The Minnesota grouse hunting season starts on the 18th of this month, and last week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the creation of a new ruffed grouse coordinator position, in partnership with the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS), which will contribute about 30 percent of the position’s funding.
The new coordinator, Ted Dick, is a veteran DNR wildlife biologist and an avid grouse hunter. He lives in the Baudette area.
“We’re thinking that grouse hunting, ruffed grouse hunting in particular, has kind of been taken for granted for the last few years," says Dick. "So, beyond the habitat stuff that we’ve normally been doing, part of my job will be to promote grouse hunting and advocate for grouse hunting. And try to bring it back into center stage a little bit more. There’s a lot of other activities that have become popular in the fall, and hunter numbers have dropped off a little bit. And to keep grouse hunting strong and to keep it a focus of management in the north you have to have good numbers of hunters. So that’s one thing we want to do is let people know that the hunting here is very good and help people get into it if they haven’t done it before and just make it easier to hunt and provide more information. That’ll be part of the new focus that we weren’t doing as much of in the past.”
Ruffed grouse are found in forests throughout Minnesota. Hunters in the state shoot a quarter million to a million birds annually. More information about ruffed grouse and the upcoming hunting season is available at the DNR website.