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Wanna trap sage grouse in Idaho?

Ithaca 37

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Received this today:

Hi all,

It's that time of year again! Spring is here and the sage grouse are displaying on the leks. As always I'm offering guided, all-expenses-paid trips to trap sage grouse. We will be going out almost every night for the next 2-3 weeks and trapping in Owyhee County south of Marsing and another area near Grasmere. If you haven't had a chance yet this is a unique opportunity to see sage grouse up close and personal.

Seats are limited so if you or any of your friends or colleagues would like to help out please contact me soon!

Please forward this e-mail to anyone who might be interested. Thanks for the help!

TH

Tom Hemker
Wildlife Program Coordinator
Small Game and Habitat Section
Idaho Department of Fish and Game
P.O. Box 25, Boise, Idaho 83707
(208) 334-2920 office
(208) 761-1481 cell
(208) 334-2114 FAX

________________________________________

Here's your chance to have some fun!!
 
Ithaca

I was projected to head out tomorrow night through Friday night and do this. However, it seems F&G has cancelled it and pushed it back to Monday. Might try and make it then for a night or two.

Jim
 
That sounds like it would be a blast, I wish I could do it but that is quite a long drive just to trap some grouse.
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I am training a new crew this year again. We got only one male " he was a training bird" on friday night.
Last night I ran things a little different. We got 1 male " he was a training bird" for the new person we got last night. Then we got 3 females, but it should have been 4. We had a large avian predator hit the first lek and everything was fouled up. We hauled ass to the next lek and all was good.
I won't go out again until thursday night. I will let you know how it goes. Ron
 
Ron, how are you getting your birds? Rocket nets or walk-ins? I am headed to the field for a few days to inventory and map some leks. It would be cool to be marking birds, but I don't have the time to join some of the trapping efforts here in MT.

I will try to get some pictures, hope you will do the same. later...

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I don't think I sould go into much detail but we trap at night with huge hand held fish nets. I have some pictures I took last year. I will try to get some new onesand post them. here are some old ones. Ron
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Here is a question, just because I have never heard it really before..
I have been trying to just figure it out over the last bunch of months, but it is just not catching...
What is a lek?
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The lek is the area that the grouse use to dance, and breed in. The lek is typically a area with short cover so the birds can see well. If it has a bit of a hill (like a couple of feet high) all the better. The males make or choose the position the lek. Most of them that are adults will come back to the same spot year after year.
Two years ago I netted a big male with a broken wing. The next year I got him again in the same spot. He made it a whole year on the ground. I haven't went back to that spot this year because the funding ran out for that area. I might go out in a couple of weeks just to see my old friends.
If you look in the picture of MT's the males have the big white breasts. The ones that are closer to the ground and no white are females. But some young male will keep this posture to keep from getting the crap kicked out of them on the lek. On the lek the males can get into some nasty fights. I have seen some with cuts and tares around their eyes. It is possable to get quite close to a lek while it is active. Use bino's to get a great up close view of the birds faces and all the feathers that stick out during the dance. I don't like to eat hem much but I do like to watch them. Ron
 
My first attempt at trapping sage grouse was last night, er uh this a.m. We started around midnight and finished up at 0530. During that time, we trapped three birds, two females, a juvenile and adult, and one adult male. This was quite an experience and I'll probably have another shot at it this weekend. Kind of reminds me of dip-netting for salmon and snipe hunting
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Big spot lights, lots of late 70's...early 80's rock, such as the Police, Spin Doctors, Boston, and two rookies with nets. No pictures with my ugly mug. My untrained hands unintentionally released the male we trapped before my buddy could snap the picture. Eric and Carol headed up the evening as my buddy, Hank, and I tagged along.

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vis
 
Not trapping, but I'm out to count males on leks on Friday! I'll try to get some pics up.
 
Well we got some rain and snow, so I pulled up stakes for a few days until things improve. I did want to share a few pictures a buddy of mine took while working on CMR this week. Looks like some lonely cold fellas.
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Nice pictures guys! Yep, mtmiller, those fellows look lonely. It's amazing what instinct will make an animal do.

Oak
 
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Here's a pic I took of a lek on Friday. The males are the white dots in the center of the picture. Sorry about the poor quality, but we were a couple hundred yards off and my dig camera doesn't have all that much zoom.
 
We are trapping them for research on the species. None of them are hurt in any way. Here are some pictures from today. I took the pictures with a olympus digital camera. In the one close up. I used a 30x60 spotting scope and held the camera up to the scope.
Then I cropped it with paint shop pro in the next.
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Ron- Are you guys attaching radio collars? There's a project in south central where they've been trying to use telemetry to find out the vegetation that they are utilizing at different times of the year. Just wondering.
 

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