Bad news: Spring ruffed grouse drumming counts were down 46 percent, and it appears the population is descending in its 10-year boom-to-bust cycle.

Good news: "It's still some of the best grouse hunting in North America,'' said Ted Dick, DNR grouse coordinator. Dick expects a drop in harvest, and possibly hunter numbers. Last year, the number of hunters climbed a couple of thousand to 94,000, and hunters bagged 401,000 birds -- a decline from 465,000 in 2010, the highest harvest in 10 years.

The season runs through Jan. 1.