Grouse hunting season started Sept. 1 | TheFencePost.com

Grouse hunting season started Sept. 1

Nebraska Game & Parks Commission Lincoln, Neb.

Nebraskans will see a longer season when grouse hunting opens Sept. 1, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The grouse (prairie chicken and sharp-tailed grouse) season closes Jan. 31, 2012.

“In general, grouse numbers are lower than last year across their range, based on the Rural Mail Carrier survey,” said Jeff Lusk, Game and Parks upland game program manager. “The numbers in the Sandhills still should be good, however, and will offer the best opportunities.

“The cool, wet spring resulted in some flooding in low-lying areas, reducing nesting habitat,” Lusk said. “Game and Parks district staff reported seeing fewer broods this summer than last. Continued loss of habitat in the east has impacted grouse abundance, but abundance in Pawnee County are still good and should offer the best opportunities this season.”

A special permit is required to hunt grouse east of U.S. Highway 81. A Nebraska hunting permit and habitat stamp are required of anyone, except residents under age 16, who hunts grouse in the state.

The special permits are limited to one per hunter and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To request a special permit, call Game and Parks at (402) 471-5597, visit the Lincoln headquarters, or send a postcard to: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Attn: Grouse Permits, P.O. Box 30370, Lincoln, NE 68503.

The postcard must include the following: name, address, date of birth, telephone number and 2011 hunting permit number or lifetime hunting permit number. Residents ages 12 to 15 must submit a hunter education number. Those not required to purchase a hunting permit must provide documentation of such exemption.

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The daily bag and possession limits east of U.S. 81 are three and three, respectively. West of U.S. 81, the limits are three and 12, respectively.