State Officials Put the Kibosh on Wisconsin’s Sharp-Tailed Grouse Hunting Season for Fall 2020
OutdoorHub Editor: Keenan Crow 08.07.20
Sorry Wisconsin uplanders, but due to concerns over population viability, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has put the kibosh on sharp-tail grouse hunting season this fall.
Typically, the Sharp-tailed Grouse Advisory Committee takes data from spring mating surveys to determine a proper number of permits to issue for the sharp-tailed grouse hunting season, and they give their recommendations to the department’s Bureau of Wildlife Management leadership team. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these surveys were not fully completed. The press release announcing the news notes however, “some data were gathered by partner groups, but the dataset for 2020 remains incomplete.”
The Sharp-tailed Grouse Advisory Committee consists of DNR wildlife biologists and representatives from interested conservation groups.
Without a complete 2020 survey of the sharp-tailed grouse population, the committee referred to numbers from the spring 2019 survey results, which showed the potential for a marked decrease in sharp-tailed grouse numbers and weighed heavily in their ultimate decision. Permits were not issued in 2019, though permits were issued in three of the last five years.
“Wisconsin has a strong, storied connection to sharp-tailed grouse hunting. Thanks to the passion and commitment of DNR’s partners in conservation, work is ongoing to restore and manage the young forest and barrens habitats that sharp-tailed grouse depend upon for their survival,” the DNR press release reads.
“As a result of the increased barrens habitat management activities occurring in recent years in northwest Wisconsin, there is great optimism that the population will respond positively to these efforts and Wisconsin will experience an increase in sharp-tailed grouse population data in future years.”