANY. Here we were in the midst of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, in the midst of fine stands of red and white pine, and we were buying lumber grown and milled halfway around the world. This made no economic or ecological sense to me — it still doesn’t — that we would use lumber from so far away when we had usable and good trees within sight. The German wood shed new meaning on the term far-fetched.[Read more…] about Working Forests are Local and Sustainable.
Shell Appalachia has awarded the Susquehanna River Valley chapter a $25,000 grant in support of habitat work in Tioga State Forest designed to benefit wildlife and healthy forest regeneration.
The funding will cover the cost of fencing material to protect a 146-acre prescribed fire treatment area on state forest in the Shin Hollow area of Gaines Township, Tioga County. In addition, the grant will be used to purchase brood cover seed mix and seedlings, as well as hard and soft mast seedlings that will be planted within the project area.[Read more…] about Shell Appalachia awards Susquehanna River Valley chapter $25,000 grant for Pennsylvania habitat project
The Ruffed Grouse Society is among 35 of the nation’s leading conservation organizations that united to form the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) nearly 20 years ago.
The coalition has now grown to 50 organizations, representing the interests of America’s millions of hunter-conservationists, professional wildlife and natural resource managers, outdoor recreation users, conservation educators, and wildlife scientists. As a coalition of organizations ranging from the Archery Trade Association to the Wildlife Management Institute, individual AWCP organizations have their own primary areas of interest, but we share a commitment to coordinated engagement with federal agencies and Congress to promote wildlife conservation and provide for sustainable public use and enjoyment of those resources.[Read more…] about Building a Conservation Network – RGS
- Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan Departments of Natural Resources recently announced results of the first year of coordinated West Nile Virus (WNV) sampling efforts for ruffed grouse in their state
- Rates of WNV antibodies in ruffed grouse varied from around 13 percent in Minnesota and Michigan, and 29 percent in Wisconsin
- Ruffed Grouse Society continues to emphasize habitat management as the “solution” for WNV, and aid in coordinating surveillance efforts in all 3 states
October 22, 2019
For Immediate Release
Coraopolis, Pa. – The Departments of Natural Resources in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan recently announced results of West Nile Virus (WNV) testing of hunter submitted samples from the 2018 hunting seasons.
Results are the first in a three-year study conducted through a partnership among the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) and each state agency. The coordinated effort was planned to better understand ruffed grouse exposure to WNV in the region. Results already demonstrate that some grouse survive exposure to WNV and are not sick when harvested in the fall.[Read more…] about Earliest Test Results of West Nile Virus Sampling in Upper Great Lakes Ruffed Grouse Now Available – RGS
Researchers studying and working to understand the migration habits and tendencies of one remarkable bird.
One late afternoon last October, Alex Fish and I headed to a woodlot owned by the University of Maine, just a short drive from campus. The property is a few hundred acres, and was clearcut before being donated to the University. Now the forest holds a nice mix of aspen and other hardwoods with some scattered conifers and can be quite productive as a ruffed grouse cover. But with alder lowlands and a long stretch of river bottom that provide plenty of moist soils, this property is also a great cover for woodcock. This evening we were after woodcock.
Although it’s a cover I regularly hunt, our goal tonight was to catch birds for research. The property is relatively long and narrow with a single gated access road, which widens in a few places where logs were staged during the last harvest. We knew from experience that woodcock would often fly into these old log landings to roost at night. We set a series of mist nets in one of the old landings, and settled in to wait for dusk when woodcock would make their evening flights.
While the perils and challenges faced by ruffed grouse and American woodcock may be familiar to our conservation-minded members, the continental and even global significance of these issues may not be fully recognized.
In a recent study published online by the journal Science, it was noted that wild bird populations have declined by nearly 30% since 1970 in the continental U.S. and Canada. Sadly, we know these declines to have effected ruffed grouse and American woodcock too. Yet the ruffed grouse and woodcock are not alone in their struggles and we are not alone in our concerns for these birds. Others have taken notice, too.[Read more…] about Beyond The Bellwether of Our Forests – RGS
Wisconsin NRB Will Vote on Emergency Rule
The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board will vote on a proposed rule to shorten the 2019 ruffed grouse season at their September 24-25th 2019 meeting. The Natural Resources Board (NRB) sets policy and provides direction for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
During an informational session at the June 26th NRB meeting, the Board requested DNR to begin working on an emergency rule to shorten the 2019 ruffed grouse season. An emergency rule that shortened the 2018 ruffed grouse hunting season passed last summer. That rule expired at the conclusion of the 2018 hunting season.[Read more…] about RGS Urges Prudence and Use of Sound Science in Considering a 2019 Wisconsin Grouse Hunting Season Emergency Rule