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Survey says: (from DNR web site)

 

In 2018, ruffed grouse surveys were conducted between 5 April and 15 May. Mean ruffed grouse drums per stop (dps) were 1.5 statewide (95% confidence interval = 1.3–1.7) and decreased (29%) from the previous year. High points in the population cycle occur on average every 10 years, and surveys this year indicate that the peak occurred last year, with counts similar to the previous peak in 2009.

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Posted (edited)

I would be careful calling last year a peak quite yet.  Ms. Roy should be careful predicting the future.  That would be the first peak ever in a year ending in "7".  Peaks occurred in '52, '58, '72, , '78 & '80 (dip in '79), '89, '98,  and 2009.  Some cycles have very distinct peaks will others are broader in nature.  "Shoulders and pulses in the curves occur with some frequency.

 

On top of the lower drum count ... this spring has been "not good" for upland birds ... fall count may be lower than one would hope for.   Both pheasants and grouse may depend more on second (late) hatch.   One never really knows until you get out there.  Looking back 2004 and 2006 were two of my best seasons in birds taken.

 

Last year the fall population was much lower than anticipated across most of the MN grouse range with little explanation.  Both DNR and RGS biologists ate lots of crow for their predictions.   RGS national hunt out of GR had one of the poorest ruffed grouse harvests ever recorded.

 

I see that the DNR is asking for voluntary participation in a West Nile study on ruffed grouse (see the DNR HSOforum).   West Nile must be one of the suspects ...

 

 

 

 

Edited by brittman

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Britt: Do you know where to view the Ruffed Grouse Society Invitational Hunt in Grand Rapids MN annual harvest statistics by year? Thanks.

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