Grouse and partridge in Illinois?
You may wonder, while reading Illinois hunting regulations, why there is still a listing for gray partridge.
Is this a joke? An oversight?
No. Partridge may still be present in Illinois. So may ruffed grouse. And finding those elusive birds is the subject of a recent column by Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times who said, “Tracking down remnants of ruffed grouse or gray partridges in Illinois is the kind of quixotic outdoor quest that pulls me in and holds me.”
He goes on to say that partridge are most likely in Bureau, Lee and DeKalb counties with possibilities in Whiteside and LaSalle. I would add Marshall County to that list, since partridges were reportedly spotted there a few years back.
As for grouse, Bowman writes:
However, if he was going on a quest, the Apple River and its tributaries would be one area. The prime spot would be around Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort, where releases were made in the 1990s. Or in ‘‘the rugged stuff’’ along the Galena River and its tributaries northeast of Galena.
Dufford suggested district wildlife biologist Dan Woolard in southern Illinois, where releases were made in the early 1980s in the Shawnee National Forest.
‘‘It’s possible,’’ Woolard said, ‘‘but it’s a dwindling population. I haven’t heard of any since the mid-90s.’‘
Woolard, who works out of Giant City State Park in far southwest Illinois, said there might be a better chance in the wild Lusk Creek area in Pope County in the southeast corner of Illinois.
Click here to read the rest of Bowman’s column on the subject.