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In this photo from Dec. of 1970, the author, Bernie Revering, left, shows off grouse with hunting partner Harry Johnston.

Grouse are on the upswing this year

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The mysterious cycle in the life of the ruffed grouse is definitely nearing one of the peak years. Scientists and biologists don't fully understand its cause, but the effect, well, we all know about that. The next peak in grouse populations is expected in the autumn of 2011, so this year we should have some pretty satisfying trips into grouse covers in search of the birds. Grouse hunting is improved this year. In some locations, they're appearing in hunters bags in very satisfying numbers.

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