During the open season, a strange request was made, the hunters were told to bring the hearts of the grouse they hit to the lab for a study on Lyme disease. The Grouse, being a migratory bird is be somewhat targeted for the spread of Lyme disease.
The end carriers have been identified as deer and mammals for the black-legged tick that spreads this disease, by the University of Brunswick. However, the lab is trying to determine if the tick survives in the ruffled feathers of the grouse, for the spread of Lyme disease.
So far, since their request, the lab has been offered up more than 50 hearts of the birds so that they may have a sizable sample to give a reliable and comprehensive report. However, the Grouse may just be the carrier of the black-legged tick that is causing this deadly disease. Only further studies and a larger sample size will truly determine the fate of the Grouse which is at the heart of the matter.
Due to the sudden spike in Lyme disease, they are trying to bring conclusions faster and thus are imploring the hunters that they may spare the heart for the study of the disease.