Wednesday, September 16, 2015

North Dakota Brood Numbers Indicate Sharptails Similar, Huns Up from Last Year

A Sharp-tailed Grouse
A Sharp-tailed Grouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Data recently tallied from July and August roadside counts indicate North Dakota’s sharp-tailed grouse population is similar to last year, while Hungarian partridge are up.

Brood results show sharp-tailed grouse numbers down 4 percent statewide from last year, with the number of broods observed up 6 percent. The average brood size is down 15 percent.

The statewide Hungarian partridge population is up 22 percent from last year, and the number of broods observed is up 34 percent. The average brood size is down 14 percent.

Aaron Robinson, upland game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Dickinson, said sharp-tailed grouse hunters should have plenty of opportunities to harvest birds, while partridge are trying to rebound from the past few years of record low numbers.

“There will be some localized pockets of poor hunting opportunities, but in general hunting for sharptails will be good,” Robinson said. “And even though partridge are up dramatically over the past few years, harvesting a bird will still be a bonus while out pursuing other game birds.”

The season for sharp-tailed grouse, ruffed grouse and Hungarian partridge opens Sept. 12. Hunters should refer to theNorth Dakota 2015-16 Small Game Hunting Guide for further season information and regulations.