There is some bad news for Sage Grouse hunters in California. Field research shows sage grouse numbers are down. So many conditions effect wildlife and create highs and lows within their populations. Recent drought conditions have not helped sage grouse numbers. State wildlife regulations are in place to help mitigate these types of concerns. Therefore, based on collected datat California has decided to cancel this year’s sage grouse season. Hopefully, closing the season will allow sage grouse numbers to rebound for the bird as well as California grouse hunters.
“On June 21, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to reduce sage-grouse hunting permits to zero for the 2017 season. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommended this action to the Commission based on spring lek (breeding ground) surveys that showed significantly fewer sage-grouse in all four hunting zones.”
“Although managed hunting, in and of itself, is not considered a risk to the species, five years of drought conditions, the large-scale Rush Fire of 2012 and heavy storms in winter 2016-17 have all contributed to habit loss and degradation of the sagebrush ecosystem. Scientists found that sage-grouse population counts have decreased between 47 percent and 62 percent in the four hunt zones over the last five years.”