UP Sharptail Grouse Relocation Projects

Discussion in 'General Michigan Hunting' started by Luv2hunteup, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    The DNR is in the early stages of planning a relocation of EUP grouse to the WUP. It will not be a large project. The proposal is to trap and transfer 25 sharptail from various locations in Chippewa county to be relocated to Ontonogon county. There has been no resistance to this project. As soon as maple syrup season is over I will be looking for leks and trying to get the DNR permission to trap some in the farmland around camp. If you can help help by allowing the DNR to trap a couple of birds PM me or contact Dave Jentoft in the Soo office.

    The second relocation project involves relocating 100 sharptails to an area between a Grayling and Kalkaska. The UP tribes are not on board with this project so the grouse may have to come from Minnesota.
     
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  2. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    I assume you are working with Terry Minzey on this...would you mention the Floodwood plains in Dickinson County as well for future consideration? Far less snowfall events and total depths to deal with than Ontonagon location.
     

  3. zig

    zig

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    Intriguing subject to me, but I have to admit I haven't spent the time to read much about it. Have there/were there ever sharptails in the LP? And, why would the tribes not be on board with that project? Just curious.
     
  4. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    Sharptails used to be in the LP.

    I can’t say why the Tribes are against it because I do not know.

    If it happens I believe it was said the birds would originate on federal land and be relocated to federal land.
     
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  5. Forest Meister

    Forest Meister

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    Cork Dust, Floodwood had quite a few birds back in the day and was a premier STG hunting destination at one time. I saw quite a few birds there back in the early 70's. Heck, according to old Conservation Department records Floodwood had prairie chickens from before 1920 until sometime in the 1940's. Unfortunately, like every burned over area in the UP and NLP that once held birds mother nature, if left to here own designs, eventually grows trees. Lots and lots of trees. Forested areas are great for ruffed grouse and deer but sharptails prefer brush land with lots of open areas. Beating back natural succession is a continuous battle, it takes time and costs money.

    The area in the WUP where sharptails are slated to be transferred had hunt able populations at least into the 70's and birds could be found well into the 80s. It was habitat change, that doomed the birds, not hunting or predators.

    With major wildfires pretty much a thing of the past and no habit work being conducted (STG need thousand and thousands of acres of relatively contiguous habitat) odds are pretty good, outstanding actually, that the transplanted birds are doomed to disappear just like the naturally occurring birds did thirty years ago.

    As far as tribes not being on board: The Sault Tribe is far and away the largest tribe in Michigan with most of their members in the eastern UP. Reading between the lines at the informational meeting it appears they do not wish to have ''their" birds moved out of the area. FM
     
  6. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    I'm reading-in a bit, but I suspect that their concern involves relocation from lands within Treaty of 1836 boundaries to lands outside of those boundaries. As LivedtohuntUP mentioned via background statements, they would have some check-off authority on their removal from Federal lands, even though the relocation site would also be Federal land. The relocation site would be in Treaty of 1842 Federal lands.

    Well, I'll amend this a bit...This is why I thought of the Floodwood plains, expansive grassland area for leks, and a soil type that slows the rate of reforestation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  7. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    Next time I see Eric Clark I’ll ask him. The EUP to WUP relocate birds out of their treaty boundaries but EUP to NLP is relocating birds within treaty boundaries. There is something in play that I’m not aware of.

    ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1523557701.904263.jpg
     
  8. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    I realize that the southern relocation site is outside Terry's "dirt" but it might be worthwhile to get the specific NLP sites proposed from him prior that conversation with Eric Clark. Sharptails and shartail management have been a major focus for Minzey over his career, so he should have all the specifics in-hand.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    Terry is a bird hunter through and through. He lives to watch his Britney’s work more so than shooting birds.
     
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  10. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    One of the vets., now retired, that my wife works for has one of his dogs. Al and Terry went out to Montana/NoDak a couple of times together.
     
  11. Hunters Edge

    Hunters Edge

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    Does it really matter where they get the stock (birds) as long as they have new areas to be introduced? I think this should have been done 20 years ago. They would probably have better luck in reintroducing sharptails in areas of slp and lp then trying to increase pheasant populations.
     
  12. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    I don't whether you have ever driven the Seney stretch, but these vast grasslands exist now as the consequence of several massive fires that burned-off both the slash from the logging boom era in some sections and the extensive peat deposits in the southern reaches. The Kingston plains has been an area extensively managed for sharptails for decades largely without concomitant natural reproduction enhancement within the populations. This has been Terry Minzey's and Dave Lukkonen's life-work.

    https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDNR/bulletins/1b8402b
     
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  13. Nostromo

    Nostromo

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    For what it's worth. I've seen the odd Sharpie along 581 west of that Floodwood road. I've seen a Pheasant or two as well.
     
  14. Nostromo

    Nostromo

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    They seem to be putting in a lot of effort to create grass lands in the SE part of the state. Who knows if Sharpies will be next?
     
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  15. Hunters Edge

    Hunters Edge

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    It should have been done 20 years ago. I do hope they follow through, they have been discussing it for over 20 years, instead of acting on it.