Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sage grouse season opens

Yesterday the Sage grouse season opened - many people believe for the last time, but with all the money the federal and state government have poured into this bird, I doubt it.  My intent was to play "shoot and release," as I intended not to kill one, but to take pictures of them and get a story for my new job as columnist for the East Idaho News.
I was on the desert long before daylight and my first pictures were of the snow-dusted Teton Peaks in the early morning light.  I flushed Sage grouse and Sharp-tailed grouse that were roosting on the dirt roads I travelled.
I met and interviewed hunters that I met along the dirty and rocky roads.  This is a hunter that I met a year ago and interviewed him.  He was successful in bagging his one bird for the day.  We flushed about 100 grouse on the hillside behind him.

I saw hundreds of birds and this large cock posed for me.  They are not as handsome now as they were last spring when they were on their leks trying to impress the ladies.

When I got to the check station on the way home I was asked by the Fish and Game officers if I had been successful and I replied that I had and showed them the pictures of the birds I had taken.  Since we do not enjoy the taste of Sage grouse, I did not harvest one.
It was just a great way to spend a morning in the wilds of Idaho.
You can read my stories at:  The name of the column will be "Living the Wild Life" found in the Outdoors section


Jo said...

Hi Bill, good to see you again. I'm glad you shoot and release! I was also interested to see you writing about the birds impressing the ladies on their leks. I only became familiar with this word a week ago while birding with another nature writer. I'm off to check your stories in EastIdahoNews! Greetings. Jo

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I love your shoot and release concept.

Michelle said...

I share your shoot and release concept!

Barb said...

Hi Bill, I was wondering how you manage to "shoot and release" _ a good way to be out and enjoy the day and the birds I'd say! Love the first photo of the peaks and the morning light.