The seven-day sage-grouse season opens Saturday, September 21, and runs through Friday, September 27, with a one-bird daily limit and a two-bird possession limit
The season is similar to last year's season, with hunting allowed at the "restrictive" level.
The seven-day season opens in:
- Butte, Camas, Cassia, Clark, Fremont, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Lemhi, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Power and Teton counties.
- Bannock County west of Interstate 15.
- Bingham County west of Interstate 15.
- Blaine County, except within the Salmon River drainage.
- Bonneville County west of Interstate 15 and north of U.S. Highway 26.
- Custer County, except within the Salmon River drainage upstream from and including Valley Creek.
- Oneida County west of Interstate 15.
- Owyhee County west of the Bruneau River.
- Twin Falls County east of U.S. Highway 93.
Closed Areas are:
- Eastern Owyhee County and western Twin Falls County, which continue to be affected by the 2007 Murphy Complex Fire.
- East Idaho Uplands area in the southeastern part of the state east of Interstate 15 and south of U.S. Highway 26, because of a lack of long-term data.
- Washington County and Adams County, Payette and Gem counties. This isolated population has been closed to hunting since 1984.
- Elmore County, because of a lack of long term data, 2012 fires and no known active leks south of Highway 20.
Sage-grouse is a candidate species for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. Candidate species are under state management and hunting is legal. Idaho Fish and Game closely monitors sage-grouse populations.
This native grouse is widely distributed in areas with large blocks of sagebrush habitat throughout southern Idaho. Sagebrush is a crucial winter food for sage-grouse and also provides them with nesting and roosting cover during the rest of the year. Wet places, including agricultural lands, are important feeding areas for hens with chicks and are heavily used by sage-grouse during the fall in dry years.
Any person hunting sage- or sharp-tailed grouse must have in possession a valid Idaho hunting license with a sage sharp-tailed grouse permit validation at $4.75.
Hunters should be aware that sage-grouse and sharp-tailed grouse occur in the same areas in south-central and eastern Idaho. Hunting season for these species do not overlap. The sharp-tailed grouse hunting season is October 1 to 31.
Wings collected from harvested birds provide important biological data. Hunters who see a wing barrel are asked to deposit one wing from each bird they harvest. Fish and Game also collects wings at check stations and through a mail-in wing survey. Anyone who would like to participate in the wing envelope program, call 208-334-2920.
For information about sage-grouse hunting contact a regional Fish and Game office, or http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/rules/uplandSagegrouse.pdf.
All hunters need a valid 2013 Idaho hunting license.