The Ruffed Grouse Society Preserves Our Sporting Traditions
The Ruffed Grouse Society preserves and honors the history, ethics and etiquette inherent in our our rich sporting traditions, and does so by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse and American woodcock. Devoted to the sporting life, ruffed grouse and woodcock hunters are a special group with a passion for the unique challenge these birds present.
Population and Hunting Forecasts
Bird Dogs and Trapping
Embrace the Challenge
Grouse and woodcock hunters love the formidable challenge that these birds present – we embrace it, and it’s a big part of what draws us together and brings us back to the woods every fall.
More than any other kind of bird hunting, grouse hunting is wild bird hunting. With most other forms of bird hunting, a person can acquire a reasonable level of proficiency within a few years . . . and once acquired, the results become fairly predictable . . . not so with grouse hunting.
With grouse hunting, the hunter must hunt where the bird lives. Grouse hunts aren’t canned – no creative ways exist to attract a bird to the hunter or place birds where hunters are likely to find them. For us, grouse define the terms of engagement. That fundamental difference is what creates such an exciting challenge for grouse hunters.
Grouse hunters must know how to recognize the signs in the habitat that point toward the possibility of a grouse living there. A well-trained dog can waste a lot of valuable time if they are released to work in an unproductive area. Volumes have been written on how to properly train a grouse dog, and countless post-hunt discussions have gone long into the night on this topic. Working your way through a thick covert densely packed with young trees and brush, staying keenly alert for an unexpected flush, trying to maintain solid footing and allowing enough room to swing your shotgun to get off a decent shot - all at the same time - is a high quality multi-tasking opportunity!
Suitable habitat for ruffed grouse today doesn’t stay that way forever. Just like children, young forests don’t stay young forever. Maintaining a steady supply of young forest habitat requires a good plan and active forest management over an extended span of time.
A challenge can be defined as a contest or a test of skill. Here at the Ruffed Grouse Society we are tested every day. It’s fair to suggest that the Society faces a far more daunting set of challenges than any other wildlife conservation organization. We champion a sporting tradition that is, quite frankly, too demanding for some folks to even consider tackling. And because the forest management practices we promote can be visually dramatic, they are often poorly understood and vehemently opposed by many in the general public.
But the fact that our efforts are so challenging is precisely what makes them so important. The Society will not shy away from this test. For the sake of having healthy forests in North America, RGS rises to the challenge. And for the sake of preserving our sporting tradition for future generations, it is our duty to accept this challenge.
Whether hunting or creating habitat, ruffed grouse are a significant challenge . . . a challenge that goes far beyond what we find with other upland game birds. Because of that, there is only one “King of the Upland Game Birds”, and it’s the ruffed grouse.