Lets here some good dog stories as well.
Can we attach pictures in this forum now?
Any thoughts from the group on the impact of rainfall totals and impact on grouse nesting and chick survival this year? Saw a 30 day rain total map this week that showed as much as 20 inches of rain in some of the prime cover area we hunt in the Northwoods. The same map showed 1-2 inches in lower Michigan and the east end of the UP. Grouse hunters there are reporting seeing good numbers of chicks and broods with baseball size birds moving around.
Usually count on seeing a few here and there on the way into town from the flowage. They get busier as the summer winds down. Morning and of course heading into dusk. Along the gravel road to big island, Wilson Lake, etc. Last year the grouse were everywhere pecking away. Then they all but disappeared come the middle of October. Seeing one bird in five days is troubling. Especially when people are actively looking for them.
Per Jaqi Christopher, WI DNR Assistant Upland Ecologist with the Bureau of Wildlife Management: The season dates have not changed as of yet. At the last Natural Resources Board meeting on June 27th, the board passed a motion which would allow them to vote on the season change at a future meeting. They will most likely vote on the rule change at the August meeting or the September meeting. Information on the meetings can be found here: https://dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb/calendar.html. To submit public comment on the grouse season, you can contact your conservation congress delegates (info here: https://dnr.wi.gov/about/wcc/) or submit comments for the next NRB meeting (info here: https://dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb/public.html).
SJB and JS you guys touch on reason I love the comedy on Wisconsin public radio. listening to a caller one time who identified herself as a sierra club member and she is emphatic that we must have old growth forest with large trees because this is what the TIMBER wolf prefers for habitat. I was in utter disbelief at that comment but this is what the sierra club does to people and they attract money to influence court decisions and legislation.
I have been in touch with my contact at the WI DNR. The theory behind the closed late season, more than likely those birds will make it to the spring for breeding. Early season birds, especially the yoy, mortality rate is high - from all sorts of sources, not exclusive to hunting. If the birds made it to December, their likelihood they make it to breed is fairly high.
Many counties could use more chainsaws running. The national forest especially, and you can thank the nut jobs on the left for holding up the cutting in the courts. Now more is happening, but at a slow rate. What you need is non-segmented cuttings - where you will have 20 acres cut, with another 20 acres cut nearby. Then 5-10 years down the road, cut another few areas about the same size. Too many places I see are simply too old, or not enough areas near by for new grouse to establish a territory.
Its been about 15 years but I hunted that area some. From vanalstine rd up to fish hatchery area. Some years we got a lot of bird action. 20+ yrs ago ran into a retired game warden who was deer hunting there with a worn out looking lever action rifle; said he lived at the end of Vanalstine rd.