After a bit of a hiatus over the summer, I’m breaking our silence today with a quick update on some awesome work done by the Lake of the Woods chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society near Warroad Minnesota. First, I would just like to say that the Northwoods’R crew has been busy this summer with lots of house projects, yard work, family fun, golfing, fishing and everything else us Minnesotans are wanting to do during the short but beautiful summers we have here. Of course we’ve worked on some dog training as well, with both Garrett’s and my bird dog approaching their second season in the grouse woods we are very excited to see what a year of experience has done for them. Lastly, while I announced my new position with the Ruffed Grouse Society last week, I have been busy over the past month meeting the rest of the team, training and preparing for a busy fall season. As I mentioned in my Facebook post earlier this week, I could not be more excited to put my passion for grouse and woodcock hunting to work for an organization that does so much to provide us all with the hunting opportunities we are so fortunate to have. Which happens to be a perfect segue into the real reason for the post today.
If there’s one thing I have learned in my short time at RGS, it’s that without the dedicated volunteers, banquet committees and chapter members, the Ruffed Grouse Society would not exist. RGS’ membership is full of dedicated supporters, many of whom have been grouse hunting and supporting RGS since before I was born. Today, I mentioned the Lake of the Woods chapter of RGS as they have recently utilized a portion of the Minnesota Drummer funds to purchase a new Rough Cut 48-inch mower to be used on local grouse and woodcock habitat. You can read more about the purchase in Ted Dick’s (MN Forest Game Bird Coordinator and RGS Biologist) summer newsletter here, which I encourage you to do if you’re a Minnesota member of RGS. Committee members Chuck Lindner and Jared Olafson have been working with the area Department of Natural Resources offices to establish new trails and maintain old trails. Their plans also include a multi-phased project to create a 50-mile grouse hunting Super Trail in the Beltrami Island State Forest. I know there are varying opinions on posted hunter-walking trails, and whether or not you choose to hunt them is up to. We are fortunate enough in Minnesota to have an abundance of productive and available lands for hunting. However there are two very important things that these areas accomplish and those are: improving overall habitat for grouse and woodcock in the area; and providing easily identifiable and accessible hunting lands which are especially important to young hunters as well as anyone new to the sport. New hunter recruitment as well as the continued support of current hunters are critical to the future of our sport and for that reason I commend the Lake of the Woods chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society for taking the initiative on this project. I have not had the pleasure of meeting anyone from the chapter yet but I look forward to meeting them at upcoming RGS events.
To hear more from some members of the Lake of the Woods RGS chapter and some of the things they are working on check out this short video from scoutlook.com.
I hope everyone has had a great summer season so far, and while I know most of us are counting the days until bird season, get out and enjoy what summer has to offer for the last couple months! Tune those dogs up and sort through the hunting closet, we’re getting closer! Stay tuned for more from the Northwoods’R crew.
Nick Larson is a Regional Director for the Ruffed Grouse Society and avid outdoorsman living in Duluth Minnesota.