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Unit 8 in northwestern Wisconsin sharp-tailed grouse permits

MADISON – Twenty-five harvest permits have been made available for Game Management Unit 8 for the 2018 season, which will run from Oct. 20 to Nov. 11.

“We have a very dedicated group of sharp-tailed grouse hunters in Wisconsin,” said Mark Witecha, upland wildlife ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “This limited season should provide those grouse enthusiasts with a chance to pursue the species while not impacting the long-term sustainability of the population.”

Those interested in hunting sharp-tailed grouse in Unit 8 must submit an application. The application period is August 1-31. Applications cost $3 and will be available at any licensing agent and online at

Those who are unsuccessful in the drawing will receive a preference point. Preference points will increase the odds of drawing a permit during the next sharp-tailed grouse season. Preference points acquired in past sharp-tailed grouse season drawings are valid for the 2018 drawing.

Sharp-tailed grouse are found primarily in large blocks of barrens habitat on public lands in northwest Wisconsin. The barrens habitat is recognized internationally as a key conservation opportunity area. Sharptails are a popular game bird species also well-known for their dramatic breeding displays. The birds attract many visitors to the northwestern part of the state each year.

Wisconsin’s Sharp-tailed Grouse Management Plan provides a framework to combine habitat development for barrens-dependent wildlife species with working forests. The goal is to expand the suitable habitat for sharp-tailed grouse and reconnect isolated populations where possible.

“Biologists will continue to assess the status of our sharp-tailed grouse population on an annual basis,” said Witecha. “We would like to thank those who remain passionate about Wisconsin’s sharp-tailed grouse population, and wish all hunters who successfully draw a permit a safe and happy hunt this fall.”

For more information, search the DNR website,, for keywords “sharp-tailed grouse.”