Grouse Numbers Down
The DNR says ruffed grouse spring drumming counts were lower than last year across most of the bird’s range,
Compared with drumming counts conducted in 2011, 2012 survey results showed an average decline of 24 to 60 percent in the northeast survey region, which is the core of grouse range in Minnesota.
The grouse population is in the declining phase of its 10-year cycle said Mike Larson, DNR grouse biologist. He said the most recent peak in drum counts was during 2009, but hunter harvests remained relatively high through at least 2010.
Ruffed grouse populations, which tend to rise and fall on a 10-year cycle, are surveyed by counting the number of male ruffed grouse heard drumming on established routes throughout the state’s forested regions.