Utah Sage Grouse Proposals

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Utah DWR Press Release

5/10/02

Sage Grouse proposals

Sage-grouse hunting permits for this fall's hunts would be limited under another Division proposal. Hunters who obtained one would be required to hunt on the unit for which the permit was issued and would be allowed to take two birds. A 9-day season that includes two weekends would be provided on all hunt units.

In the past, an unlimited number of permits have been available and hunters have been allowed to hunt on any unit open to sage-grouse hunting in the state.

The goal of the limited entry proposal is to assure that not more than 10 percent of the fall sage-grouse population in any open area is taken during the hunting season. This strategy is based on "Guidelines to Manage Sage Grouse Populations And Their Habitats" which was published by a group of sage-grouse experts in the Winter 2000 issue of The Wildlife Society Bulletin. These guidelines are a revision of guidelines that have guided sage-grouse management in the western United States since 1977.

"Sage-grouse populations are in decline, but we're comfortable offering sage- grouse hunting as long as not more than 10 percent of the fall population in any open area is taken each season," says Dean Mitchell, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "This permit system would help assure that."

Permits would be issued on a first-come, first-served basis at DWR offices beginning in early to mid-August. A $5 handling fee would be charged for each permit. Permit application forms would be available in the 2002 Utah Upland Game Proclamation, at all DWR offices and on the DWR Web site: http://www.wildlife.utah.gov.

"We're finishing our spring strutting ground surveys but there isn't enough time to compile the data so permit numbers can be recommended at the RAC meetings," Mitchell said. "We'll ask the RACs to endorse the permit concept, however, and then we'll recommend permit numbers for each hunt unit at the Wildlife Board meeting on June 11."

For more information call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office, or the Division's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.
 

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