Doing Nothing


There’s an article in the most recent Journal of Wildlife Management about Black Grouse in the Alps. Nothing earth shattering, but what struck me was that at least someone was looking at the situation (Black grouse population dynamics in the Alps).

Much different than what’s happening with ruffed grouse here in Ontario. Not much, if anything.

As long as I can remember, the bag limit on ruffed grouse has been 5 a day, 15 in possession. Long season. Oh yeah, the seasons were actually extended a few years back. More hunting ‘opportunities’.

Despite the lack of monitoring or research, it seems to me that by and large ruffed grouse are managing to do quite well in most of northern Ontario. So the old adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, seems to be working there,

However, I don’t think that’s the case in the southern portions of the province. From what I hear, ruffed grouse aren’t doing so well in the south, at least in a lot of places. The 10 year up and down population swings, which still seem to occur in the north, have apparently gone by the wayside. Friends tell me it’s the same sad situation in the part of Michigan they live in.

Some, like the Ruffed Grouse Society, care, but ruffies are not on the radar when it comes to wildlife management in Ontario.

Too bad. They are one of the greatest upland game birds out there and by far the best tasting,


  1. Bobbie Fersch said:

    I remember pheasants being plentiful in Iowa but in 93 we had terrible flooding and then very cold winters so the numbers plummeted. They say the numbers are increasing but I sure don’t see them flying across the roads like we use to.

  2. Many upland game birds have wild population fluctuations, especially in areas where weather can be erratic. We have no pheasants where I live at all, and apparently in all of Ontario, wild pheasants are only a memory. Some are stocked for hunters . . . .

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