South Dakota panel proposes no sage grouse hunting season
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission is proposing that the state hold no hunting season for sage grouse this fall.
State wildlife officials say the bird's population has fallen in recent years in South Dakota and other western states. In South Dakota, sage grouse are found mainly in Butte and Harding counties.
State wildlife officials have been working with federal agencies and other states in an effort to prevent the bird from being listed as an endangered species. They say such a listing would hamper ranchers and oil and gas operations.
South Dakota has had only a limited sage grouse season in prior years. Last year, 35 licensed hunters killed only nine birds.
The commission voted unanimously to close the sage grouse season this year.
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