If you spend time in the woods around your house or if you have been out hunting for turkey this spring, the New York State Department of Conservation is asking for your help to track grouse!

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When I was just starting out hunting as a kid, around 12 or 13 years old, I learned that the "drumming sound" or what sounded like an old tractor trying to start was actually birds that were banging their wings together.

According to a post on their website, the New York State DEC says this about grouse..

The ruffed grouse is a forest species widely distributed across New York State. While some grouse are found in more mature forests, the greatest population densities are in younger-aged forests. Turkey hunters in pursuit of that wary gobbler in the spring are ideally suited for monitoring ruffed grouse during the breeding season. The characteristic sound of a drumming male grouse is as much a part of the spring woods as yelping hens and gobbling toms.

There is a survey that you are invited to take in an effort to track the numbers and locations of this cool looking and fast flying bird.  One of my favorite memories is hunting for grouse on a snowy day in the hemlocks behind my buddy's house.  We never got any. Not only are they hard to find, they are hard to shoot because of the way they fly!