Ruffed grouse and American woodcock are widely distributed across New York State. These species prefer habitats in an early stage of succession such as young forests, shrublands, and old orchards and fields. As New York's forests grow older, these preferred habitats are declining, resulting in a decline in grouse and woodcock numbers since the 1960s.
Participate in the Survey
This survey asks hunters to record their daily grouse and woodcock hunting activities in a "hunting log", including the number of birds flushed and the number of hours hunted. The primary purpose of the log is to monitor the number of birds flushed per hour. Grouse and woodcock share many of the same habitats, so the information you provide will help monitor populations of both of these great game birds as habitats and populations change.
The 2022-23 Ruffed Grouse and American Woodcock Hunting Log will be available for download in September.
If you would like to join our mailing list to receive survey materials prior to the season, contact us by phone (518-402-8883) or e-mail Grouse Log (please leave the words "Grouse Log" in the subject line). Completed survey forms and other correspondence can be sent to: Grouse Log, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.
After you have completed your hunting log, you can contact DEC at the address above for a postage-paid envelope. In subsequent years, you will receive a hunting log in the mail prior to the hunting season. The personal information you provide (e.g., name, address) will be kept confidential.
Ruffed Grouse Parts Collection
We are requesting assistance from hunters in a study of ruffed grouse recruitment (the number of young produced per adult female). We are seeking rump, wing, and tail feathers from birds taken during the season so we can identify the age and sex composition of the harvest. Information on recruitment is an important part of assessing the well-being of the grouse population.
As part of a multi-state effort to study West Nile Virus in grouse populations, we are also requesting hunters to submit blood samples from harvested birds.
To learn more about these efforts or to sign-up to receive materials for submitting feather and blood samples, please contact us via e-mail or call (518) 402-8929.