No Time for Grousin’ or ATVs To Blame?

September 14, 2011 | By | 11 Replies More

The Minnesota DNR recently published some pretty interesting details about a survey it conducted of grouse hunters. There’s a lot in there and we’ll talk about more of it later, but this installment addresses why folks don’t grouse-hunt more.

The Duluth News Tribune picked up on the fact that when those surveyed (2,313 hunters surveyed, about half who hunted grouse last season) were asked if they chose not to hunt grouse this fall what the main reason would be:

  • 27% said lack of time
  • 13% said money/cost of gas
  • 10% other hunting
  • 7% health
  • 6% poor hunting/too few birds
  • 5% weather

Interesting – wonder what lack of time means. Too far to drive to get into birds? Not enough time to keep dogs? Working too hard to pay the bills?

From our quick read (so far) of the survey, doesn’t look like it got more specific. But it’s interesting that other hunting (deer, maybe pheasants) didn’t figure too high and that money did, meaning that grousin’ isn’t as hoity-toity as some folks think.

Or maybe lack of time means no time for anything other than a great experience, which may not be easy to come by with Minnesota’s ATV hordes. For sure ATVs are everywhere in the U.S., but in Minnesota it seems like there’s a law that at least one ATV has to be operating on every single woods trail 24/7/365.

Why are we saying that? Check out this question and the answers, from the survey:

What kind of other recreational users interfered with your grouse hunting in Minnesota in 2010? (Top 6 reported activities by % reported)

  • ATV/OHV – 59.7%
  • Deer hunters – 7.5%
  • Grouse/other bird hunters – 7.0%
  • General other hunters – 6.5%
  • Hikers – 3.2%
  • Bear hunters – 2.7%

When the question was asked about what has interfered with grouse hunting over the last 5 years, the ATV percentage increased to 61.4%.

So if grousin’ is falling off a bit in MN (and maybe elsewhere), is it due to a lack of time in general or is it because of a lack of woods time without ATVs?

Anyone else sick of ATVs?


Category: ATVs, MN, Ruffed Grouse

Comments (11)

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  1. Brian says:

    It’s sounds like to me that because of the high frequency of contact with ATV operators it is becoming more of a safety issue. After all, the high rate of speeds they travel equates to alot of ground covered in a very short period of time. In short I guess I’m saying it sounds like a safety issue! How many birds have you got next to the (dirt/logging) road you were on?

  2. Jason says:

    that does not bother me at all more birds for me to hunt.

  3. Jerry says:

    personally, I wish ATVs had never been invented, but, on the other hand, if I were younger I would probably want one. I like back country that can only be reached by walking. Of course, in a few more years, I may not be walking that far and an ATV would be welcome. So let the people ride, so they leave my birds alone.

  4. DanH says:

    ATV’s are to Grouse hunting what jet skis are to fishing. I would like to see ATV’s banned from public land in MN during the Grouse season.

    A common argument of ATV lobbyists is that ATV’s enable access for those who, due to physical problems, couldn’t otherwise hunt. When you see an ATV rider hunting Grouse who is physically indigent and unable to walk, let me know. 100% of every one I’ve see is able bodied.

    MN state policy is biased toward to ATV’s b/c MN is the corporate HQ for Polaris and Artic CAT.

  5. Eric says:

    I didn’t take the survey but know someone who did and from what I heard it was a hunting survey that about 75% of the questions were about ATVs. I hunt grouse and ride ATVs and I personally find more trails to walk and hunt because of ATVs and have never had a problem with someone on an ATV when I was hunting. I have however had problems with people hunting in trucks illegally driving down ATV only trails.

  6. Brad says:

    I’ve used ATVs to get way back into cover that is miles in on paper company land in the upper peninsula of Michigan. But once I get back there, I hop off and put miles in on my feet. In Wisconsin, I’ve never used an ATV because I can get into the deeper cover on foot. I have run into people on ATVs but rarely have I seen anyone racing around on the trails causing problems for me or my hunting buddies.

  7. Bob says:

    the catch 22 of atv use and grouse hunting is that the vast majority of atv trails were once or still are logging roads and as we all know logging creates more grouse habitat! i don’t own an atv so therefore i don’t use one, and i don’t get too worked up over using an atv for hunting, except when an atv drives past me (as i’m walking) then i hear a gunshot and a few minutes later walk to a pile of feathers. it something we have to live with as grouse hunters.

  8. Koll Fjelstad says:

    I spend a lot of time hunting grouse within 30 mi of Duluth and encounter a fair amount of guys hunting from ATV’s. Most are basically road-hunting & hoping to ground swat birds. The guys I’ve seen riding are usually too fat to get out and do some serious walking.

    • Ronnie says:

      There is no such thing as “hunting from ATV’s”. ATV’s have nothing to do with hunting, lazy and poachers ride them, not hunters.

  9. Al says:

    To Eric complaining about trucks on ATV trails. I drive on what used to be logging trails with my truck to get to good walking woods. Many times people on ATV’s have given me dirty looks and told me I’m not supposed to be driving my truck back there. I finally got sick of it and called the DNR and Sheriffs office. They both told me that if there isn’t a sign saying ATV’s only, I’m perfectly in the right to be back there in my truck. I’ve yet to see a sign saying ATV’s only. I hunt in Northern Wisconsin, so maybe it’s different in Minnesota

  10. Ronnie says:

    ATV’s are the Japanese revenge for the “Enola Gay”

    They have ruined hunting in general. Public perception of hunting as a sport of exercise, physical fitness, quietly moving thru the woods leaving only footprints is replaced by noise, erosion, laziness and disrespect for the land and other users of the forest.

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