ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota's ruffed grouse population appears to be on the upswing again, based on a recently completed hunt held annually near Grand Rapids.
The Pioneer Press reports that the results showed a 17 percent increase in the rate hunters shot grouse during the Oct. 13-14 hunt compared to last year. That figure nearly mirrors the 18 percent increase in the state's ruffed grouse drumming count index logged in the spring.
Those two measures - hunters killing birds in the fall, and volunteers listening for wing-beating in the spring - have paralleled each other for years, helping cement evidence for the roughly 10-year population cycles that ruffed grouse in Minnesota follow.
The Department of Natural Resources estimates that up to about 95,000 people hunt grouse in Minnesota.