CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
October 14, 2010
By Ed Mitchell, IDFG
Weather on opening weekend of the sage-grouse season was warm and dry, and hunter effort and success varied across the state.
Most areas reported fewer than average hunters and grouse harvested, while the Southeast region checked a few more hunters than normal.
Idaho Department of Fish and
Game ran 12 check stations on Saturday, Sept. 18, and 11 on Sunday, targeting
sage-grouse hunters throughout southern
Fish and Game personnel asked hunters about their success, number of hours hunted and numbers of birds they saw. They also collected a wing from each bird checked, which provides important information on annual productivity.
Statewide, 873 hunters checked 448 birds this year, compared to 1,209 hunters and 875 birds in 2009. The number of hunters checked was down 37 percent from the 2006-2009 average. The number of grouse checked was down 49 percent from the 2006-2009 average.
Hunter participation is
presumed to be lower because of the shorter season in some areas compared to
previous years. However, hunter participation was the lowest ever recorded in
Hunter success, as measured by
birds per hunter, was down slightly in the Southwest and Upper Snake regions
compared to last year, which makes sense with the reduced bag limit in those
areas. Hunters in these areas, however, had to work a little harder than last
year to get one bird. For example, on average it took more than two extra hours
to harvest a bird in the Upper Snake than last year. In contrast, hunters in the
The sage-grouse hunting season
is now closed for this year. The sage-grouse season is set annually in August
and the season structure is adjusted up or down based on trends in spring lek
counts. These data are collected by biologists and volunteers throughout
Sage-grouse is on the list of candidates for the federal endangered species list. Earlier in 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found listing sage-grouse was warranted but precluded by other, more pressing, needs. Candidate species are still state-managed species and hunting is legal. Hunting sage-grouse is allowed in most western states where the birds are found.
Sportsmen's Report sponsored by John and Lorraine Weiland
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11320 U.S. Highway 12, Orofino--208-476-5418
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