Banging the Drum

Posted by on Jul 12, 2019 in Hunting | No Comments
Coming soon to a forest near you

By Joel Schnell for

The 2019 drumming counts are in, with little fanfare. No press release this year, just a lousy tweet, announcing their release July 2. The upshot? It’s about the same as last year.

For decades now, volunteers have been driving routes to record ruffed grouse populations. They stop the car at intervals, and listen for a ruffed grouse drumming. Over time, a graphic picture of populations emerged, showing peaks about every 10 years. The last peak was around 2009, and it appears there will not be a peak this decade as we’ve known them before. The 2017 peak, as recorded, appears to be in error based on my sources.
Perhaps this explains why the drumming counts were not broadcast like an ad for Explore Minnesota tourism as in previous years.

To quote the MN DNR:

In 2019, ruffed grouse surveys were conducted
between 15 April and 17 May. Mean ruffed grouse drums per stop (dps) were 1.5 statewide
(95% confidence interval = 1.3–1.7) which is similar to last year. High points in the population
cycle occur on average every 10 years, and surveys indicate that the last peak occurred in
2017, with counts similar to the previous peak in 2009.

Source: Minnesota DNR

What are we to do with this information?
The same as always. Go out and hunt. Enjoy the magnificent fall colors of Northern Minnesota. Spend time with your friends, family, and 4-legged companion.

I’ll see you out there.

By Joel Schnell

Posted July 12, 2019.

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