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Gone Hunting.. => Other Hunting => Game Birds => Topic started by: Labsteve on August 31, 2011, 01:05:56 PM

Title: Grouse Season is coming soon
Post by: [Blocked] on August 31, 2011, 01:05:56 PM
Just read the latest on WI and MI Grouse and Woodcock. Not the first reports I have seen. Numbers look good and am anxious to get the dogs to the woods so I can start shooting trees. Just a few weeks until the Sept 15th opening. Hope you all can enjoy some of this also. Here is the latest report from the Traveling Wingshooter newsletter.

MINNESOTA was the top producer last year for ruffed grouse, with an estimated harvest of 465,000. That represented an increase of over 100,000 birds compared to the 2009 season, but that's at least partially explained by the fact that there were more grouse hunters last year.
Spring drumming counts decreased in 2010 after hitting a 40-year high the year before, but increased once more this spring. Weather during the nesting season was relatively favorable, which should mean another good season. The top area in the state is the DNRs northeast survey region. In general, hunting should be good everywhere the habitat mix contains more aspen and fewer conifers.
Although the estimated woodcock harvest was only 35,000, that's more indicative of a relative lack of interest than low bird numbers.

In  WISCONSIN, where hunters harvested an estimated 324,000 grouse last year, spring drumming counts increased 38 percent. Although that would seem to indicate an even better season this year, last year should have been the peak. For both grouse and woodcock, an unusually wet spring and early summer in much of northern Wisconsin may have hampered reproduction. The DNR runs summer brood counts that should give a better indication of grouse numbers for this season, and we'll provide them when they become available in early September.

Last year's woodcock harvest was estimated at about 53,000 based on DNR-conducted hunter surveys, and at 42,000 based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Harvest Information Program (HIP). The more heavily forested northern half of the state will be best for both birds.

MICHIGAN led all states in woodcock harvest in 2010, with a HIP-estimated total of 93,000. Although there is no grouse harvest estimate available for last year, flush rates for grouse in 2010 were similar to 2009, and slightly higher for woodcock. Highest flush rates for grouse were in the Upper Peninsula (UP); for woodcock, in northern Lower Michigan.

This year's drumming counts in the UP showed an almost identical increase, at 37 percent, to those in Wisconsin. The counts were about the same as last year in northern Lower Michigan. The forecast for this year is similar to slightly higher for both birds. A late spring appeared to have hampered woodcock reproduction, but banders reported hens with chicks in June, which would indicate successful re-nesting - those re-nests nearly always produce smaller clutches than the four eggs no rmally brooded.
Title: Re: Grouse Season is coming soon
Post by: [Blocked] on August 31, 2011, 01:48:44 PM
it will be interesting. i didn't hear much drumming this spring. i expected this w/ the hard winter.

the woodcock were thick this spring w/ the wet weather. i had many 'tornadoeing' at night around my cabin. it's fun to watch during a full moon.

good info. thx
Title: Re: Grouse Season is coming soon
Post by: [Blocked] on August 31, 2011, 02:14:39 PM
Never hunted these birds but it is on my list, great info. @--0--0101 ##$%#115
Title: Re: Grouse Season is coming soon
Post by: [Blocked] on August 31, 2011, 03:39:48 PM
I always try to get out grouse hunting at least a couple of times every fall. great fun to hunt