posted on August 26, 2012 21:27
There is some troubling news out of Minnesota.
Grouse numbers reported by the DNR are down once again
. Early reports from this spring put the grouse numbers down from last year.
The DNR expert expressed his view on the matter stating that this is typical decrease in the typical cycle of the grouse. The numbers peaked sometime around 2007-2008 and are now in the declining phase of the cycle. The numbers for 2012 are still in line with historical numbers and hunters should have an average to below average experience in the woods.
But there is some concern beyond the typical cycle for the grouse population in Minnesota.
There has been concern for some time that certain trees are encroaching more on to the natural habitat of the grouse in the state as well as on that of other wildlife. The underbrush that the grouse need for their habitat has been coming under pressure the past few years.
Landowners can do their part to encourage grouse habitat like cutting back on trees and doing proper burns throughout the year, but there is only so much that can be done. It takes grouse hunters, landowners and the DNR to put through initiatives to help protect the habitats of all wildlife including that of the grouse population in the state.
Earlier in the summer there was intense heat, which killed much of the underbrush. As the grasses went dormant the heat also took its toll on the wildlife in much of the US. July and August have been a bit better in terms of moisture and the temperatures have come down some.
Minnesota Grouse Hunting is always a leading state in the harvest each year. That should be no different this season as hunters head back out to the woods and fields. Just don’t expect a record year like in past seasons. This year will be below average for grouse hunters in Minnesota.