Artist wins Wyoming Game and Fish Department's annual Conservation Stamp Art competition with a Ruffed Grouse painting

by Dan Sanderson-Staff Writer

An image of ruffed grouse, plucking berries off of trees over the AuSable River, has garnered a national award for a Grayling wildlife artist and downtown gallery owner.

Kim Diment won first place in the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Conservation Stamp Art competition for a painting she did of ruffed grouse called "Dine and Dash."

Diment learned that the ruffed grouse was the animal for the 2014 Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Conservation Stamp Art competition while she was in the state last fall for a workshop.

The Susan Kathleen Black Workshop and Arts Conference hosts between 50 to 150 plein air artists, who paint out in the field, every year. Black was a nature artist. The workshop was founded by Black's husband, Jim Parkman, as tribute to Black after she died from cancer. The workshop is a means to support a foundation and other efforts  to advance art education in Black's honor.

"It's a beautiful location along with being an area, where you can do a lot of photography if you want to do that because there are animals everywhere and great things to photograph," Diment said.

After the workshop, Diment was taking reference photos of animals in the Grand Teton National Park, when she captured a photo of a family of ruffed grouse. A friend informed her that ruffed grouse was selected as the subject matter for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Conservation Stamp Art competition.

Ironically, the image Diment used for the winning painting was captured outside her home art studio, overlooking the AuSable River. Oak, hawthorn trees  and wild crab apple trees are located on the banks of the river and the surrounding property.

"The ruffed grouse keep coming in to feed as long as the berries are there," Diment said.

Read the rest of the Crawford County Avalanche article

2012-13 New York State Grouse and Woodcock Hunting Log Results

During the 2012-13 ruffed grouse and American woodcock hunting seasons, 280 hunters recorded their daily hunting activities, including information such as the number of birds flushed, the number of hours hunted, the number of birds killed, and if a dog was used to hunt grouse and woodcock. The primary purpose of the log is to monitor the number of birds flushed per hour. Changes in the flush rate illustrate trends in the grouse and woodcock populations when viewed over a long period of time and will provide insight into statewide distributions for these popular game species as habitats change both locally and on a landscape scale.

You can view, print, or download the 2012-13 Grouse and Woodcock Log Report (PDF) (1.1 MB).

We thank all the hunters that participated in this survey during the 2012-13 seasons.

Results from the 2012-13 Season

During the 2012-13 season, participants reported data from over 2,600 hunting trips across the state, from the lower Hudson Valley in the south, to the Adirondacks and St. Lawrence Valley in the north, and the Lake Plains and Allegheny Plateau in far western New York. They spent almost 7,000 hours afield and flushed almost 5,000 grouse (about 0.7 flushes/hour) and close to 2,700 woodcock (about 0.6 flushes/hour). Some findings from the 2012-13 season include:

Grouse Hunting

  • Hunters participating in the survey averaged about 25 hours afield during the 2012-13 season. They took about 9 trips afield for the season and spent about 3 hours afield per trip.
  • Grouse log participants averaged about 18 grouse flushed per hunter for the 2012-13 season and had to spend about one hour and 20 minutes hunting in order to flush one grouse. In addition, hunters averaged about 1.4 birds harvested for the season and had to invest over 16 hours of hunting effort to harvest one grouse. On average, one out of every 12 grouse flushes resulted in a kill (a 8.5% success rate).
  • About 68% of the effort expended by hunters occurred during the first half of the season (September November). In addition, about 75% of the grouse flushed and 79% of the grouse harvested occurred during this early part of the season. The flush rate was higher during the first half of the season (0.79 vs. 0.61), and varied by month with a peak in November (0.84 flushes/hour).
  • Slightly more effort was expended by hunters on public lands, and the number of grouse flushed was slightly higher there; however, the flush rate was slightly higher private lands (0.76 vs. 0.69 flushes/hour).
  • Overall, there was far more effort expended in the southern grouse season zone than the northern season zone (over 70% of the total), but the flush rate was similar between the southern zone and northern zone (about 0.73 grouse flushed/hour).
  • Hunting effort was well distributed across major geographic regions of New York State. About 40% of the hunting effort took place in western New York (35% Appalachian Hills & Plateau Ecozone, 5% Lake Plains Ecozone), about 27% in northern New York (15% Adirondacks Tug Hill Ecozone, 9% St. Lawrence Valley Ecozone, 3% Champlain Valley Ecozone), and about 33% in the southeastern part of the state (17% Catskills Delaware Hills, 16% Mohawk Valley Hudson Valley Taconic Highlands). The highest number of grouse were flushed and harvested in the Appalachian Hills & Plateau Ecozone, followed by the Catskill Delaware Hills and Adirondacks Tug Hill ecozones (see PDF above of the 2012-13 report for a map with the regions referred to here).
  • The flush rate was highest in the Adirondacks-Tug Hill Ecozone (0.91 grouse flushed/hour), followed by the Catskills Delaware Hills and Appalachian Hills & Plateau ecozones (0.84 grouse flushed/hour). The rest of the ecozones were below the annual statewide average of 0.73 grouse flushed/hour.
  • Most hunters that participated in the survey used a dog to hunt grouse. In general, hunters that used a dog flushed and harvested more grouse and had a higher flush rate (0.81 grouse flushed/hour) than hunters that did not use a dog (0.60 grouse flushed/hour).

