BOISE — Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials are asking hunters and other interested parties to review and comment on a proposed sage grouse hunting season for 2019. The deadline to comment is Aug. 19.
Statewide, sage grouse counts indicate a 25% decline in males in spring 2019 compared with 2018. Data indicates that most sage grouse populations can be hunted at the restrictive level as defined in the 2006 Conservation Plan for the greater sage grouse in Idaho. However, Fish and Game data also calls for caution in some areas north of the Snake River and in part of Owyhee County.
2019 hunting season proposals follow:
- The two-day sage grouse hunting season would be Sept. 21 and 22 and the seven-day season would be Sept. 21 to 27.
- Close northwest Owyhee County, northwest of Mud Flat Road. Birds in this area were impacted by the 2015 Soda Fire. Part of this area was closed in 2018, but wildlife managers are proposing to expand the area in 2019 due to population declines outside the fire boundary.
- Hold a restrictive seven-day season — one-bird daily limit — for the remainder of Owyhee County, southeast of Mud Flat Road, and all areas south and west of Interstate 84.
- Hold a two-day season — one-bird daily limit — for most areas north of the Snake River. Fish and Game would maintain the closure in the Upper Snake region due to the Grassy Ridge Fire last year and other declines.
- Southeast Idaho would remain closed as it has since 2014.
To see a map of area proposals, comment and get more information, go to idfg.idaho.gov/form/2019-sage-grouse-season-scoping-proposal.
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