The sharp-tailed grouse season opens Saturday, October 1, and runs through October 31, with a daily bag limit of two birds and a possession limit of six.
The season is open only in eastern Idaho in these areas: Bingham and Clark counties east of Interstate 15, Franklin, Fremont, Jefferson County east of Interstate 15, Madison, and Teton counties, Bonneville County east of Interstate 15, Bannock County east of Interstate 15 and south of Interstate 86, Bear Lake, Caribou, Cassia County east of Interstate 84 and that portion west of Interstate 84 south of the Malta-Sublette Road and east of the Malta-Strevell Road, Franklin, Oneida, and Power County south of Interstate 86.
A popular area with upland bird hunters and one of the most important strongholds for sharp-tailed grouse in Idaho is the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area east of Idaho Falls, which burned recently during the Henrys Creek Fire. Fish and Game is currently evaluating the impacts of the fire and developing plans for habitat restoration and management of wildlife populations.
“We are not entirely sure of the bird response, but a tremendous amount of habitat has been lost,” said Jeff Knetter, Fish and Game upland and migratory bird coordinator. “In the long run, this may provide some benefits, but in the short-term, this is a tough blow.”
Sharp-tailed grouse hunters must have in their possession a valid Idaho hunting license with a $4.74 sage/sharp-tailed grouse permit validation. The permit allows better monitoring of the harvest of this game bird.
Hunters are reminded that because both sharp-tailed grouse and sage grouse can occur in the same areas, identification of species is important as the season for sage grouse closed September 23.
Hunters will find grouse identification information and additional hunting rules in the 2016-2017 Upland Game, Furbearer & Turkey Seasons and Rules brochure available at Fish and Game license vendors and online at https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/rules/upland-furbearer-turkey.