Outdoors notes: Grouse numbers decline statewide

Grouse numbers down statewide: The number of ruffed grouse statewide dropped according to information from the spring drumming count, the DNR reported.

That was expected because the birds in the declining part of the 10-year cycle. The count peaked most recently in 2009.

The DNR said drumming counts dropped from 1.1 to 0.9 per stop in the northeast, which is the forest bird's core range in Minnesota. Counts in the northwest declined from 0.9 in 2012 to 0.7 drums per stop in 2013. Drumming counts were still about 0.4 in the southeast and 0.9 in the central hardwoods.

Adults can taken online hunter safety course:Minnesotans 18 and older can take the DNR firearms safety course online so they can no only learn about safe hunting but also be able to buy licenses.

The option, which includes a virtual field day, is for those who can't take the traditional course that includes several evening classroom sessions and mandatory field days. It takes about nine hours to complete with narration, quizzes and a final exam.


Both the main course and field day include a virtual range where students can shoot various firearms and action types at a variety of targets and distances. There's even instruction on how to properly sight-in rifles and pattern a shotgun.

To learn more, go to

August goose hunt:Minnesota's first August goose hunt to cull local flocks of Canada geese will be Aug. 10-25 in an in intensive harvest zone in west-central Minnesota.

"The state's Canada goose population is very high and exceeds our statewide goal," said Steve Cordts, Department of Natural Resources waterfowl specialist. "We have continued agricultural depredation concerns in the western portion of the state with large numbers of Canada geese. This is one more option for us to try and increase our harvest of Canada geese."

The daily bag limit will be 10 Canada geese with no possession limit. Shooting hours will be from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. A small game hunting license, special goose permit and state waterfowl stamp are required.

Additional details are on the DNR website at

The DNR will announce details of the fall waterfowl seasons, including the September Canada goose hunt, in early August.

What To Read Next
Get Local