The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is planning to make most of northeast Wyoming off limits to sage grouse hunting. Tom Christiansen, the agency’s sage grouse coordinator, says that’s because of public concern about declining populations in the area.
“We do hear concerns about, ‘Well, why are you continuing to hunt when sage grouse populations, especially in some parts of the state, like northeast Wyoming, are declining and are proposed for listing?” Christiansen said.
Still, he says energy development – not hunting – is the main cause for the decline in sage grouse numbers. So it’s unclear whether stopping hunting will make a big difference.
Game and Fish will finalize sage grouse hunting seasons next week.