Woodcock Hunting

  • Analyses for woodcock data were restricted to 20 September through 30 November. This represents the period in which resident and migrating woodcock were in New York and accounted for 99% of all the woodcock observations during the survey. The results presented in this report are based on 1,749 trips and 4,703 hours afield by 252 hunters.
  • Hunters participating in the survey averaged almost 19 hours afield during the 2012 woodcock season. They took about 7 trips afield for the season and spent about 3 hours afield per trip.
  • Survey participants averaged almost 11 woodcock flushed per hunter for the 2012 season and had to spend just under 2 hours hunting in order to flush one woodcock. In addition, hunters averaged about 2 birds harvested for the season and had to invest about 9 hours of hunting effort to harvest one woodcock. On average, one out of every 5 woodcock flushes resulted in a kill (a 20% success rate).
  • Hunting effort was evenly distributed over the 45-day season, with a peak in effort in early October. More birds were flushed during the first week of October than during any other week of the season, but the flush rate was highest during the fourth week of October (0.81 birds flushed/hour). The overall flush rate from 20 September through 30 November was 0.58 birds/hour.
  • There was more hunting effort and woodcock flushed and killed on public land than on private land, but the flush rate was slightly higher on private land (0.61 vs. 0.55 woodcock flushed/hour).
  • There was more hunting effort and woodcock flushed and killed in the southern zone than in the northern zone, but the flush rate was higher in the northern zone (0.67 vs. 0.54 woodcock flushed/hour).
  • The flush rate was highest in the St. Lawrence Valley Ecozone (0.89 woodcock flushed/hour). Several other ecozones were close to the statewide average flush rate (0.58 birds flushed/hour), with the exception of the Champlain Valley Ecozone, which was below the statewide average (0.41 birds flushed/hour).
  • Most hunters that participated in the survey used a dog to hunt woodcock. Hunters that used a dog flushed and harvested more woodcock and had a higher flush rate (0.78 birds flushed/hour) than hunters that did not use a dog (0.16 birds flushed/hour).

Comparing 2012-13 to Previous Seasons

Ruffed Grouse

  • Over the past nine seasons, 1,132 hunters have participated in this survey. They took over 26,000 trips afield, spent almost 74,000 hours pursuing grouse, flushed about 74,000 birds, and harvested roughly 6,400 grouse. During this time period, the average flush rate was 1.04 grouse flushed/hour.
  • Summary statistics for hunter effort (trips/hunter, hours/hunter) during the 2012-13 season were lower than the previous season and were below the long-term average. Indices for grouse abundance (flushes and kills/hunter, flushes/hour) were lower than 2011-12 and below the long-term average. The 2012-13 flush rate (0.73 birds/hour) was the lowest observed since this survey was initiated in 2004.
  • The amount of time spent afield to harvest a grouse has increased the past four seasons from 9 hours in 2009-10 to over 16 hours in 2012-13. The number of grouse flushed and harvested per hunter during 2012-13 were both lower than the previous season and below the long-term average.
  • Flush rates declined from 2011-12 to 2012-13 in every ecozone, with the exception of the Adirondacks-Tug Hill which increased about 20% (0.75 to 0.91 birds flushed/hour). Declines ranged from 3% in the Champlain Valley Ecozone (0.67 to 0.65 grouse flushed/hour) to about 30% in the Lake Plains, Appalachians Hills & Plateau, St. Lawrence Valley, and Catskill ecozones. Only the Adirondacks-Tug Hill Ecozone was close to the long-term statewide average (1.04 grouse flushed/hour).
  • Annual variation in grouse abundance is likely a result of variation in weather, including spring temperature and rainfall and winter snow conditions, and food availability during the summer and fall (e.g., soft and hard mast). Ecozones with flush rates that are consistently below the statewide average likely suffer from poor habitat quantity and quality. In areas with a lack of the early successional habitats on which this species depends, grouse, their nests, and young are more vulnerable to predation and other limiting factors.
  • Over the past nine seasons, trends in grouse populations statewide and in major ecozones have resembled a "bell-shaped curve" that peaked from 2006-09. It is unclear whether this is illustrative of the grouse population "cycles" that have been observed in other states. If we use statewide grouse harvest estimates as an index to grouse populations, over the past two decades there does not seem to be a 10-year cycle in New York. Whether this is because declining habitat quantity and quality have disrupted the cycle, or whether these habitat factors are "masking" a cycle that would normally occur during optimal habitat conditions is not known. Alternately, there may be population cycles operating at a geographic scale larger (e.g., the northeastern U.S.) or smaller (e.g., the St. Lawrence Valley) than currently being measured. In the coming years, data from the Grouse Hunter's Log will help identify patterns in grouse populations and help us determine whether such cycles occur in New York.
  • After nine seasons, we can begin to assemble a picture of grouse distribution and abundance in New York State, and use this information to help target habitat management efforts to improve conditions for early successional species (Figure 3). Improving or restoring habitat in or close to regions with high quality habitat has a better chance at being successful than habitat management in regions devoid of high quality grouse habitat. In fact, conducting habitat improvement in regions with a lack of good habitat can have detrimental impacts on grouse populations by creating habitat "sinks" (islands of good habitat in a sea of poor habitat) that are insufficient for reproduction and survival.

