Wednesday, June 19, 2013

South Dakota GFP Commission Proposal Would Close 2013 Sage Grouse Season

A male Sage Grouse (also known as the Greater ...

The Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed closing the 2013 Sage Grouse hunting season in South Dakota.

The proposal comes from GFP staff recommendations based on spring lek survey results.

“We have seen a downward trend in the number of male sage grouse on their breeding grounds,” Chad Switzer, GFP wildlife program administrator, said. “The number of male sage grouse counted on our priority leks dropped below the 100 threshold.  Following the actions outlined in the existing management plan, we recommended the sage grouse season close for 2013.”

South Dakota has held a restricted season since 2000 by offering a two-day season with one bird per hunter per season. In 2012 there were 35 hunters who harvested nine sage grouse.

The proposal to close the 2013 sage grouse hunting season will be finalized at the July 8-9 GFP Commission meeting, which will be held in Pierre at the Ramkota RiverCentre. To view the full proposals on those seasons, visit: www.gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx and look under the "Rule Proposals" heading.

To comment on any of the proposals, send a letter to: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501; or email wild.info@state.sd.us . Comments on proposal will be taken until 5 p.m. CDT on June 5. To be included in the public record, please include your full name and city of residence.

To comment in person on this proposed rules change, the GFP Commission will host a public hearing beginning at 2 p.m. CDT as part of their meeting on Monday, July 8.