Since it takes ruffed grouse to make grouse dogs, I am always interested in information on grouse populations and trends. Dan Dessecker, Director of Conservation Policy for the Ruffed Grouse Society, was recently interviewed by Dan Small, host of Dan Small Outdoors Radio, a syndicated radio show broadcast across Michigan and Wisconsin. They discussed initial results of the newly completed ruffed grouse drumming counts. While the data has not been summarized, the results of the individual survey routes have been reviewed. 

According to Dessecker, the drumming counts in northeast Wisconsin were slightly lower or very close to the counts in 2008. In the central and northwestern parts of the state, most of the routes had increased but a few were lower than last year. He expects the peak of the cycle to be in 2009 or possibly 2010.

Dessecker summarized, "There should be as many or more grouse to hunt in Wisconsin this fall as in 2008."

About Minnesota grouse numbers, Dessecker said, "Early reports from the Minnesota drumming counts are that they are up substantially, especially in northeastern Minnesota."

To listen to a pod cast of the show, go to and play Show 421.


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