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WI SHORTENED GROUSE SEASON SET

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Wisconsin

The WI DNR’s Natural Resources Board (NRB) met yesterday and imposed an emergency order for the second year in a row to shorten the Ruffed grouse season - with an end date of January 5th.

 

In support of this action and of the new draft Grouse Management Plan which calls for a permanent elimination of late season January hunting was the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC), DNR Wildlife managers, all WI NRB members, RGS, and all members of the draft management planning committee. A DNR “grouse hunter” survey sealed the deal when 67% surveyed favored a shorter season.

 

Despite several scientific studies and evidence to the contrary, lack of and insufficient (WNV) test results, the DNR and the NRB has relied on social science and antidotal evidence to make their final decision.

 

And to add insult to injury, two members of the NRB had the nerve to claim (in an open webcast forum) their emergency order cast last fall to close the season early resulted in the large increase of drumming males this spring across the northern part of the state.

 

So be it. The majority rules.

 

Sigh....

 

 

 

 

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WAGinVA

And I will bet money that you will never see the lost days again.

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NW River Mac

I'm really sorry to hear of this behavior.  Govt has become a place for upper middle class and the financially secure.  A playground of sorts. Those are the only ones who can afforded to be there.  Therefore you get decisions like this.

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Don Steese

Now they can sit back and relax without ever having to spend the time, effort, and money it will require to actually so something about the problem.

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Spin

Oh I don't know. If anybody has the time and interest try typing out "Recent studies of declining bird populations in Wisconsin and across the USA" and hit search or Google.

    Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for some extensive reading. Be aware that it's likely to leave you depressed.

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jrg

It’s not clear to me why this would be seen as a negative. Presumably, this has the chance to help bird populations. Suppose that it doesn’t help bird populations and hunters lose some days in the woods; it seems to me that sacrificing some days in the woods on the off chance that it will help the bird population is worth it. It certainly can’t *hurt* the bird population, and so even if there isn’t scientifically demonstrable evidence supporting the decision, a cost/benefit analysis seems to warrant it nonetheless.

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Don Steese
2 hours ago, jrg said:

It’s not clear to me why this would be seen as a negative. Presumably, this has the chance to help bird populations. Suppose that it doesn’t help bird populations and hunters lose some days in the woods; it seems to me that sacrificing some days in the woods on the off chance that it will help the bird population is worth it. It certainly can’t *hurt* the bird population, and so even if there isn’t scientifically demonstrable evidence supporting the decision, a cost/benefit analysis seems to warrant it nonetheless.

No, in my opinion it doesn't. What shortening seasons will do is cause some dedicated grouse hunters to lose interest in the sport and in spending their time and money to help the birds they love to hunt. Hunters are just about the only people willing to expend the effort. The other thing it will do is give agency people an excuse to skip the heavy lifting required to actually improve the situation. If shortening seasons was proven to be effective, bird hunters would support it. They love the birds they hunt! 

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Cooter Brown
On 9/26/2019 at 5:14 PM, Wisconsin said:

The WI DNR’s Natural Resources Board (NRB) met yesterday and imposed an emergency order for the second year in a row to shorten the Ruffed grouse season - with an end date of January 5th.

 

In support of this action and of the new draft Grouse Management Plan which calls for a permanent elimination of late season January hunting was the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC), DNR Wildlife managers, all WI NRB members, RGS, and all members of the draft management planning committee. A DNR “grouse hunter” survey sealed the deal when 67% surveyed favored a shorter season.

 

Despite several scientific studies and evidence to the contrary, lack of and insufficient (WNV) test results, the DNR and the NRB has relied on social science and antidotal evidence to make their final decision.

 

And to add insult to injury, two members of the NRB had the nerve to claim (in an open webcast forum) their emergency order cast last fall to close the season early resulted in the large increase of drumming males this spring across the northern part of the state.

 

So be it. The majority rules.

 

Sigh....

 

 

 

 

If there's not a mechanism--a mandate--for the biologists reassess this on a season by season basis based on real research these people should be ashamed of themselves.  They're a bunch of cowards.

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jrg

That’s a good point, Don. Though, I suspect that the people who really care about the birds, invest in the habitats, and advocate for legislation that helps both won’t lose interest just because of a shortened season. They might end up going to hunt elsewhere, which would in turn hurt WI if fewer people bought licenses.

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UplandHntr

I really liked walking the woods of N WI in January. 

Big picture question- just throwing it out there- if not taking does after severe winters or not keeping walleyes in the slot or pulling back on bear permits if the population is lower than the dnr thought..... how could it possibly not help at all to close it a few weeks early to have a few more birds carry over? It sure helps the other scenarios above.

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Randy S
57 minutes ago, UplandHntr said:

I really liked walking the woods of N WI in January. 

Big picture question- just throwing it out there- if not taking does after severe winters or not keeping walleyes in the slot or pulling back on bear permits if the population is lower than the dnr thought..... how could it possibly not help at all to close it a few weeks early to have a few more birds carry over? It sure helps the other scenarios above.

 

I would think that the difficulty with grouse is the cycle. Even after decades of studies no one has determined the cause. With all the climatic and harvest information available, all that biologists are certain of is that hunting is not the reason why one year has 2.5 drums per stop and the following year has .5 drums. Yet they have evidence that hunters are taking too many late season birds?  

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DAP
1 hour ago, UplandHntr said:

I really liked walking the woods of N WI in January. 

Big picture question- just throwing it out there- if not taking does after severe winters or not keeping walleyes in the slot or pulling back on bear permits if the population is lower than the dnr thought..... how could it possibly not help at all to close it a few weeks early to have a few more birds carry over? It sure helps the other scenarios above.

In the other scenarios you listed, harvest by humans is the controlling factor of their population.   Previous studies of ruffed grouse have shown hunting mortality is compensatory rather than additive (providing hunting doesn't take out more than 30% of the population. )   Bottom line, the overall grouse population the following fall will be the same  whether or not hunters are in the woods those 3 extra weeks.  

 

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Don Steese
12 hours ago, jrg said:

That’s a good point, Don. Though, I suspect that the people who really care about the birds, invest in the habitats, and advocate for legislation that helps both won’t lose interest just because of a shortened season. They might end up going to hunt elsewhere, which would in turn hurt WI if fewer people bought licenses.

You may be right and I hope you are!

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caleb
On 9/26/2019 at 4:14 PM, Wisconsin said:

A DNR “grouse hunter” survey sealed the deal when 67% surveyed favored a shorter season.

 

 

I buy a Wisconsin license every year.  I did not get a survey.  Did they only survey residents?

 

Also, is this survey publicly available?  I'm not even sure how they'd know who hunted grouse.  

 

Could you get 67% approval if you surveyed all small game hunters with a push poll?  Perhaps.  But I doubt you could use neutral survey language and get 67% of grouse hunters to agree to a shorter season.

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Wisconsin
1 hour ago, caleb said:

 

I buy a Wisconsin license every year.  I did not get a survey.  Did they only survey residents?

 

Also, is this survey publicly available?  I'm not even sure how they'd know who hunted grouse.  

 

Could you get 67% approval if you surveyed all small game hunters with a push poll?  Perhaps.  But I doubt you could use neutral survey language and get 67% of grouse hunters to agree to a shorter season.

 

Exactly! We are attempting to get a copy of the survey and determine how they worded the questions and chose survey receipients. We heard it was sent to purchasers of small game hunting licenses - the majority of those being non-grouse hunters.

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