Hunting ruffed grouse and woodcock and enjoying the other wildlife
that share the place where they live and respecting the habitat that
provides them with food, cover from predators, shelter, and a place to
breed and rear their young.
Actively managing those young forests or “habitats” by using tools,
like controlled fire and forest cutting, recognized as effective by Aldo
Leopold, the father of the wildlife management profession.
Educating the public about the habitat requirements of these birds,
both game and non-game and gaining broad public support to actively
manage using controlled fire and timber harvest, and that clear-cutting
as a forest management tool, when properly applied, is ecologically
Explaining that these birds live in a place that, unless actively managed,
will give way to trees which shade out the plants that are home to ruffed
grouse, woodcock, many songbirds, rabbits and deer.
Walking in the woods and pausing at the sound of what seems to be an
old John Deere tractor and realizing it is a grouse drumming in spring.
Going afield with the expectation of bagging a grouse or “patridge” or a
“timberdoodle” and being overtaken with pride as your dog carries its head
high as it moves into the wind, locks on point and waits for you to flush the
Uttering an “aw shucks” when the bird flushes across an opening and
evades what you thought were well-placed number 8s.
Inviting friends to share a fine meal of grouse and all the trimmings and
listening to how your spouse backed you up on the shot after yours felled
a young aspen.
Banquets where friends with a common interest in these birds and their
conservation come together to have fun and provide the funding needed
to make it all happen.
It is really not about us at all, it is about our kids, grandkids
and their kids for, without our help, these places will not be
there for them or the birds to enjoy.