Sage grouse season remains closed in NDNorth Dakota will not have a sage grouse hunting season again this year.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota will not have a sage grouse hunting season again this year.
The state Game and Fish Department says the number of strutting males remains well below what managers would like see.
Upland game bird biologist Aaron Robinson says a record low 66 males were counted on 15 active strutting grounds during a recent survey. Last year, 69 males were counted on 17 active leks in the southwest corner of the state, where the grouse live.
The number of males counted on leks each spring has gradually declined since 2000. In 2008, spring counts dropped dramatically and hunting was closed for the first time in nearly half a century. West Nile virus was suspected as the reason for the steep drop.