Learn about Ruffed Grouse hunting - Brainerd / Baxter MN - Dec 4 2014

Come learn about grouse hunting and habitat opportunities in Minnesota at the Ruffed Grouse Society Drumming Log Chapter meet and greet event at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 4 at Gander Mountain in Baxter.

Minnesota DNR Forest Gamebird Coordinator Ted Dick and RGS Regional Director Mark Fouts will be there to discuss current and future grouse habitat projects in Minnesota along with grouse hunting information. They will also answer questions from attendees.

Become an active part in helping RGS improve the environment for ruffed grouse, woodcock, songbirds and a host of other forest wildlife in Minnesota. Snacks & beverages will be served.

To reserve a place at the event or for more information, contact: Matt Soberg, RGS Editor, 218-232-6227, editor@ruffedgrousesociety.org.

Hiring - PhD Position in Ruffed Grouse Population Dynamics - Madison Wi

PhD Position in Ruffed Grouse Population Dynamics

Forest & Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI
United States
Last Date to Apply:
02 Jan 2015 
Open until filled
Salary: $21,224
Start Date: 09/01/2015

Description: PhD Position available in Ruffed Grouse Population Dynamics

We are seeking an outstanding student to pursue the study of overwinter mortality of ruffed grouse in central Wisconsin. The student’s dissertation will involve radiotelemetry, collecting data on snow and forest conditions, and population modeling. Additional field or modeling components could be added depending on shared interests and funding opportunities. The student will be advised by Benjamin Zuckerberg (http://labs.russell....edu/zuckerberg/) in collaboration with Jon Pauli (http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/pauli/) and Zach Peery (http://labs.russell....ery/zach-peery/). The PhD assistantship is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2015. Note: this position is contingent on sufficient funding which will be determined in December.

Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and will continue until a suitable candidate is chosen. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. The position is open to both US citizen and international candidates. Current annual stipend levels are $21,224 per year before taxes, plus tuition remission and health care benefits. A start date of September 2015 is envisioned.

Interested applicants are asked to e-mail the documents listed below to our Student Services Coordinator Sara Rodock (rodock@wisc.edu) (in ONE PDF file please).
1) Our departmental graduate application cover sheet (http://go.wisc.edu/oxbq0b)
2) Letter outlining research interests, academic and professional backgrounds
3) Resume or CV
4) Copies of transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable at this point)
5) GRE scores
6) Names and contact addresses of three references

Questions should be directed to Dr. Zuckerberg (bzuckerberg@wisc.edu).

Qualifications: Applicants must have A MS degree in wildlife, ecology, evolution or other related discipline. Applicants with a BS degree will only be considered if substantial relevant experience can be shown. A solid working knowledge of radiotelemetry, GIS, mark-recapture analysis, population ecology, and demographic modeling are required. Although not a requirement, the preferred candidate will have experience conducting field studies in winter conditions. Excellent English writing and verbal communication skills are essential.

Contact: Sara Rodock, rodock@wisc.edu

One more time for MN late-season grouse

By Ron Anlauf

A recent trip to the Grand Rapids area with my buddy Tom Thiry for one of the last of the year grouse hunts was a success with numerous birds flushed. And better yet, some of them made it to the game bag, and there is no finer dining than when grouse is the main entrée.

Things didn’t start out with a bang, though, and it took some extra miles and downright difficult walking to find the numbers we were looking for.

The thickest of the downed trees were along a south facing slope that dropped down into a beaver pond, and that is where we busted the first bird and then the next nine or 10. In a short 300-yard stretch, we flushed at least 10 birds, four of which didn’t make it.

In Pursuit of the Perfect Bird Dog

By Dennis Anderson

Star Tribune

Sandstone, Minn. — Were Jerry Kolter an accountant or an engineer, he could solve problems with mathematical precision.

Instead, as a breeder of bird dogs, along with his wife, Betsy Danielson, he lives in a world of nuance and inferences, or what some might call educated guesses.

“Bird dogs” in this instance defines canines that can race lickety-split through Minnesota’s northern forests in search of ruffed grouse, a feathered foe whose survival instincts are knife-edge sharp, and include not only flying, but running, walking, levitating into trees and otherwise just plain vanishing.

“This is Oscar,” Kolter said the other day while unloading an athletically sculpted male English setter from his truck.

We were parked alongside a vast block of public forest land in Pine County, between the Twin Cities and Duluth, and were about to engage, the three of us — Kolter, Oscar and me — in a battle of wits and brush-beating stamina with Ol’ Ruff, the King of Game Birds.

Cagier than pheasants, more reclusive than bobwhite quail and better tasting than sharp-tailed grouse, ruffed grouse are a species shrouded in mystery and capable, it seems, of mutating from simple forest dwellers that stroll lazily on logging roads, to magic acts that disappear in a heartbeat.

“All right,” Kolter said, and Oscar was off in a blur, his legs opening up as he bounded over deadfalls and between aspens, his head held high.

Unlike continental pointing-dog breeds such as Brittanies and German short-haired pointers, which typically smell the ground while hunting, English setters and pointers (previously known as English pointers) hunt with their heads up, scenting the air.

It’s this trait that allows these dogs to detect and “point” — meaning, generally, freeze in their tracks — ruffed grouse from 15 to 30 feet distant, reducing the chance the birds will fly or run away before the hunter arrives to attempt a shot.

Fifty-four years old, with degrees in wildlife management and computer programming, Kolter has put his share of grouse and woodcock — another highly prized forest bird — in his game bag.
He still relishes the hunt, and relishes as well guiding other grouse and woodcock aficionados throughout the north country in October and November.

But even more enthusiastically over the past two decades, he and Danielson, a horticulturist, have enjoyed the daunting challenge of breeding and training setters and pointers with the physical stature, temperaments and bird-finding abilities to excel in the field.

Tracking the American woodcock

SHERBURNE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE -- Clusters of headlamps bob through the field of grasses and young willow shoots well after dark.

"We got one," calls a voice from one cluster. "You guys?"
"Six!" is the cheery response.

The two clusters meet amid what might to the outsider look like a series of badminton nets erected for who knows what purpose. The headlamps illuminate hands holding half a dozen cloth sacks, each occasionally squirming.

Inside each is a live American woodcock.

This was the scene this month as a team of researchers and volunteers set out to catch woodcocks and fit them with small satellite transmitters. The badminton nets are "mist nets" that birds simply fly into unawares as they head toward evening roosting grounds.

The project, headed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, aims to unravel lingering mysteries surrounding the odd and diminutive migratory game bird.

With a long beak and toes, the American woodcock looks similar to a shorebird. Yet it lives generally in the woods, using its flexible beak -- which it can open just at the tip if it so desires -- to forage on insects and grubs in the damp forest floor. Adding to its idiosyncrasies: It's eyes appear sort of backward; in fact, its brain is essentially upside down.

And then, of course, there is its name, which can't help but evoke a chuckle in boys of a certain age. Its alias is downright silly: the timberdoodle.