Sage Grouse

Discussion in 'Upland Game Forum' started by MN/MTHunting, May 3, 2009.

  1. stackin_smilers

    stackin_smilers Elite Refuge Member

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    4 years doing what? hunting?

    No public records? A simple Google search: west nile sage grouse
    http://www.google.com/search?q=west...ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7ADBF_en
    Take your pick

    Heres a couple by a very respected name in the sage grouse field on energy development
    http://www.uppergreen.org/library/docs/NAmConf_Braun.pdf
    ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/WY/Sa...ent-in-Wyoming-s-Upper-Green-River-Valley.pdf

    There is a TON of literature out there on this stuff. Look up the Upper Green River and the grouse... Thats a popular area for habitat loss and alteration from the development.

    What if I knew an "oldtimer" that lived in area X for his whole life that tells me that Bigfoot runs around on his land for as long as he can remember... Does that make it true??

    Again, hear-say...:doh See here lies the problem. Locals find dead birds or see lower numbers and have nothing or no one else to blame it on becaseu they just dont know the other aspects of the grouse (habitat use, both winter and summer, survival rates, reproductive rates, disease, etc. other than "Those sage hens are out in that pasture all the time...") so they tell people what they think happened and of course other locals just dont know any different so they believe them... When you have proof that researchers are killing all these birds, aside from what Rancher Leroy says, then I would say you have an argument.
     
  2. GWIREHAIR

    GWIREHAIR Moderator Moderator

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    Last year I was driving by a Lek (been along side of the road for 30 years or so). The Chickens had been there for a couple of weeks. The one day I seen a pair of coyotes caseing them out. The next day the Chickens were gone and didn't come back the rest of the year. They were back this year, but didn't seem like there were as many. Was it the Coyotes? Was it Biologists? I don't think it was Biologists as there was no vehichle trac ks in the snow.
    GWIREHAIR
     
  3. stackin_smilers

    stackin_smilers Elite Refuge Member

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    By chickens do you mean prairie chickens or grouse? I have heard of that happening but it seems like the sage grouse are more sensative to lek disturbance. If they get kicked off a lek they usually dont come back that day. Whereas sharp-tails and prairie chickens seem to not be bothered too much and come back to the lek within 20 minutes or less.

    I did my master project on sharp-tails and would have to flush leks when I was trapping them and sometimes I would see them flying back to it as I was driving away. They didnt seem to be bothered at all but predators flush them alot anyways.

    I was watching a lek one day and a red-tailed hawk flushed the lek 4 times trying to get one of the males. Never did but they kept coming back. It was pretty cool to see.
     
  4. GWIREHAIR

    GWIREHAIR Moderator Moderator

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    They were Sage Chickens. These Birds Are very tollerable of Vehichles.
    Some of the best Sage Chicken hunting in the State is in an Oilfeild. (been there since the early 1900s.
    GWIREHAIR
     
  5. stackin_smilers

    stackin_smilers Elite Refuge Member

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    Ya thats the bad part of the developement. with roads going everywhere, it opens up alot of areas that would otherwise be hard to get to from the normal roads. I even noticed that with my project after a new oil road went by a sharpie lek that you could then see from the road. The following year there were alot of shotgun shells on the lek.
     
  6. MN/MTHunting

    MN/MTHunting Elite Refuge Member

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    Sage Grouse have adapted very well to their natural environment and dealing with their natural enemies or predation.
    You Sage Grouse experts call them "stupid, not smart" Read back up through the posts.
    Why? because they have not evolved to the point of dealing with helicopters, 4 wheelers, bright lights and nets. All during the most critical time of the year for the birds to carry on their species. During the mating and nesting season.

    Sage Grouse can deal with coyotes, eagles and hawks. Just can't survive with much human intervention, especially during the nesting season.

    I hate seeing the oil and gas wells and all the commotion that goes with it. As long as there are areas of sage and the Grouse are not disturbed during nesting they have a chance to survive in the area. Leks are so important leave them alone.
     
  7. stackin_smilers

    stackin_smilers Elite Refuge Member

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    the problem is the grouse rely on sagebrush for survival (food, nesting, brood-rearing, etc.). Species like white-tailed deer are generalists and can survive basically anywhere. But with sage grouse, when the sagebrush goes, so do the grouse...:doh Theres nothing else to it.

    Heres a paragraph from a thesis of a fellow grad student who worked on sage grouse.

    "Following the arrival of European settlers in the 1800s, greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat has been changing continuously (Girard 1937, Patterson 1952). Greater sage-grouse experienced population declines from 45- 80% across their range by the 1950s (Braun 1998) and during the 10-year period from 1985-1995 sage-grouse populations declined 33% (Connelly and Braun 1997). Historically, sage-grouse range is limited to sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) vegetation types in at least 12 states and 3 Canadian provinces, but currently they reside in 11 states and 2 Canadian provinces (Schroeder et al. 2004).Sage-grouse are sagebrush obligates and degradation and loss of sagebrush resulted in population declines and constriction of the range (Wisdom et al. 2005, Welch 2005)."

    So in a way your right about humans f-ing it all up but I think your going alittle extreme with the whole researchers at fault. Your from MN im guessing, Hows the wildlife doing around there with all the conversion of native grasslands to croplands???:scratch Last I checked there were about 4 pheasnats in the state.

    The sage grouse are in the same boat!
     
  8. dirty bird

    dirty bird Senior Refuge Member

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    Oh Stackin you are great! I'm glad you had Kaczor's thesis to quote.
    This post has gone way off course from its original intentions. It is very entertaining to read and really breaks up my day between "killing" marsh birds and "killing" shorebirds and "killing" goose broods. By "killing" I of course mean surveying! :dv
     
  9. 2 tollers

    2 tollers Senior Refuge Member

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    Now that the thread is fully sideways -- a friend of mine was surveying the Pintail population in Central Alberta -- using ground corn and barley as bait with a big wire circular cage. Birds were banded and released. One pintail would be realease and do a circle right back into the cage for another free meal -- got to the point that she said that they gave it a name.

    Thanks for spending the time in the field to do the survey work. This information is really valuable for maintenance of wildlife populations that could be trouble now or in the future. :tu
     
  10. MN/MTHunting

    MN/MTHunting Elite Refuge Member

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    Kinda funny:rolleyes:

    here you quote a guy working on a PHD telling us that the Sage Grouse depends on Sage for survival and # have dropped after human settlement.:nutz

    That's some good info there.:scratch

    according to journals of homesteaders, railroad surveys and early cattlemen. "miles and miles of rich grasslands". Sure there was Sage in areas. Heavy grass and prairie fire kept the warm season native grasses dominant on the rangeland.
    So what do you think 60,000,000 buffalo fed on year around? Plus all the other grass eating critters. What about the Prairie Dog? According to the wise ones the Prairie dog is pushed into 5% of it's normal range. Ever see a Prairie rat town? Ain't no sage and ain't no grass. Say!:cool: we could argue about this too!:clap

    It was later, after settlement, after the plow, wind and loss of top soil that the grasses died out and made it possible for the Sage Brush to dominate the landscape. Yup, there are areas of sage now that was not there before homesteaders.

    IMO, Sage Grouse will do fine if left alone where there are vast areas of Sage Brush. And are going to become very scarce in ares of energy development. All your studying and disturbance is not going to save them.

    DR. mnmt
     

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