Gabriela Zaldumbide Gabby Zaldumbide is Project Upland's managing editor.
Wisconsin’s natural beauty caught my eye as a young child. Images of Devil’s Lake State Park and Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area are still vivid in my mind, even though I haven’t been to either of those places in over a decade.
I continued to admire southern Wisconsin’s humble beauty while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During my junior year, I helped a PhD student named Amy with her ruffed grouse research project. We took a trip up to the Sandhill State Wildlife Area to collect grouse scat one weekend, and while hiking around, Amy pointed out several drumming logs she’d found while working on her research project. Although I didn’t lay eyes on the king of the uplands while helping her with data collection, just being in its presence was enough to excite me.
I volunteered with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in my senior year of undergrad. I stocked pheasants for them in Dane County’s public lands, something I will never forget. I know planted birds are a completely different deal than wild ones; however, watching roosters explode out of my truck and coast all the way to the treeline is a glorious sight for any bird nerd to behold.
As a future bird hunter, I aspire to return to my home state to hunt ruffed grouse, American woodcock, and pheasant someday. I’d love to take another look at the natural areas that were important to me as a kid through the lens of a bird hunter. It’ll be an honor to join the ranks of other midwestern bird hunters who see Wisconsin’s incredible value.
Ruffed grouse are one of the most popular species to hunt in Wisconsin. They fill the state’s northern forests. One of the best areas to hunt for ruffed grouse is Price County. Price County and its 300,000 acres of hunting land is known to many as the “Ruffed Grouse Capital of the World.” There are other places to hunt ruffed grouse in Wisconsin, of course. However, it’s worth making it up to Price County if you’re hunting birds in Wisconsin.
The ruffed grouse season is broken up into two zones. Zone A, which is west of U.S. Highway 151, is open from September 16 through January 7, 2024. The daily bag limit is five birds, and the possession limit is 15 birds. Zone B is in the southeastern corner of the state. It is open from October 14 through December 8 with a daily bag limit of two birds and a possession limit of six birds.