MI Ruffies Looking Great Too

August 22, 2011 | By | 6 Replies More

(Photo: U of Michigan, Museum of Zoology)

Lakes states newspapers have been reporting that the grousing will be off the charts in MN and WI (though we did get an anecdotal report that WI may not be all that in some areas), and now comes a recent report that Michigan may be similarly stellar. Time for a “Yooper” invasion!

Some highlights of the article:

> MI DNR upland bird specialist Al Stewart said ruffed grouse populations follow a 10-year cycle and surveys of drumming grouse conducted by rural mail carriers this spring suggest near peak numbers.

> “In the Upper Peninsula, there was about a 37 percent increase in the average number of drums per route,” Stewart said. “In the northern Lower (Peninsula), the number of drums per route was about the same as last year, which was pretty good.

> Statewide, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of drumming male grouse this spring compared to last year, with the biggest gains in the Upper Peninsula.

> Stewart said the drumming results support the good reports by hunters last fall and he expects the trend to continue this season.

> Bruce Wojcik, regional director for the Ruffed Grouse Society, said, “Reports we heard, as far as grouse, is people heard a lot of drumming this spring. People are starting to see with regularity some young birds, flushing them out as they walk through the woods. We are probably at least as good as last year, if not better.”

> Woodcock nesting in April, had to fend off snow and floods…. “There were some areas that flooded…but a lot of woodcock nest in the uplands,” Stewart said. “What’s coming in from our banders is that a lot of them may have re-nested.”

> Wojcik and Stewart said they expect tradition upland bird hunting areas, such as the west central Upper Peninsula and central portions of the northern Lower Peninsula, to be the most productive this year.

Hey – Al Stewart? Replace “cat” with “grouse” in this lite-rocker:


Category: 2011, Forecasts/counts, MI, Ruffed Grouse

Comments (6)

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  1. Brian Hanna says:

    Heading to MI mid-October. Hope they are right!

  2. Billy TwoBelts says:

    Heading up through NH @ ME 1st 3 weeks of Oct.
    Would not mind any Pat or woodcock hunters
    comments// Let me know,, I have a few decent
    dogs and have missed my share.

  3. Tony Jewett says:

    First time hunting grouse in MI, would like to hunt in U.P. area. What county is best?

    • Brad says:

      I’ve hunted the UP several times around the Watersmeet an Gogebic areas. Lots of public land to be found and once you get into birds, there will be plenty to go around. Lots of public land in the Ottowa State Forest along Highway 2. Look for Stage Coach road outside Watersmeet. Anything west of there on highway 2 should hold birds. Definitely worth the trip!

  4. jon ky says:

    Will be grouse hunting in Rapid River/Hiawatha area anyone know any good locations. First time hunting grouse in the U.P. Thanks for any suggestions.

  5. Capt.America says:

    Had a double flush tonight in our creek bottoms. Totally unexpected…not hunting, just trail riding ATV. Young ruffs.

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