September 2, 2010

Dove, crane and grouse seasons start soon

By Ed Mitchell, IDFG

   The first shotgun hunting seasons of the fall are coming right up.

   Forest grouse season started Aug. 30 this year, a change from the traditional Sept. 1 date made to accommodate hunters traveling into the high country to set up camps for early big game seasons. Forest grouse are a popular traditional camp food. Forest grouse hunters need only a valid Idaho hunting license.

   Mourning dove and sandhill crane seasons began Sept. 1. A $1.75 federal migratory game bird harvest validation on hunting licenses is required for both birds. Sandhill crane hunters also need a $15 tag per bird. Shotguns incapable of holding more than three shells are required for dove or crane hunting. Nontoxic shot is not required.

   Sandhill crane hunting was formerly by controlled hunt but, because of low participation, has gone to an over-the-counter tag hunt with a limit on tags sold in each of five hunt areas. All sandhill hunting areas are located in southeastern counties in the Upper Snake and Southeast Regions.

   For hunt boundaries and other information specific to cranes, hunters should consult the current season flyer available at vendors or Fish and Game offices or on the Fish and Game website

   Legal shooting hours for cranes and doves are listed in the current upland game bird rules brochure.

   Dove season is unchanged from previous years, running from Sept. 1-30 with a daily limit of 10 and possession limit of 20. Dove hunters should note page 17 of the upland game rules book that explains the rule on Eurasian-collared doves. The recent arrivals to Idaho may be taken in any number and at any time but, during dove season, Eurasian doves should be left unplucked during transport to avoid confusion with mourning doves. The rules brochure shows photos and descriptions of the two different doves.

Sportsmen's Report sponsored by John and Lorraine Weiland

Riverside Sport Shop/Sinclair

11320 U.S. Highway 12, Orofino--208-476-5418

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