RGS History 1960's

The 1960's - The Muffled Beat 



The Ruffed Grouse Society’s roots are in the mountains. The organization, founded in the small Virginia town of Monterey, in the mountainous country near the West Virginia border, was granted a Virginia charter dated October 24, 1961 as The Ruffed Grouse Society of America.

And so the Society’s evolution began, an evolution that continues today as the Society adapts to meet its various challenges. New leadership is taking the Society ahead with new plans, new initiatives.

What the Society might accomplish in the future, however, will owe much to past investments and achievements, especially those of the last 30 years, a quarter of a century plus of building on the principles of sound science and commonsense forest management.

The Society has experienced two truly seminal years, the first 1961, the year of its inception, and the second 1977. In that first year, Bruce R. Richardson, Jr.; Seybert Beverage, an attorney; and Dixie L. Shumate set out to create an organization to help find out what was ailing ruffed grouse populations, which they saw in general decline.

Richardson was the first president and last of the trio to die, passing away in April of 1994.

“Judge “ Beverage, who was confined to a wheelchair, was secretary and editor of the Society’s small newsletter. Shumate was treasurer.


Ed Yates, left, banquet chairman of the Middle Tennessee RGS Chapter,
presents a photo of the house that held the first office of the Ruffed Grouse Society
to Dave Sandstrom, treasurer of the RGS National Board of Directors.
Dr. John Beverage of Nashville, Tennessee gave the photo to Yates.
Dr. Beverage is the brother of the late Seybert Beverage, one of the founders of the Ruffed Grouse Society.
The Beverage home, on Spruce Street in Monterey, Virginia, was where
wheelchair-bound Seybert Beverage conducted his law practice.
As an attorney, he played a key role in the inception of the organization
and later was editor of the Society’s first newsletter, which he put together in his home office.


THE 1960's

October 10, 1961- the date the Ruffed Grouse Society of America (RGSA) is formed in Monterey, VA, with incorporation on October 24: Bruce R. Richardson, president; Judge Seybert Beverage, Secretary; and Dixie Shumate, Treasurer.

Membership is $10 annual or $100 Life (billed for 4 yrs. at $25 ea. yr.) and you got your name on a scroll.

The Ruffed Grouse Society of America publishes its first publication by the same name Vol. 1 – No. 1 in Monterey, VA for April 1963. Judge Seybert is Editor. One article indicates 151 members from 21 states.

Vol 2. – No. 1 for Summer 1964 indicates two more states are now represented (TX and GA) and 117 new members added “Since the last edition of the publication…’ (Vol. 1 – No. 1). That’s 268 members from 23 states. In November 2010, there were current members from 49 and occasionally a serviceman member passes through Hawaii to make all 50 states.

Game popularity rating for Maine. Note: ruffed grouse were 2nd and woodcock were 9th.

Not yet supported by RGSA, grouse research at Cloquet, MN continues.

RGSA National HQ Sign
Sign from RGSA National Headquarters that also appeared on the annual magazines.

First Annual Meeting held August 12-13 in Bedford Springs, PA hosted 40 delegates from five states and DC. PA chosen because of its recognition of the ruffed grouse as its state bird. Keith Davis is elected president, replacing founding president Bruce R. Richardson. Other founding officers also relinquish posts.

1966 Annual Meeting Dinner

1966 Annual Meeting Dinner


Ruffed Grouse -- PA State Bird
Ruffed Grouse -- Pennsylvania State Bird

Vol 3 – No. 1 Spring 1967 New emblem (patch) available $2 ea. Blackwater Falls Lodge, WV hosts the 1967 annual meeting on September 9. Authorizes state and local chapters as well as publishing a winter and summer issue of the magazine. President’s Letter – Reported on the annual meeting and indicated the emblems would be sent out in the next few days.

RGSA Patch
First Ruffed Grouse Society of America Patch

February 1968 sees Vol. 4 – No. 1 published. First order of jacket emblems nearly sold out. Vol. 4 – No. 2 published June 1968 indicates the location of the annual meeting on August 23-25 at Allenberry, Boiling Springs, PA. First ad appears in June 1968 RGSA magazine. Article about the first radio transmitters to be placed on grouse credits the lowly and often maligned porcupine as being used to develop the transmitters and tracking technique for the research at Cloquet in MN during early 1965. It is hoped ‘the great uncertainty, the grouse cycle, can have its cause finally pinned down’. President’s Letter indicates he (Keith Davis) was re-elected ‘his arm was twisted’ and that other officers stayed the same with the addition of a new vice president, Nick Sisley, who would also edit the magazine.

1st Ad RGSA magazine June 1968
What is believed to be the first ad to appear in the official RGSA magazine.

Allenberry Location Map
Allenberry Location Map
Allenberry Typical Room
Allenberry Accomodations
Note the TV and other furnishings.

Vol 5, No. 2 June 1969 announces annual meeting at ‘The Fabulous Lake Placid Club in the Adirondacks August 22-24’ where George Ford is elected president. Also provided an update on ‘RGSA’s Tax Exempt Status’ which hadn’t been granted yet. Finally granted 501(c)(3) non-profit status two weeks after the meeting on September 4, 1969. State chapters forming and becoming active. “Gridding” – New Habitat Management Tool promoted as a way to increase wildlife.


Jan 1969 MI Chapter Regular Meeting Dinner
January 29, 1969 Michigan Chapter Regular Meeting Dinner Attendees
MI Chapter Grouse Management Resolution
Michigan Chapter Grouse Management Resolution

“For all of us, it was a labor of love,” said Bruce Richardson, RGS’ first president, many years ago.

It remains so today.

Continue to the 1970's
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Rev. February 3, 2011


Mission Statement

Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is North America's foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

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