Well, Wisconsin upland hunters woke up to a bit of bad news this morning. The Wisconsin DNR has announced no permits will be available for sharp-tailed grouse this season.

The Sharp-tailed Grouse Advisory Committee – consisting of DNR wildlife biologists and other conservation groups – cited data from a 2017 spring survey, which identified an 18 percent decline in the number of sharp-tailed grouse observed, according to the DNR’s press release.

It’s also important to note since no permits are available, no applications will be made available or accepted until next year.

The worse news, however, is this downward trend in grouse population has been occurring in Wisconsin since the early 1900s. Despite all of that, the DNR remains optimistic and believes the population will respond positively to ongoing focused habitat management efforts.

Here’s some words of encouragement for upland hunters stated in the DNR’s press release:

“In the meantime, those who are passionate about Wisconsin’s strong and historic tradition of sharp-tailed grouse hunting should remain encouraged through significant partnerships that exist in the northwest part of the state to manage young forest and barren habitats that sharp-tailed grouse depend upon for survival.”

Image courtesy wikimedia

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