Find more projects

Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey

Main Project Information
Goal Help discover distribution of grouse in spring breeding season.
Task While turkey hunting, record number of grouse spotted per hour.
Where 625 Broadway, Albany, 12233 NY 12233 USA

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. These preferred habitats are declining as most of New York State's forests grow older, thus resulting in a decline in grouse numbers since the 1960s.

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.

DEC currently monitors grouse populations in the fall through the Cooperator Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log where hunters record the number of birds flushed per hour of hunting effort. The Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey survey provides a harvest-independent index of grouse distribution and abundance during the critical breeding season in the spring.

How to Join

If you would like to participate, review instructions here:

You can use the forms on the site to record the number of drumming male grouse you hear while turkey hunting this spring. Please record every turkey hunting trip whether you observe grouse drumming or not. When you do hear a grouse, be sure to record each drumming male only once. More detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the data sheet. Data sheet will be available in April.

Please return your completed survey to:
Grouse Drumming Survey
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4754

Ideal Age Group Adults
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity On a walk, run, On a hike
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags hunting, turkey
Project Updated 08/05/2017