29 more days to glorious grouse season…time to begin the begin. September 1st is the opening of blue grouse season. I have lived to see another gunning season, and the aspens will turn to gold. All is good in the world of setters and pointers! I will be in the grouse woods the next few weekends training and exercising my bird dogs (& self) and enjoying life!
I was extremely disappointed to read Colorado DOW’s sage grouse decision this year for my beloved North Park:
Season Change for Greater Sage-Grouse
The greater sage-grouse 2010 season has been reduced to two days in game management units 6, 16, 17, 161 and 171 (collectively known as North Park). The North Park season begins Sept. 11 and closes Sept. 12. The daily bag and possession limits are 2 and 2, respectively. These reductions are in response to declines in the annual lek counts in
North Park and subsequent requests by the local working group to limit harvest.
In GMUs 3, 10, 11, 18 (except east of Colorado 1-25 in Grand County), 27, 28
(except north and east of County Road 50, Church Park Road), 37, 181, 201, 211,
the season is seven days (Sept.11-17) with a daily bag and possession limit of 2 and 4.
The Divison of Wildlife (DOW) actively monitors and manages sage-grouse, and this reduction in season length will allow the Division to maintain recreational opportunity while evaluating the bird’s status in Colorado. Sage-grouse hunting seasons will be reevaluated
When I passed this information on to my hunting partners, here’s the response that I got from one of my dearest friends, hunting partner, client and grouse-dog affectionado:
Not necessarily surprising… when over the last 4 years there have been two significant impacts on the populations, outside of mother nature.
1. The Coalmont Lek – residential development right over the top of the largest lek in North Park (over 35 males on this lek) All of the jurisdictions; CDOW, Forest Service, BLM, USFWS, and other “oversight” organizations didn’t even make an attempt to stop this!
2. The destruction of the large sage (chopping) in significant spanses of sage-plateau country. There wasn’t any mature large sage left in large enough areas for winter/storm protection for the birds.
3. The spraying of vegetation that kills all vegetation… sage, forbes, etc., and even the insects for the purpose of “getting more grass in a couple years” for livestock grazing.
It’s a shame, but the trend all across the west for Sage’s. And all across the country for most grouse species. Now you know why I have been so aggravated at what I have seen develop over the last 8-9 years up there.
All I have to say is… enjoy it while you can!
These seasons probably won’t be there for much longer.
Dead on…and, I couldn’t have stated it better!