**Ohio - Buckeye Bargain Grouse **
Take advantage of one of the longest upland seasons in the nation and get great off-season rental rates for state park cabins located close to some of the state's best public grouse hunting opportunities for partridge. With spring drumming counts and other recent grouse indexes up, according to Mike Reynolds, the Ohio Division of Wildlife's ruffed grouse expert, 2002 could offer the best grouse hunting season in recent years. Some of Ohio's top public hunting areas for ruffed grouse are located on or near state parks that offer cabins for rent at deeply discounted winter rates. You can rent cabins at Mohican State Park in Ashland County, adjacent to the 5,500-acre Mohican Memorial State Forest; Burr Oak State Park in Morgan County, near the 3,700-acre Wolf Creek Wildlife Area; Salt Fork State Park in Guernsey County in the 12,000-acre Salt Fork Wildlife Area; and Shaee State Park in Scioto County, adjacent to the 61,000-acre Shawnee State Forest.
Look for birds on south-facing slopes warmed by the sun, especially early and late in the day, and concentrate on the thickest greenbrier tangles in sight. If there's a sumac stand along the way, check it out. If there's snow on the ground, follow any grouse tracks you come across, keeping an eye ahead and shotgun at the ready.
Contact: Ohio State Parks Reservation Center (800-282-7275).