WI 2018 Grouse season could prove to be mixed bag

JERRY DAVIS For the State Journal 

Warm, humid weather was not conducive to hunting grouse coverts opening weekend, but those persons who were afield had some success seeing or hearing ruffed grouse and American woodcock. 

The woodcock season opens Saturday, Sept. 22. 

Some hunters did take a bird home, too. Some good news came from the team from Missouri who are trapping birds, 100 each of three years, in trade for grouse habitat improvement in Wisconsin. They reached their goal and were able to stay a bit longer to even out the ratio of males to females. They will return for a second trapping next year. 

“They captured and then released healthy birds very soon after capture, taking them south the same day,” said Mark Witecha, upland bird biologist for the Department of Natural Resources. “It took them a while to get started, in part because there is so much good grouse habitat in Wisconsin.” 

Wisconsin biologists learned from the birds, too, before they left for the “Show Me” state. Birds were weighed and blood samples were taken to test for West Nile Virus. 

During the trapping, just walking in to check traps, the team flushed a fair number of birds, including coveys of 4 to 6 young birds. 

Birds were trapped in five Wisconsin counties, and several locations in each county.

Read the full State Journal article 


By Scott Johnson Grand Rapids Police Chief Where have all the ruffed grouse gone? 

After all, this is the first week of the hunting season. Somehow, regardless of the 10-year cycles, there just don’t seem to be as many birds in the woods. I am sure wildlife biologists can provide their scientific best guess, but I’m not really sure it matters. After all, the purpose never was to see how many grouse you could return home with after a hunting trip. 

Growing up, we never called them ruffed grouse. I think I was a teenager before I knew that is what they were called. To us it was, “Going partridge hunting,” and it was an annual fall tradition. My father would take my younger brother and me to “The Falls” to visit relatives and spend three days in the woods. We usually each got a partridge or two. Our dad taught us to clean the birds and then they would go into the freezer. He taught us many things about the woods and the history of the land. 

There is just something about walking down a logging trail with the crimson and yellow leaves, a coolness in the air, as the sun is rising further over the horizon. It is about the connection to each other and the woods. 

Read the rest of the Herald Review article

Outdoor Bound TV Bowen Lodge Minnesota Grouse and Woodcock Hunting EP147 Video

This week on Outdoor Bound TV, we get ready to hit the woods at famous Bowen Lodge in Northern Minnesota for a little October grouse and woodcock hunting with a group of friends, who gather each year, from all over the U.S., to take part in this special weekend. Come on along, as it's all about good friends, good food and great hunting.