The ruffed grouse is a native Iowa game bird, formerly present in forested areas over much of the state. Intensive land use that replaced forested areas with croplands or grazed them heavily with livestock resulted in the disappearance of the species from all but northeastern Iowa by about 1930. Ruffed grouse are presently found in suitable forested habitat in all of Allamakee and Clayton Counties, most of Winneshiek County and in portions of Fayette, Dubuque, Delaware and Howard Counties immediately adjacent to occupied range in the three counties first listed. Spring roadside drumming counts have given an index of 1.6 "drums" per stop during the past 8 years on several routes within the primary Iowa grouse range, indicating a good population does exist in the area. An average spring population for recent years of about 4,000 birds is estimated, with a fall population of about 12,000. Initial attempts have been made to re-introduce ruffed grouse into Shimek State Forest in southeastern Iowa, with further efforts scheduled for Stephens State Forest in south central Iowa.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1969 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Klonglan, Eugene D. and Hlavka, Gene
"Recent Status of Ruffed Grouse in Iowa,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 76(1), 231-240.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol76/iss1/34