Outdoor Issues with Neil Roberts and Greg Gullickson 61

Lydia Hoverson
 August 4, 2022
The Dakotan:
This is Outdoor Issues with Neil Roberts and North Dakota Game and Fish outreach biologist Greg Gullickson.

Neil Roberts:
Hey, grouse hunters. Some new numbers are in. Greg, tell us about these totals from the spring count.

Greg Gulllickson:
Yeah, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department upland game biologists recently summarized the spring survey results for sharp tailed grouse, ruff grouse and the greater sage grouse, and the summaries from the spring sharp tailed grouse census indicated a 13% decrease in the number of male grouse counted compared to last year. Statewide, sharp tail numbers were still looking really good, with just over 2600 sharp tails observed on spring dancing grounds compared to 3200 and in 2021. These declines align with poor reproduction documented during the 2021 drought so no surprise there. We did observe low, sharp tail reproduction rates during late summer roadside counts and found low juvenile to adult ratios. But even though we did have a decrease, especially with the most popular bird, the sharp tailed grouse, the spring had poor residual grass. But with those significant snowstorms that we had, it did affect nesting. But we'll see what that does for chick development and protection.

Neil Roberts:
All right. Good stuff, Greg. More on Grouse 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, one neat fact. All three of these species of grouse you mentioned before the break. They're all native to North Dakota, right?

Greg Gulllickson:
Yeah, they are. You know, when it comes to the sharp tail, the ruff grouse and the greater sage grouse, they are all native. And one things that they do have is sacs on their legs. You know, they have that fully feathered leg compared to pheasants and Hungarian partridge, which have been stocked in North Dakota.

Neil Roberts:
All right. Good stuff, Greg. And that will bring 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.

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