Spring in Ruffed Grouse Country

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Hunting | No Comments
A clutch of ruffed grouse eggs

From the frozen ground of early March, until the muddy days of May when the aspens leaf out, it’s a time to work the land in ruffed grouse country. Before the ticks grow ravenous and the grouse are nesting, I got a lot done this spring.

Marking a trail

Trail Work
When the snow was off the ground, I was able to discern the curving path of an old farm road on my property. With chainsaw and brush cutter I removed the aspen, alder and blackberry from it’s footprint. I can’t wait for those yellow-gold days of October when I walk my trail with Levi and 20 guage.

Levi-approved trail work
Mystery tree vandalism
Likely culprit, porcupine
Shelf fungus on aspen

Protecting the Cabin
My cabin is surrounded by aspen of an age that’s ready to topple. Every wind storm knocks a few over. In spring and fall I look at the big aspen and cut a few down that threaten the cabin. This aspen, while appearing solid, shows a shelf fungus that is feeding off the heartwood of the tree. Our forester warned us about placing deer stands on aspen with shelf fungus, it is a sign that the tree is no longer healthy.

Balsam fir transplant

Tree planting
Spring is a great time to plant or transplant some trees. I like the balsam fir with their flat needles, it’s a tree of the Northlands. I moved a few, along with white pines, from their nursery along the trail to more open spaces. I hope to thicken up a few spots, for winter cover for grouse. Along the trail, a few pines mixed with aspen makes a favorite spot for grouse to sit.

Good luck kid, I think you got a great future

By Joel Schnell

Posted May 24, 2017.

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Joel Schnell is publisher of www.ruffedgrouseminnesota.com
He can be reached at info[at]ruffedgrouseminnesota.com

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