Press Release


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Sage, Sharp-tailed Grouse Validation Required

Hunters going out for sage and sharp-tailed grouse must add a $1.50 validation to their hunting licenses. Although sharp-tailed grouse are common in parts of eastern Idaho, they have declined over most of their range for years and have been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Sage grouse numbers have also declined and some groups have called for listing, although no formal proposal has yet been submitted to federal authorities. The validation fee was instituted in 2000 to allow gathering of more detailed harvest information on both species. Fish and Game is trying to keep these birds off the endangered species list and obtaining better information on hunting and harvest of these birds is part of the effort. Information from this program includes the number of hunters, number of birds taken each fall and the proportion of young birds in the population. Hunters can help by stopping at check stations, leaving one fully-feathered wing on each bird and placing the other wing in a wing barrel, reporting all bands found on shot birds, and encouraging fellow bird hunters to also do their part. The validation is available wherever licenses are purchased. Sage grouse season begins September 15 and sharp-tailed grouse season begins October 1.