IDFG is collecting grouse tails

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In an effort to gather information on upland game birds and seasons, the department is asking hunters to donate upland bird wings for each bird they harvest.

Biologists can use this information to estimate chick production that year.

Hunters can get their sage and sharptail wings to Fish and Game by mailing them using the enveloped they received when they bought their licenses. Or, they can drop their wings off at “wing barrels” in department-run check stations.

By examining the shape, condition, length and color patterns on wing feathers, biologists can determine the bird’s sex and whether it was an adult or juvenile. If the bird was an adult female, biologists can tell if she successfully produced chicks that year. This information helps Fish and Game understand population trends and improves management of the species.

The Panhandle forest grouse hunting season is open while California quail, chukar and gray partridge hunting opens Saturday.

— Ralph Bartholdt

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