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GB Jack

Rgs/ Lisa Williams collaboration article

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GB Jack

I thought it was well done, some new info, some true habitat stats, new mosquito info, interesting to see RGS with what appears to be an “updated" stance since last summer? I just hope they keep going in their research,sounds like they will be for at least another few years, both in the lake states and out east.  

 

https://ruffedgrousesociety.org/the-scientific-impact-of-west-nile-on-ruffed-grouse/

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Treerooster

Thanks for posting the link.

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Fire Marshal Bill

Very informative article. So glad I took the time to read it. Thanks for posting it.

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Skybuster

Thanks Jack. Whatever happened the the West Nile research many of us participated in here in WI? Blood samples and organ packets were readily available for the asking. I've yet to hear about the results from last fall. Still pending?

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drummer's stump

That is a pretty good article. I wish there was a way to get the harvest crews that work for me down to PA, these guys can put some serious wood in the yard. My best crew can cover a 100 acres a week in the winter, and do every bit as good of a job as the best handcrew. When I drive around the state forest around where I grew up, I am amazed how much wood there is in the state forest. I was turkey hunting a couple years ago not far from a cover that Irish Joe and I use to hunt and there was 190sqft/ac of the most beautiful cherry and sugar maple I have seen. I am not nocking the foresters and loggers of PA, they do great work, but they work on scale/stumpage down there. Where as we do everything by weight, and have a hardwood pulp market so we can do improvement harvests. It really is a different world, but that is what PA needs is a bunch of crews who can harvest that much wood to get out in front of their habitat issue. I think that the PGC is doing a good job with what they have to work with, and believe they are trying hard to get out in front of the issues facing grouse and other forest birds. If they could harvest about 28,000 to 30,000 acres a year they would be in great shape, but they are hindered by a regeneration problem because of high browse pressure, and with that comes public opinion about deer numbers. For them to have a healthy forest they need to reduce the deer herd by half from where it is today, and hold it there for 15 years allowing suppressed tree and shrub species to come back. Yellowstone national park is great example of what browse pressure can do. Hemlock and yew are two important thermal species for grouse, both are important to deer for winter browse, in harsh winters deer also browse red spruce which is the best thermal species in PA. It is a complex problem which is made even more complex by public opinion.

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Locher
12 minutes ago, drummer's stump said:

but they are hindered by a regeneration problem because of high browse pressure, and with that comes public opinion about deer numbers. For them to have a healthy forest they need to reduce the deer herd by half from where it is today

 

Clint - I think they were on the right track with that a few years ago.  But all you heard from the deer hunters was there were no deer left.  And the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  And the deer hunters are a lot bigger wheel than us too. 

 

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Treerooster
2 hours ago, Skybuster said:

Thanks Jack. Whatever happened the the West Nile research many of us participated in here in WI? Blood samples and organ packets were readily available for the asking. I've yet to hear about the results from last fall. Still pending?

 

Last March or so it was posted on here that the WNV kits were being sent to a university in Georgia (I believe) for testing and the results wouldn't be known/published until July or August.

 

I too am getting impatient for the results as I sent in 3 kits myself and would like to know how many grouse were infected.

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Abu65

Can they spray with helicopters to kill Mosquitoes? They spray a lot of swamps in Florida close to the big name areas. 

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doodlelady
2 hours ago, Treerooster said:

 

Last March or so it was posted on here that the WNV kits were being sent to a university in Georgia (I believe) for testing and the results wouldn't be known/published until July or August.

 

I too am getting impatient for the results as I sent in 3 kits myself and would like to know how many grouse were infected.

 

Yup. Last I heard the states haven’t gotten the results back from the lab yet (and they all used the same lab). May take awhile to get out the info to the individual people. Sampling will continue again this fall for anyone who is willing to participate and MN is offering a couple cool raffle opportunities to anyone who submits a sample. 

 

Look for the MN drumming survey results to be out on Monday.

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Don Steese
5 hours ago, drummer's stump said:

 For them to have a healthy forest they need to reduce the deer herd by half from where it is today, and hold it there for 15 years allowing suppressed tree and shrub species to come back. 

 

In my opinion that will never happen. The hue and cry from deer hunters would be deafening. They got untold grief for getting the herd down to where it is now. 

