Ruffed Grouse “Season” Begins

     This Spring the woods on the Gunflint Trail were alive with the sound of Ruffed Grouse drumming.  The weather was perfect for raising young ones but with the large population of red fox around our neighborhood I didn’t think there would be that many grouse left by the end of the Summer. 

     I guess I thought wrong because just the other day while driving on the Gunflint Trail I just barely missed hitting four of the winged wonders.  Ruffed Grouse are not the quickest bird and I don’t think they are the smartest either.  When I approach them with my vehicle they usually just stand there in the middle of the road.  After I honk the horn they sometimes give me a quizzical look before sauntering to the side of the road to let me pass.   

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    I know there are people who will be out "hunting" grouse when the season opens today, the 16th of September.  I think the opener should be called the Ruffed Grouse "Shoot" or possibly "Strangle" Season Opener because I don’t think it will involve much "hunting" this year. 

      According to the Minnesota DNR the annual Ruffed Grouse count this year was the highest since 2001.  I believe it because it seems like all you have to do is step outside, look around and you’re sure to see one.  In any case, use caution when you’re in the woods and on the roads because the animals and the "hunters" are out and about and enjoying the great outdoors.