North Dakota’s popular hunting seasons for grouse and partridge will open Saturday, Sept. 9.
State Game and Fish Department upland game biologist R.J. Gross says hunters will likely see fewer sharptails and Huns compared to last year, while ruffed grouse numbers are up from 2016.
Gross said that hot, dry early summer weather likely reduced grouse production in many areas due to poor habitat conditions and low insect production.
“Numbers in the northeast show up a little better than other areas,” Gross said. “But yet, there will be localized areas with good chick survival in most parts of the state.”
Huns respond better to drought conditions, Gross said, and do better in dry years compared to sharptails. “Huns have generally been a bonus bird the past handful of years,” he added. “Hunters will still find pockets of decent hunting, but it may require more time in the field.”
Ruffed grouse spring drumming counts were up in the Turtle Mountains, and good numbers of broods were reported in the Pembina Hills.
Shooting hours for the upcoming season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Sharptails, ruffed grouse and Huns each have a daily limit of three and a possession limit of 12.
Hunters, regardless of age, must have a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. In addition, hunters age 16 and older need a small game license.
For further season information and regulations, hunters should consult the North Dakota 2017-18 Small Game Hunting Guide.