Spring Sharptails Look Good
Statistics from the 2015 spring sharp-tailed grouse census indicate a 22 percent increase in the number of male grouse counted compared to last year.
Statewide, 4,346 sharptails were observed on spring dancing grounds this year compared to 3,551 in 2014. Male grouse recorded per square mile increased from 3.4 to 4.2. More than 1,000 square miles were covered.
Aaron Robinson, upland game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Dickinson, said the outlook for the 2015 hunting season is still premature as lek counts are a metric of population trends and not a reliable predictor of hunter success.
“Preliminary observations indicate good residual cover for a favorable hatch, but this is heavily influenced by timing, duration, location of severe precipitation and low temperatures,” Robinson said.
An indication of the fall season won’t be known until completion of brood surveys in late summer.