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:
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
Nick Larson is the host and creator of the Project Upland Podcast. He and his family, which includes a pair of English setters, reside in Duluth, Minnesota. Naturally, his favorite pursuit is upland bird hunting. From the northern forests of the upper great lakes to the prairies of the west, he chases adventure across the uplands wherever his bird dogs and the people he meets inspire him to go.