American Woodcock

  • With the expansion of the woodcock season from 30 days in 2010 to 45 days in 2011, we observed a concomitant increase in hunter effort. From 2011 to 2012, hunter effort was similar, but the flush rate increased from 0.49 to 0.58 birds flushed/hour, comparable to the flush rate in 2010 (0.59 birds flushed/hour).
  • A similar trend was observed in the spring "Singing-ground Survey" (SGS) coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The number of singing males per route in New York from 2010 to 2012 was 2.78, 2.61, and 2.67 males, respectively, so over this short time span the SGS conducted in the spring and the hunter's log conducted in the fall seem to be correlated.
  • The timing of migration was similar between 2010 and 2012, with the peak in migration occurring slightly later in those years (week of October 25th) than in 2011 (week of October 18th).

GAYLORD,MI Ruffed Grouse Society fundraising banquet - June 14 2013

The Jim Foote Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society will host its 21st annual Conservation and Sportsmen’s Banquet Friday, June 14, at Treetops Resort, 3962 Wilkinson Road, Gaylord.

The banquet begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m.

The evening will feature a live and silent auction, games, drawings and door prizes.

Individual membership and dinner tickets are $55. Optional family membership packages are $85 and include two dinners, with additional dinners costing $35 each. Sponsorship packages also are available.

Complimentary dinner tickets and one-year memberships are available for youth under 16 who recently passed a hunter education class and women who participated in a recent Outdoors Women program.

Reservations received by Wednesday, June 5, are eligible for a drawing for a wildlife permit.Proceeds from this event will be used to restore and protect area grouse and woodcock habitat. This is the organization’s biggest annual fundraiser.

For more information and/or tickets, contact chapter president Peter McCutcheon at 231-546-4849.

Original Gaylord Herald Times Article 

PDF of RGS Banquet Information                                                                                                                                          

Sporting Clays Fundraiser for the Ruffed Grouse Society - Bristol, VA - June 8th

June 8th.

The Appalachian Highlands Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society is hosting its third annual sporting clays fundraiser shoot out at the Kettlefoot Rod and Gun Club.

Proceeds from the event will be used for local habitat projects.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The shoot runs from 9 a.m. – noon.

The shoot will be a 100 round Iron Man event (25 5/Stand; 25 Skeet; 25 Trap; 25 Trap Doubles). Registration fees are $50 am individual, $180 for a four-person team, and $40 for youngsters age 15 and under.

The registration fee includes lunch, door prizes and awards for High Shooter, High Team, High Female and High Youth.

Field Hunter, Silver Hunter, Gold Hunter and Event sponsorship packages are also available at $250, $500, $1,000 and $2,500 respectively.

All shooters are required to have eye and ear protection.

Established in 1961, The Ruffed Grouse Society is North America’s foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

Information on the RGS, its mission and management projects can be found on the web at: The society's national address is: 451 McCormick Road, Coraopolis, PA 15108.

venue information

Kettlefoot Rod and Gun Club

21101 Kettlefoot Lane Bristol, VA