Game commission implementing plan to help state bird


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RGS in the News

Original article Game commission implementing plan to help state bird by Kent Jackson, Citizen Voice staff writer, published January 17, 2016 at

Read how Pennsylvania's state bird is getting help from RGS, through its Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission...

Ruffed grouse don’t grow old, but their habitat does.

The birds, which have a life expectancy of two or three years, need young forests to thrive.

As forests age, land managers like Benjamin Jones of the Pennsylvania Game Commission keep cutting and burning woodlands to recreate places for grouse.

“Young forests are only good for 15 to 20 years...

...The Ruffed Grouse Society and its sister group, the American Woodcock Society, give grants to the commission for habitat projects, Beahm said.

Members of the Ruffed Grouse Society’s chapter in Northeastern Pennsylvania raise money and lend their labor to develop land for grouse and woodcock.

Recently, they donated $6,000 to build a road on State Game Land 91 near Meadow Run Lake, and a timber company will use the road while clearing a section of forest for grouse.

Frequently the society’s volunteers work in stands of aspen, which grouse prize.

...“If you find old aspen and cut them down, they regenerate from the roots. The next year there’s a lot of small saplings. A cut area in eight years or so would be good habitat for grouse or woodcock,” George Nichols, the chapter president, said.

The members pitch in to improve habitat because they enjoy hunting grouse, George Nichols, the chapter president, said.

A grouse flushed out of its hiding place makes a thunderous sound that triggers a rapid heartbeat in hunters or hikers who hear it. Hunters have just moments to settle themselves and find an opening in the bracken to shoot before the bird flies away.

But Nichols said he also enjoys watching his hunting dogs bound through the brush after grouse, usually while he lags behind.

“You get a lot of exercise,” said Nichols, noting GPS readouts from a recent outing said in 3½ hours his dog ran 21 miles while he hiked 5 miles.

Read the entire article...

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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