The Associated Press

Back to: News
May 22, 2014
Follow News

Montana looks at ending sage grouse hunt, hunters opposed

BILLINGS, Mont. — Montana is joining North Dakota and South Dakota as states that plan to curtail sage grouse hunting in response to a continued decline in the game bird’s population.

Montana wildlife commissioners on Thursday gave tentative approval to a proposal to cancel or scale back a two-month hunting season slated to open in September.

Hunting advocates strongly oppose a closure, and Fish and Wildlife Commission Chairman Dan Vermillion says less drastic measures are still on the table. Those include shortening the season or limiting how many birds a hunter can shoot.

A final vote is expected in July.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is under a 2015 deadline to decide if the chicken-sized, ground-dwelling bird needs sweeping federal protections.

Biologists say agriculture, energy development and disease are greater threats than hunting.

Stories you may be interested in

The Nevada Appeal Updated May 22, 2014 09:59PM Published May 22, 2014 07:03PM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.