2020 Sage-Grouse Season Scoping Proposal

Opportunity for public comment: July 27  - August 10, 2020

Idaho Department of Fish and Game and our partners monitor sage-grouse breeding populations by counting males at leks each spring. A lek is a traditional display area, which is typically located in an open area in or adjacent to sagebrush-dominated habitats. Statewide, lek counts indicate a 2.5% increase in males at leks in spring 2020, compared to 2019, but trends were variable. Sage-grouse numbers are down 53% from the peak counts in 2016, with stronger declines north of the Snake River.

These data indicate 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, our data also indicates caution in some areas north of the Snake River and in part of Owyhee County.

The sage-grouse hunting season would be open on September 19-20 for the 2-day season and September 19-25 for the 7-day season.

Sage Grouse Season Proposal Map

Click map to enlarge

Idaho Fish and Game welcomes your comments for the 2020 sage-grouse season.

1) We are proposing to maintain the closure in northwest Owyhee County, northwest of the Mud Flat Road (Area 1 in Owyhee County). Birds in this landscape were impacted by the 2015 Soda Fire and populations have not yet recovered.

 

2) We are proposing the Restrictive 7-day season, 1 bird daily limit, for the remainder of Owyhee County (southeast of the Mud Flat Road) and all areas south and west of Interstate 84 (Area 2). Southeast Idaho would remain closed as it has since 2014 (Area 1).

 

3) We are proposing a 2-day season, 1 bird daily limit, for all open areas north of the Snake River (Area 3).

 

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