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DEC Seeking Assistance from Ruffed Grouse Hunters

For the past three seasons, DEC has requested hunters submit feathers and blood samples from harvested grouse. Feathers submitted by grouse hunters provided the first data on grouse recruitment (juveniles/adult female) in several decades. Blood samples have provided information on “West Nile Virus seroprevalence” – the percentage of birds that contracted WNV but survived to the hunting season. Seroprevalence has ranged from 13-21 percent in NY and 2-17 percent in the 11 other states in the study.

Further research is planned to better understand what those rates mean and grouse vulnerability to WNV in different parts of NY.

We are requesting that hunters continue to submit blood samples and rump, wing, and tail feathers from birds taken during the season. For more information, visit the Ruffed Grouse Hunting page. To request instructions and supplies, call 518-402-8929 or e-mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (subject “Ruffed Grouse Parts Collection”).

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