North Dakota hunters will find fewer sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge in the field this fall than last year.
R.J. Gross, upland game management biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said late July and August roadside counts show sharptails observed per 100 miles are down 29 percent from 2016, while partridge are down 62 percent.
“Hunting will be slower than last season in most of the state, and all indications are that hunters will see significantly lower numbers statewide,” Gross said. “There will be localized areas of good hunting opportunities, but in general hunting will be fair at best.”
Statistics show observers recorded 1.4 sharptail broods and 13.3 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.9.
For partridge, observers recorded 0.3 broods and 4.1 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 9.3.
The 2017 grouse and partridge seasons open Sept. 9 and continue through Jan. 7, 2018.