Montana Wildlife and Parks is currently considering a closure of sage grouse hunting in the state. This proposal seems to be sponsored by oil & gas developers and cattlemen in the state.
Once there were more than 2 million sage grouse throughout the West. Now, the best estimates show there are somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 of the birds left in the Unites States, mostly in Wyoming, Colorado, Montana and Idaho.
Sage grouse ARE under stress across their current range, but the primary reasons are oil & gas development, sage land conversion, over grazing, and West Nile virus. Hunting mortality is not a major contributor to the continued decline of sage grouse populations.
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