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Harvest Rates of Ruffed Grouse in Northeastern Wisconsin

Stephen DeStefano and Donald H. Rusch
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Jul., 1986), pp. 361-367
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3801087
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801087
Page Count: 7
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Harvest Rates of Ruffed Grouse in Northeastern Wisconsin
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Abstract

To estimate the rate, composition, and timing of harvest, we banded 835 ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) on the Navarino Wildlife Area (NWA), Wisconsin, in 1978-81 with reward bands inscribed with our address. Recovery rates were 18, 31, 31, and 20% during 1978-81, respectively, for grouse banded ≤10 weeks before the hunting season. These rates were adjusted for preseason mortality in the banded sample (26%), crippling loss (13%), nonreported bands (4%), and band loss (1%) to calculate harvest rates of 29, 50, 50, and 32% during 1978-81. Mean band recovery rate (25%) and mean estimated harvest rate (40%) were higher than reported elsewhere, except for a recent study in central Wisconsin. About 23% of the bands were recovered in December, indicating that late-season hunting was relatively heavy. Band recovery rates were not directly related to age, sex, color phase, or weight of grouse. Movements of juveniles were extensive in fall, and recoveries were distributed widely on NWA. A relatively small proportion of hunters recovered a high proportion of the bands.

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