RGS and AWS Welcome New Wildlife Biologists for Western Great Lakes

The Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society add dedicated professionals to their respected biologist program in Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen in Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Scott Walter in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

Ruffed Grouse Society Logo
Ruffed Grouse Society

Coraopolis, PA -(AmmoLand.com)- The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) and American Woodcock Society (AWS) recently announced the hiring of new regional wildlife biologists, Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen for Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Scott Walter for Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

Kouffeld-Hansen and Walter will be responsible for supporting RGS and AWS forest management efforts by working with landowners and government agencies to create healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife.

“We are extremely excited to add Meadow and Scott to our respected team of wildlife biologists,” said RGS and AWS President and CEO John Eichinger. “They are dedicated professionals who bring documented experience and leadership in wildlife habitat development within their respective regions,” added Eichinger.

Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen joins RGS and AWS from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources where she worked as an assistant area wildlife manager and wildlife habitat contracts administrator. She attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where she earned her master’s degree in wildlife ecology and management and was given an excellent opportunity to study ruffed grouse habitat selection in northcentral Minnesota. She developed a deep appreciation for ruffed grouse and American woodcock in Minnesota during her graduate school studies. She earned her bachelor’s degree in wildlife conservation biology and vertebrate ecology at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, where she began spending more time hunting waterfowl and upland game. After Humboldt, she worked on a variety of wildlife and fisheries projects in New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, California and Washington.

Kouffeld-Hansen is originally from Igo, California, where she grew up hunting quail, turkeys and big game and raising and showing poultry throughout the West Coast, an upbringing that contributed to her love of game birds. She now lives in Grand Rapids, Minnesota with her husband Jayson Hansen, a conservation officer, and their two-year-old daughter Heidi. She enjoys raising and training Deutsch-Drahthaars (VDD), and recently had her “A” litter under the registered kennel name of “vom Himmelwasser” and anticipates working one of the pups through the German testing system. She most looks forward to spending time with her daughter in the grouse woods working her bird dogs.

“I am excited for the opportunity to represent the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society in northern Minnesota and Upper Peninsula of Michigan to promote the future of my favorite pastime, pursuing the upper Midwest’s most popular game birds,” said Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen.

Scott Walter comes to RGS and AWS from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR), where he served as the upland wildlife ecologist and farm bill coordinator from 2011 through 2015. This position engaged many partner groups on harvest and habitat management-related issues for a suite of upland game birds. During his time with the WI DNR, he gained experience with program and policy development and the importance of collaborative conservation efforts. He has his master’s and doctorate degrees in wildlife ecology from University of Wisconsin – Madison and bachelor’s degree in biology from Beloit College.

Walter was a professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin – Richland from 1999 through 2011, where he collaborated with a series of students on a four-year study of ruffed grouse with the goal of explaining the long-term population decline in the hardwood-dominated forests of the driftless region in addition to development of many future wildlife biologists, fisheries biologists and foresters.

Born and raised in southern Wisconsin, Walter lives with his wife Erica and five children on their six-generation family farm in Richland County, Wisconsin, where he first experienced the thrill of a ruffed grouse flush and still practices active forest management. He is a 21-year member of RGS having served on the banquet committee for the John Keener Chapter, presented at the Wisconsin Coverts workshop, and was awarded his first graduate scholarship, the Terry Amundson Memorial Award by the John Keener Chapter.

“I am truly humbled to be an RGS and AWS regional wildlife biologist for Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois,” said Scott Walter. “I’m looking forward to continuing the strong partnerships developed by Gary Zimmer and in exploring new ways to expand the habitat base for grouse and woodcock and enhance opportunities for our region’s upland bird hunters.”

For more information about their new positions, contact Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen: [email protected]; and Scott Walter: [email protected]

About The Ruffed Grouse Society

Established in 1961, The Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society is North America’s foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS/AWS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

Information on RGS/AWS, the mission, management projects and membership can be found on www.RuffedGrouseSociety.org.