Regional Reports-Midwest

Park Falls

The town of Park Falls is a Mecca for ruffed grouse hunters. Even when ruffs are on the downside of their population cycle-as they will be this fall-gunners willing to hoof it will find birds in the surrounding 1.3 million acres of public land."One of the biggest keys to grouse hunting is finding what they're eating," says guide Terry Ides. "I've found that green vegetation is the answer for most grouse. As the frosts come and start killing plants, the grouse will go from wild strawberries to fern tips to aspen leaves to clover." Also essential to successful low-cycle grouse hunting is plain hard walking. "I once took some clients to a patch of cover that was surrounded by mature hardwoods. We flushed birds in there I'm convinced had never been hunted." Contact: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (715-762-3204); Terry Ides (715-762-4007).