Lesser-known grouse opens for hunt
MICHIGAN (WPBN/WGTU) -- A bird in a small part of Michigan provides a unique opportunity for hunters.
While the ruffled grouse is popular among hunters in Michigan, the lesser-known sharp-tail grouse is open to hunting in parts of the Upper Peninsula.
According the Michigan Department of Natural Resources the bird is common in the western United States and Canada but is uncommon in this area.
It can be found in the the U.P. east of I-75.
The bird was first found in Michigan in 1888 on Isle Royale. During the logging era in U.P. the sharptail was common because wildfires created landscape for them to live in.
Forest regeneration pushed the birds out of their habitats and their numbers began to dwindle, the DNR said.
The small populations of sharptails forced the DNR to close hunting in 1996.
After a decade hunting was reopened.
The DNR said this 2-pound bird a challenging hunt but they are a trophy grouse in Michigan.
Hunters are allowed six sharptail per season but the DNR said most people average half a bird per year.
Sharptail season is open October, 10 to the 31.