Lets here some good dog stories as well.
Can we attach pictures in this forum now?
I saw this mentioned elsewhere and found it interesting. Who would be in favor of a grouse stamp in the future, with the proceeds going into research and developing better habitat? I would be in favor, but i must admit i would have concerns of the funds being properly allocated. Times have changed and we need to change with them. Grouse are one of our last great resourses and deserve the neccessarry attention. Based on a less than stellar track record lets hope the DNR gets this one correct.
I would also be in favor if stiffer rules regarding road hunting. Although that could prove difficult at best to enforce.
Agreed on the road hunting. We hunted north of Mercer one year in some unfamiliar cover. All we saw one after the other was guys in trucks cruising the back roads looking to shoot birds off the ground. I don’t decry anyone a meal but walk the trails. Don’t drive them in a truck or ATV. It’s not sporting.
Has this actually be changed or is this a recommendation?
Make it illegal to shoot off a gravel road and you'll save a lot more birds than closing the season early. Spend some time and money chasing the road hunters that shoot them out the window...that'll have an impact...if anything does.
Looks like I won't contribute to any mortality. We hunt areas infested with deer ticks so typically we wait until cold weather to start hunting them. Last few years that didn't come with any consistency until late December. We've only encountered one other hunter in December and January in the 30+ years we've been hunting our areas (public). Hunting pressure is almost non existent after deer season thanks to deep snow, cold, jittery birds, and the start of the ice fishing season. I think the late season harvest is a very small percentage of the total so at least in areas we hunt that early closure won't impact hunting mortality.
I read the article. It stated that biologists were concerned that the number of mature birds shot last year vastly outnumbered the number of young first year birds which they believe hurt recruitment of breeding pairs this spring. They also said that West Nile likely killed off a good number of the younger birds. The reasoning for the early shutdown was because they believe the virus will kill 80% of the birds that contract it in the early part of the season. They want to preserve the healthy bird population that remains after November so there will be more breeding pairs in the spring. I don’t know, and I don’t know if they do either, if the measure will help but it makes some sense based on what the biologists said. As far as lowering the bag limit goes, I have never limited out on grouse in a single day. Woodcock yes but never got five grouse in a day. They could lower it and it wouldn’t make any difference. Those buggers elude me pretty consistently. Ha ha.
I just read the journal sentinel article on this subject/ Theyre keeping the bag limit at 5 per day. I hate to be critical on this since its a hard decison to make but it looks like theyre not too serious about curtailing hunting mortality while appearing to keep tourism levels elevated.
After deer gun season I get in another 5 days of grousing (weather permitting. In the grouse capital of the world and Ive never seen anyone else out hunting during this time. Nothing more than a feel good measure if theyre intending to conserve kill numbers.
WIDNR has now closed the grouse season effective Nov 30th this year. I for one am bummed about this. I grouse hunt almost exclusively during the late season. Anybody hear the reasons for this shutdown? Why not just lower the bag limits instead? I wonder if the DNR has any idea of the number of birds harvested after Nov?