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drummer's stump

Don, I know they do. I was down last fall and saw 7 different legal bucks in 4 days of hunting. I saw probably 60 deer total, and filled my doe tags with ease, in fact I shot both from the porch. I joked with my dad about his breeding program because they were pretty big for year and half old Pa deer. I challenge every hunter in Pa to go look inside a deer exclusion fence and count the number of species inside compared to out. By doing this they should be able to see the problem, and if they don’t, they either cannot count or they are just an *******

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Curt
43 minutes ago, drummer's stump said:

Don, I know they do. I was down last fall and saw 7 different legal bucks in 4 days of hunting. I saw probably 60 deer total, and filled my doe tags with ease, in fact I shot both from the porch. I joked with my dad about his breeding program because they were pretty big for year and half old Pa deer. I challenge every hunter in Pa to go look inside a deer exclusion fence and count the number of species inside compared to out. By doing this they should be able to see the problem, and if they don’t, they either cannot count or they are just an *******

 

Every hunter in PA has already looked inside a deer exclusion fence a dozen times or more, they're every where, ignorance is not the problem.  The issue is simply that deer hunting in PA is big money for the PGC and small game hunting is buttkiss by comparison.  Unfortunately this means that the deer hunters get coddled and the small game hunters are mostly ignored.  The PGC knew for over two decades that they weren't meeting their own quota for habitat cutting, not even close.  As a result PA has about the lowest amount of ESH as a percentage of forested land in my memory and I'm pretty old.  Still, the deer hunters whine, "what happened to all the deer"?  They used to see at least a hundred deer on opening day and now they barely see seventy.  In what can only be described as a final 'kick to the nuts' the PGC took the Saturday after Thanksgiving away from the grouse hunters this season.  This has traditionally been the last day of the small game season prior to the opening of the antlered deer season.  That day is now the new opening day of the antlered deer season.

 

In my view the biggest issue surrounding the demise of Pennsylvania's once prolific grouse population isn't WNV, or predators, it's neglect.

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ryanr

The deer herd in PA is no longer really a habitat problem for our forests. The herd numbers have been addressed and continue to be.

 

The article is good and I'm glad she was sure to emphasize more that habitat, and more of it, is the primary solution to combating WNV and other issues plaguing grouse populations. Anyone that continues to say she's just blaming it all on WNV is not understanding her position.

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Dave Medema

copy and paste email I received last week from the MI DNR on the WNV study:

 

Hello Grouse Hunters!

 

I have received a few questions about progress on the study and figured it would be a good time to send out an update on a few things.

 

Status of Testing

 

The Southwest Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia is the diagnostic lab that is running the testing on the WNV grouse samples for the states participating in the Upper Great Lakes Region WNV Grouse Study (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) as well as a number of other states that collected blood samples this past season. Due to the large volume of samples they received, we do not anticipate having results back until late summer.

 

We distributed 500 kits and had 209 samples turned in, with 140 being collected in the UP and 69 from the Northern Lower Peninsula. Most samples were in very good condition with data sheets being properly completed. Return rates on kits were 42-48% in the Great Lakes Region, with Wisconsin receiving 237 samples and Minnesota, who distributed 600 kits, receiving 273 samples.

 

Continuation of Study

 

We will continue this study for 2 more years. A multi-year study will not only provide us with a larger number of samples from which to gain a higher level of confidence in interpretation of results but will also account for year to year fluctuations in grouse populations and West Nile virus activity.  Minnesota has secured funds to continue the project through 2019 and Wisconsin has funds to continue through 2020. We will sample the same four 3-county areas that we sampled during the 2018-19 season.

 

  • Upper Peninsula: 
    • Dickinson, Iron, Marquette
    • Chippewa, Luce, Mackinac
  • Lower Peninsula
    • Alpena, Montmorency, Presque Isle
    • Missaukee, Ogemaw, Roscommon

 

 

If you have unused kits in your possession and would like to participate in the study again, you may use those kits. If you have unused kits and do not wish to participate, please contact me to make arrangements to return kits. We are in the process of assembling kits and will distribute prior to the start of grouse season. Please contact me if you plan to participate. I will need the following:

 

Name

Address

Email

Telephone number

The counties you plan to hunt

The number of kits you would like

 

If you did not participate last year and would like more detail before committing to the study, attached you will find instructions.

 

Thank you!

 

Julie Melotti

Laboratory Technician

DNR Wildlife Disease Lab

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Curt
2 hours ago, ryanr said:

The deer herd in PA is no longer really a habitat problem for our forests. The herd numbers have been addressed and continue to be.

 

The article is good and I'm glad she was sure to emphasize more that habitat, and more of it, is the primary solution to combating WNV and other issues plaguing grouse populations. Anyone that continues to say she's just blaming it all on WNV is not understanding her position.

Well, good for her and the PGC.  What's the old saying about closing the barn door after the horse has left the barn?

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