Exploring the World of Ruffed Grouse Hunting with Flushing Dogs
For many the idea of ruffed grouse hunting is pointing dog breeds, double-barrel shotguns and a romantic look into our past. The center stage those ideals have taken often shadows other versions of new grouse hunting traditions. For Fritz and Ric Heller the bonds, the uplands, the love for ruffed grouse is just set at a different pace. With flushing dogs and semi-automatic shotguns, the Heller brothers demonstrate the different skills, challenges, and pursuit of their version of ruffed grouse hunting. With American cocker spaniels and Labrador retrievers take a journey with the Heller brothers into the grouse woods of Michigan.
Both dedicated members of the Ruffed Grouse Society, they speak of their personal passion of recruitment, conservation and the future of grouse hunting. Fritz serves as president of the Le Grand Traverse Michigan Chapter where he has continued to push his dedication to forest conservation into action.
About Ruffed Grouse Hunting in Michigan
Ruffed grouse hunting season in Michigan opens September 15 and runs to November 14, then reopens December 1 to January 1 (2019). Michigan features GEMS hunting locations which are “Grouse Enhancement Management Sites.” These locations are marked on an interactive map and considered great grouse hunting locations.
A base hunting license is considered a small game license. Residents pay $11 and non-residents pay $151. Non-residents have the option of a 3-day small game license at $50 as well as a 7-day small game license for $80. (2019)
For those of you who also love the American woodcock in between the ruffed grouse, the season opens September 22 to November 5 (2018). For the latest season dates and license requirements, check out the Michigan DNR.
How to Help the Ruffed Grouse Society in Michigan
Michigan is home to 19 Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society Chapters.
The Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society are operating in critical times for forest diversity. With a decrease in age diversity, forestry management and critical species issues, they need our help more than ever. We must continue to push the message of sound science and long term management plans to succeed in the future of ruffed grouse and other wildlife, plants and waterways that rely on healthy forests.
Adam has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 10 years, and an enthusiast since he was old enough to carry a shotgun. He is a father of two, photographer, writer, upland hunter, fly fisher, and the middle brother out of the three that are Modern Wild - a company started out of love for the outdoors and its many communities.