Contact(s): Mark Witecha, DNR upland ecologist and Farm Bill biologist, 608-267-7861
MADISON -- As a result of recent declines in the number of sharp-tailed grouse in spring surveys conducted by wildlife management staff, the Department of Natural Resources has decided that zero permits be made available for the fall 2017 hunting season.
Each year, the Sharp-tailed Grouse Advisory Committee, which consists of DNR wildlife biologists and interested conservation groups, uses spring dancing ground surveys to recommend permit levels for the sharp-tailed grouse hunting season. This decision comes as a result of a review of the spring 2017 survey data, which identify an 18 percent decline in the number of sharp-tailed grouse observed.
It is important to note that since no permits are available, no applications will be made available or accepted this year.
Although the population has dipped low enough to not issue permits this year, by state law sharp-tailed grouse will retain their status as a game species. DNR staff are hopeful that the population will respond positively to ongoing focused habitat management efforts.
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.