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
ruffed grouse society
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?
Every four years, the confluence of hunting season and the national general election causes me to think about our freedom, democracy and our passion for hunting grouse and woodcock that we so deeply cherish. I think about this in two ways: 1) we hunt grouse and woodcock because we can, and 2) we hunt grouse and woodcock because someone was there to help us get started.
We often hear that hunting is a privilege – which it is. We often hear that the percentage of hunters in North America is in decline – which it is. What many do not realize is that there is more recreational hunting in North America, and more hunters afield, than practically anywhere else in the world.[Read more…] about President’s Message – And Now It’s Our Turn . . .
RGS chapters are striving to ensure national forests are properly managed in the Southern Appalachian Region to preserve our grouse hunting traditions for future generations.
The famed conservationist Aldo Leopold once said, “We shall never achieve harmony with the land, anymore than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.” The word “strive”, being the operative, is exactly what RGS chapter volunteers are doing in North Carolina and Georgia to ensure our public lands, namely national forests, are being properly managed for wildlife.[Read more…] about 2016 RGS GROUSE CAMP TOUR – North Carolina & Georgia
RGS 2016 GROUSE CAMP TOUR – Monterey, Virginia
The Birthplace of the Ruffed Grouse Society
Walking down the short main street of Monterey, Virginia, a small mountain town in the northwestern part of the state, it would be difficult to assume that North America’s leading forest wildlife conservation organization was started there way back in 1961, but it was . . . welcome to the birthplace of the Ruffed Grouse Society.[Read more…] about 2016 RGS GROUSE CAMP TOUR – Monterey, Virginia
2016 RGS GROUSE CAMP TOUR – West Virginia
The Habitat and History of the Canaan Valley
Grouse camp mystifies the overall grouse and woodcock hunting experience . . . sitting next to a fire, telling stories of misses and great days afield, belly laughing at your buddies, all while petting a bird dog . . . these are all things we cherish and must preserve for future generations of grouse and woodcock hunters.[Read more…] about 2016 RGS GROUSE CAMP TOUR – West Virginia
Be careful . . . ruffed grouse will burn a passion into your hunting heart from which you can’t break free.
Give me just a touch of cooler air and for some reason, I have to start roaming. If the calendar is on the right month, that means the ruffed grouse season is in full swing. I am going to spend my free time experiencing a dense woods devour me, bones and all. I could spend some time waiting in a treestand for a whitetailed deer to come by but, I must admit, I still get fidgety. That sitting in one spot doesn’t give me any relief from that feeling that I have to roam. As I study my simple reaction to cooler weather, some will call it many things. I no longer think of it as being a passed-down tradition, being taught by someone, etc., etc. It is in my blood, and this feeling comes over me much the same as breathing; so simple and natural.[Read more…] about Why We Hunt, with Member Douglas B. Egenolf