Low grouse numbers have forced the state of Missouri to cancel its ruffed grouse season for the first time in 25 years.
From this story in the Springfield News-Leader
Missouri will not have a ruffed grouse hunting season this year for the first time in more than 25 years. But the Missouri Department of Conservation says that does not necessarily mean ruffed grouse hunting is gone from the Show-Me State forever. Acting on a recommendation from its staff, the Conservation Commission voted earlier this year for an emergency closure of the grouse season, which was to run from Oct. 15 through Jan. 15. Low grouse population numbers were cited as the reason for the emergency closure.
The action supersedes information printed in the 2010 Summary of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which were printed before the decision to close grouse season. Ruffed grouse are native to Missouri, although the Show-Me State is near the southwestern edge of the species’ historic range. Habitat destruction and unregulated market hunting largely eliminated them from Missouri forests by the 1930s. The Conservation Department launched a successful ruffed grouse restoration program in 1959, and Missouri had its first modern hunting season in 1983.Earlier this year, the agency’s Regulations Committee recommended closing the season. This was partly because grouse numbers remain low in spite of repeated attempts to reintroduce grouse in areas with suitable habitat as late as 1994.