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#34 | Ruffed Grouse Drumming Counts, West Nile Virus and Proposed Season Length Change in Wisconsin – Project Upland Podcast

#34 | Ruffed Grouse Drumming Counts, West Nile Virus and Proposed Season Length Change in Wisconsin – Project Upland Podcast

An upland bird hunter holding a ruffed grouse

In this episode of the Project Upland Podcast we talk about ruffed grouse drumming survey results, West Nile virus and a proposed change to the season length in Wisconsin with upland wildlife ecologist for the Wisconsin DNR, Mark Witecha.

It’s that time of year again and the ruffed grouse drumming count surveys have been released for both Minnesota and Wisconsin. Most people were not surprised by the significant decrease in the drumming counts as they confirmed the generally disappointing results from last fall. Combined with concerns over West Nile virus and the more recent season length change proposal in Wisconsin, many upland bird hunters are concerned about the status of ruffed grouse populations and the future of this iconic game bird.

On today’s show, I had a conversation with Mark Witecha, the upland wildlife ecologist for the Wisconsin DNR, about many of these concerns. Mark and I laid the groundwork for the conversation among grouse hunters to continue by providing an overview and establishing the basics of these issues. We also covered what plans are being made to increase our understanding of varying effects on ruffed grouse populations. We discussed ruffed grouse drumming surveys, the importance of habitat, West Nile virus and the proposed season change in Wisconsin. We also talk about plans to collect scientific data and research during the fall 2018 season including how hunters may be able to assist in these efforts.

For additional resources on ruffed grouse populations, habitat and hunting in Wisconsin, we have provided the links below:

Ruffed Grouse Hunting | 2018 Drumming SurveyWI DNR Facebook Page | 2018 Drumming Survey Video Recap

To contact Mark Witecha with questions about ruffed grouse and upland birds in Wisconsin, please visit his WI DNR contact page here.

Get it on iTunes: Project Upland Podcast – Episode 34

The Project Upland Podcast is brought to you in part by: Pineridge Grouse Camp – Adventure Awaits & OnX Hunt

View Comments (2)
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for this episode. Very informative and very timely. As a new grouse hunter (last year was first year) that lives in WI, I appreciated this one very much.

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