Some in Maine believe steady grouse population will to lead tourism boost


BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Some biologists and hunting enthusiasts in Maine believe the state’s stable population of grouse could help tourism while other parts of the country see declines of the popular game birds.

Grouse are ground-feeding birds that belong to the same order as turkeys and chickens. Maine state game bird biologist Kelsey Sullivan said the state is home to abundant habitat for the animals and their population is in good condition.

Meanwhile, the number of the birds has fallen elsewhere in the U.S., where West Nile virus and habitat loss are among the factors hurting populations. Wisconsin cut its grouse hunting season short last year, and New Jersey canceled the season for the foreseeable future.

People who would normally hunt in the Midwest or elsewhere are now looking to come to Maine to pursue the birds, Sullivan told the Bangor Daily News.