The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said today that ruffed grouse drumming counts are similar to last year across the state.
That’s either good news or bad news depending on your perspective, but based on what friends and I encountered during last fall’s grouse hunting season, “similar to last year” doesn’t sound half bad.
In a news release, the DNR said this year’s survey results for ruffed grouse showed no statistical change in all regions of the state. In the northeast survey region, which is the core of grouse range in Minnesota, counts were 1.3 drums per stop; in the northwest there were 1.0 drums per stop; in the central hardwoods, 0.7 drums per stop; and in the southeast, 0.4 drums per stop.
Sharptail counts also were similar to last year, with this year’s survey tallying a statewide average of 9.8 grouse per lek, or dancing ground, which is similar to the long-term average since 1980.
The DNR’s 2015 grouse survey report, which contains information on ruffed grouse and sharp-tailed grouse, is available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/grouse.
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