The Dakotan: This is Outdoor Issues with Neil Roberts and North Dakota Game and Fish outreach biologist Greg Gullickson. Neil Roberts: As we get into the back end of July fall hunting inches closer and closer, grouse numbers are now available from the spring count. Greg, how are they shaping up? Greg Gullickson: Actually looking fairly decent our game and Fish Department, we do quite a few different surveys. We do a spring survey for gross for basically all of our upland game, whether it's girls, partridges, pheasants. We do a spring survey. And what's really going to be the telltale sign would be that fall survey that we do. But we just recently wrapped up the spring survey results and they're now in and ruff grouse and sage grouse. Those numbers are varying a little bit. Summaries from the spring sharp tailed grouse census indicate that a 13% decrease in the number of sharp tailed grouse compared to last year, and those are just male grouse that are dancing on their legs. Statewide, you know, we do the surveys statewide and it did show a little bit of a decline. But these declines align with poor reproduction. And obviously we're coming off a drought. And with drought comes poor habitat conditions as well. Neil Roberts: All right. Thanks, Greg. And hey, we'll have an update on the future of grouse numbers when we come back. The Dakotan: You're listening to Outdoor Issues with Neil Roberts on the Dakotan Network. Neil Roberts: Talking grouse today on Outdoor Issues. And Greg, as you mentioned before the break, numbers are down, but the fall count might be better. Tell us why. Greg Gullickson: With lower numbers in the spring. No big surprise, they're coming off a drought with low habitat conditions and habitat is certainly the key for all these species. Boy, with what I'm seeing on the landscape this year, some good places for all those grouse to nest. And another good indicator is our rough grouse numbers, especially in turtle mountains are back up. Neil Roberts: Good stuff, Greg. And that brings this report to a close until next time I'm Neil Roberts. The Dakotan: You're listening to the Dakotan Network. Real. Honest. Local news.