MADISON, Wis. — In light of spring survey data and concern over the future viability of the sharp-tailed grouse population in Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources will not issue hunting permits for the 2019 hunting season.
Each year, the Sharp-tailed Grouse Advisory Committee, which consists of DNR wildlife biologists and partner agencies and organizations, uses spring dancing-ground surveys to recommend permit levels for the sharp-tailed grouse hunting season.
This decision comes after a review of the spring 2019 survey data, as well as a new population model developed in cooperation with UW-Madison. That model shows low probabilities of sharp-tailed grouse persistence over the next 50 years.
Although no permits will be issued 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.
The DNR added that hunters passionate about Wisconsin's strong tradition of sharp-tailed grouse hunting should be encouraged by the partnerships in the northwest part of the state to manage the barrens habitats that sharptails depend on.
For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "sharp-tailed grouse."