On The Eve Of Two Openers

Grouse hunters and bow hunters will venture into the woods Saturday for the opening day of both seasons in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. They’ll be greeted with the first hints of fall color, as on this trail in Duluth Friday morning. We know there are plenty of deer awaiting bowhunters this fall. Populations are at or near all-time highs. Grouse are more of a question. Drumming counts were up slightly in Minnesota and Wisconsin this past spring, and brood counts were up about 12 percent in northern Wisconsin this summer.

Last fall, Minnesota grouse hunters didn’t find as many grouse as they had expected to find after good drumming counts in the spring of 2007. We’ll see what this fall brings.

I’ll be in the woods with a yellow Lab on Sunday to see what I can find and to interview hunters I encounter on the trails. See you out there.

And here’s one more shot from my walk in the woods Friday morning. Dew was heavy and fog blanketed the city. I liked the way these grasses were laden with moisture.