Idaho Fish and Game officials are asking hunters and other interested parties to review and comment on a proposed sage-grouse hunting season for 2019. Deadline to comment is Aug. 19.
Biologists are placing GPS transmitters on female sage grouse in order to study how they nest, raise chicks, and utilize the landscape after the Grassy Ridge fire.
On July 25, 2018, the Keithly Fire began southwest of Midvale, Idaho in Washington County,. It burned 17,600 acres of public and private land that was composed of important rangeland that not only fed livestock, but was home to mule deer, sharp-tailed grouse, and sage grouse, among many other species of wildlife.
The season will run Sept. 15-21 with the traditional one bird per day and two-birds in possession bag limit.
Every spring sage grouse descend on leks across southern Idaho for their annual courtship. Wildlife biologist Michelle Kemner-Commons describes what the pops, struts and sparring means in the sage grouse world.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved a restrictive season for sage-grouse.
The 2017 season will run from September 16 to September 22, with a daily bag limit of one bird, and a possession limit of two birds. The season will take place in the same areas as last year's hunt.
The Sage-grouse Seasons and Rules brochures, including a map of areas open to sage-grouse hunting, will be available soon at all license vendors, Fish and Game offices and website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/rules/upland.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet Friday, August 25 at Fish and Game’s Headquarters office, 600 S. Walnut in Boise.
The meeting will be held in the Trophy Room starting at 11 a.m. MDT. Commissioners will set the 2017 Sage-grouse season, approve the fiscal 2019 budget, and hear reports about the Commission challenge grant, legislative proposals, and live-streaming or podcasting of future meetings.
Fish and Game is proposing one option for the 2017 season, which is the same as the season offered in 2016. Statewide, the proposed seven-day season would be from September 16 through September 22, with a one-bird daily limit within sage-grouse range, except in designated closed areas.
People may encounter them in parts of Southern Idaho, and it's important to keep gates closed to keep cattle out of managed areas.
Shrub plantings in the Magic Valley have been going well with just under 22,000 Wyoming big sagebrush and antelope bitterbrush plants put in the ground by local volunteers and area high school students. The plantings are intended to increase wildlife forage in areas burned by wildfires, or otherwise lacking a shrubs.There are still approximately 14,000 plants to be planted later this spring.
A local television station, KMVT, did a spot on the project and can be viewed on this video link.
Health Issues Which May Affect This Animal
What Causes This Disease?West Nile Virus (WNV) is caused by a mosquito transmitted virus (Arbovirus) that is carried by birds, especially magpies, crows and ravens. Other birds, mammals, reptiles, horses and humans can contract the virus through the bite of a WNV infected mosquito. West Nile virus has a complex lifecycle between certain birds and certain mosquito species. Some birds like crows, magpies, ravens, birds of prey, and sage grouse are highly susceptible to WNV and it is often fatal in these species.
Where Is The Disease Found?West Nile Virus is native to the northern parts of Africa, the Middle East and occasionally southern Europe. After introduction to North America in 1999, the virus spread to every state and most of the southern provinces of Canada. The first detection of WNV in Idaho was in 2003 and the disease has been reported annually ever since.
Signs of DiseaseSigns of WNV vary by depending on the species affected. Some birds carry the virus, remaining asymptomatic while some species are highly susceptible. Clinical signs can range from no reaction to the virus to mortality, especially in corvids (crows, ravens and magpies). Finding dead ravens, crows, magpies, and birds of prey may indicate WNV is present in an area. WNV has also affected sage grouse in some areas of Idaho and the intermountain west. Birds usually do not show any clinical signs when infected with WNV. Chickens can be infected with WNV and not become sick. However, natural disease due to the virus has been reported in domestic geese, ducks, pigeons and chickens.
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