“I have read many definitions of what is a conservationist, and written not a few myself, but I suspect that the best one is written not with a pen, but with an axe. It is a matter of what a man thinks about while chopping, or while deciding what to chop. A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke he is writing his signature on the face of his land.”[Read more…] about PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: What are “Healthy Forests”?
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
Our hats look like oil pans, our favorite vests have more patches and thread than original cloth, and while we may be late to supper, we are never late for opening day. Anything done in moderation shows a lack of interest, and we are among the obsessed. Go hard or go home.
I don’t think we grouse and woodcock hunters are very smart. At least I know I’m not. For what kind of hunter volunteers to get shredded by cover only to get a glimmer of a snap shot at cagey birds that dart behind aspen swales and pine boughs? And what kind of hunter shrugs off a bark dusting so easily that it’s considered normal? We do it again and again so much so that we are reminded of Albert Einstein’s ‘Definition of Insanity’: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Even though I know your answer, it’s not right for me to answer for you. But for me? By Einstein’s definition, I am insane.[Read more…] about Why We Hunt, with Member Tom Keer
Working your dog in the off-season with training partners helps ensure you get the most out of your fall.
Working your dog in the off-season is a good way to ensure you get the most out of your fall. Find some training partners, develop relationships with them, and if you don’t know anyone, reach out to others in your area that might have birds, equipment and access to training grounds.
Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society members are a dedicated group of hunters and conservationists, and attending an RGS or AWS birds and brew event, meet and greet, fun hunt, shoot or banquet can be a great resource to find like-minded hunters that have a passion for good dog work and time in the field pursuing birds.[Read more…] about Training in the Dog Days of Summer
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
Condition Your Bird Dog to Help Prevent Soft-Tissue Injuries
Crashing through the tag alder, tripping over a drumming log, or putting an ankle between a rock and a hard place are hazards that make pursuing the king of game birds both challenging and appealing. It’s no wonder our canine athletes come down with aches, pains and strains, yet it’s amazing they’re willing to persevere, often relying on heart and sheer desire.[Read more…] about Purina Pro Plan Tips – Prevent Soft-Tissue Injuries
RGS and AWS staff and their dogs convened at headquarters in Pittsburgh last week to plan for the future of habitat programs, membership, events and communications.
RGS and AWS staff and some of their grouse dogs convened at headquarters near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last week to plan for the future of habitat programs, membership initiatives, events and communications. Numerous presentations and break-out sessions allow staff to collaborate planning at the national level and also specific to their regions. Biologists, regional directors and headquarters staff are able to meet and plan in-person and brainstorm ways to create and implement more effective and efficient programs that enhance healthy forests that support abundant wildlife and preserve our sporting traditions for future generations.[Read more…] about Staff Meeting & Info Updates