JERRY DAVIS For the State Journal
Warm, humid weather was not conducive to hunting grouse coverts opening weekend, but those persons who were afield had some success seeing or hearing ruffed grouse and American woodcock.
The woodcock season opens Saturday, Sept. 22.
Some hunters did take a bird home, too. Some good news came from the team from Missouri who are trapping birds, 100 each of three years, in trade for grouse habitat improvement in Wisconsin. They reached their goal and were able to stay a bit longer to even out the ratio of males to females. They will return for a second trapping next year.
“They captured and then released healthy birds very soon after capture, taking them south the same day,” said Mark Witecha, upland bird biologist for the Department of Natural Resources. “It took them a while to get started, in part because there is so much good grouse habitat in Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin biologists learned from the birds, too, before they left for the “Show Me” state. Birds were weighed and blood samples were taken to test for West Nile Virus.
During the trapping, just walking in to check traps, the team flushed a fair number of birds, including coveys of 4 to 6 young birds.
Birds were trapped in five Wisconsin counties, and several locations in each county.
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