Sharp-Tailed Grouse Season Remains Closed

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that the sharp-tailed grouse hunting season remains closed for 2023. Permits and applications will not be available or accepted this year.

Each year, the sharp-tailed grouse advisory committee, consisting of interested conservation groups and DNR wildlife biologists, uses spring dancing ground surveys to evaluate the population’s size and make a recommendation about a hunting season. Based on the review of spring population data and distribution, concerns remain around the long-term viability of the population.

The recommendation to keep the hunting season closed follows the review of spring 2023 survey data, historical data trends and scientific models. These indicate a potential marked decrease in population viability if hunting were to occur this fall. 2023 will be the fifth year the season has been closed.

Although fall permits will not be issued this year, sharp-tailed grouse will retain their status as a game species. The DNR is continuing to focus on habitat management efforts that will increase population levels across their primary range.

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

More information on sharp-tailed grouse hunting and management in Wisconsin and where to watch for public involvement opportunities on the management plan is available on the DNR’s website.