By Kurt Krueger
IT APPEARS the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was right on its second attempt at declaring a peak year in the ruffed grouse population cycle, as all signs now point to 2011 as the peak.
The agency was wrong with its first declaration a couple of years back, that 2009 was the best, so I’ve been ultra skeptical since last summer’s claim that grouse numbers were finally in decline.
But even an incredible grouse season last fall, due to a bumper crop of young birds, couldn’t hide the overall truth. There just weren’t as many birds in all types of cover, not like we saw during the fall of 2011.
Signs of the cyclic downturn came during several