Wisconsin Sharp-Tailed Grouse Hunting Season Remains Closed

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the fall 2022 sharp-tailed grouse hunting season remains closed due to spring survey results and concerns over the long-term viability of the sharp-tailed grouse population. Permits and applications will not be available or accepted this year.

Each year, the sharp-tailed grouse advisory committee, which consists of interested conservation groups and DNR wildlife biologists, uses spring dancing ground surveys to evaluate the size of the population.

The recommendation to keep the sharp-tailed grouse hunting season closed follows the review of spring 2022 survey data, historical data trends and scientific models that indicate a potential marked decrease in population viability if hunting were to take place this fall. This is the fourth year the season has been closed.

Although permits will not be issued this year, sharp-tailed grouse will retain their status as a game species per state law, focusing on habitat management efforts that will increase population levels across their primary range. Those passionate about Wisconsin’s strong and historical tradition of sharp-tailed grouse hunting should be encouraged by the significant partnerships in the northwest part of the state. Sharp-tailed grouse enthusiasts can watch for public involvement opportunities during the Sharp-tailed Grouse Management Plan update currently underway.

DNR staff are hopeful that the population will continue to respond positively to ongoing focused habitat management efforts to restore the young forests and barrens habitats that sharp-tailed grouse depend upon for survival.