Saturday, September 16 is the opening day for sage grouse season in Idaho and sharptail grouse season will open October 1. For the first time, hunters after these birds need to get their license validated. The validation is free, but the vendor fee _ the amount paid to the vendor for processing the request _ is $1.50.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is requiring the permit to allow biologists to gather detailed harvest information on both grouse species. Sharp-tailed grouse have been proposed for listing as an endangered species and sage grouse will be considered for listing soon. Gathering more information will help the Department answer questions about how many birds hunters are taking while trying to defend your hunting seasons.
This year hunters need to make an extra effort to stop at a Department check station or wing barrel to leave one wing from each bird harvested. All regional offices will also be able to take wings. About half of Idaho is open to hunting sage grouse. In extreme southwest Idaho and part of central Idaho, the daily limit is two birds. In the rest of the open area, which includes northern Owyhee County, southern Idaho and eastern Idaho, the limit is one daily. Possession limits after the first day are double the daily limit. Only eastern Idaho is open for sharptail grouse, and the limits will be two daily and four in possession.