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Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey

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. 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.

A ruffed grouse drumming.
Photo by John Major

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

Print or download the 2022 Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey (PDF) form. You can also get on the mailing list by e-mailing us or calling (518) 402-8883.

Completed survey forms can be mailed to: Drumming Survey, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754

Results from previous years: