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DNR cancels third straight sharp-tailed grouse season

July 12, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Natural Resources has canceled Wisconsin’s sharp-tailed grouse season for the third year in a row to protect the population.

The DNR announced the decision Monday, saying a population survey this spring coupled with historical data trends and scientific modeling indicate hunting could cause a “marked decrease” in the population.

Sharp-tailed grouse populations have been dwindling across the country since the 1900s. The bird was once found throughout Wisconsin but it has retreated to the northern reaches of the state as southern forests and grasslands were cleared for farming. Similar trends have been at play for sharp-tailed grouse in Michigan and eastern Minnesota.

DNR officials said they’re hopeful that the population will respond to efforts to restore the young forests and barrens habitats that sharp-tailed grouse need to survive.