There will be no sharp-tailed grouse hunting season in Wisconsin this fall due to scientific data and concerns about population viability, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced in a news release Tuesday. With no permits available, no applications will be available or accepted this year.

The Sharp-Tailed Grouse Advisory Committee uses spring mating survey data to recommend permit levels annually for the sharp-tailed grouse hunting season to the department's Bureau of Wildlife Management leadership team. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, surveys were unable to be fully completed.

The dataset for 2020 remains incomplete, the release said. The committee consists of DNR wildlife biologists and representatives from conservation groups.

Without a complete 2020 survey of the sharp-tailed grouse population, the committee made its recommendation based on the spring 2019 survey results, the limited 2020 data that was available and a scientific population model, which showed the potential for a marked decrease in sharp-tailed grouse numbers.

Permits weren't issued in 2019, though permits were issued in three of the last five years.

More information on sharp sharp-tailed grouse hunting and management is available at dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/sharptailgrouse.html.

The sharp-tailed grouse survey data can be found at dnr.wi.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/reports.html.