The sharp-tailed grouse season opens 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.
Sharp-tailed grouse have been introduced into historical range in southern Twin Falls county and southeastern Owyhee County. Twin Falls, Owyhee, and most of Cassia counties are closed to the hunting of sharp-tailed grouse. Sharp-tailed grouse also occur around Split Butte area in Minidoka County. Hunting of sharp-tailed grouse is closed in Minidoka County.
Any person hunting sharp-tailed grouse 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 these game birds. It is available at Fish and Game license vendors.
Because wings collected from harvested birds provide important biological information, 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.
By examining the shape, condition, length and color patterns on wing feathers, biologists can determine the bird's sex and whether it was an adult or juvenile. If the bird was an adult female, biologists can even tell if she successfully produced chicks that year. In addition, the percentage of juveniles and adults wings collected can provide information on chick production rates. All of this information can help determine the status of various game bird populations and helps Fish and Game improve management of the species.
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 22.
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/rules/upland