Beginning in fall 2013, the Game Bird Section initiated studies of grouse habitat and grouse recruitment. In wildlife management terms, 'recruitment' refers to the recruitment of young animals into a population and is an important driver of population trends.
Grouse population declines have been documented throughout Pennsylvania and appear to be especially pronounced in the state's southern regions. By replicating a recruitment study conducted in Pennsylvania during the 1970s and 1980s, we should be able to determine if grouse recruitment has changed over time in northern and southern Pennsylvania.
In the first year of this study, hunters are asked to submit outer primary wing feathers, a central tail feather, and 2 to 3 rump feathers, along with habitat information. The goal is to collect a representative sample of harvested birds from throughout the state, with at least 1,000 samples in total. This is an ambitious goal and we need your help! If you hunt grouse and would like to enroll as a Grouse Cooperator, please call 717-787-5529.
- Grouse Feather Collection Survey – If any member of your party harvests a grouse, please submit the following feather samples: outer feathers from 1 wing, 1 central tail feather, 2 to 3 rump feathers (see instructions and diagram). Enclose feathers in an envelope. Provide your NAME/PHONE, COUNTY OF KILL, TOWNSHIP OF KILL, AND DATE OF KILL on the backside of the envelope. DO NOT mix different birds in one envelope. Submit feathers and a Grouse Habitat Data Sheet Form for the successful covert in one envelope. Even if you cannot complete the Grouse Habitat Data Sheet, please send feather samples!
- Grouse Habitat Survey – If you hunt this year, please complete a Grouse Habitat Data Sheet for 1 or 2 of your hunts. On your chosen hunts, complete the form WHETHER YOU FLUSH A GROUSE OR NOT. Select an area where you flushed grouse OR where you expected to flush a grouse and didn't, then answer the questions for that habitat.
Return Habitat Data Sheets to:
Grouse Habitat Survey
2001 Elmerton Ave
Harrisburg PA 17110
Download and print the Grouse Habitat Data Sheet here.