STAY SHARP…TAILED. Grouse hunters are finding fair opportunities this fall in ND following the drought, as bird numbers dropped only 30 percent statewide, in comparison to pheasant numbers being off 60 percent compared to last year. We get sharp on sharpies in today’s Three Things.
(Featured Photo: Hunters will find sharp-tailed grouse numbers down across the state, particularly in the east. The Southwest fared the best this summer with bird numbers. Simonson Photo)
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Wed 9/20 – Sun returns for a day. Hi 68, Lo 45, Winds SE @ 17, G26
Tomorrow: Thu 9/21 – Calmer, mild. Hi 73, Lo 50, Winds StoN @ 8.
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 7:28AM Sunset: 7:43PM
Moonrise: 7:46AM Moonset 8:18PM
Overhead: 2:07PM Underfoot: 1:44AM
Moon Phase: New Moon at 12:30AM
EDGE HOUR. DOUBLE EDGE! 7:00-8:00AM & 7:30-8:30PM. Gusts will rise midday, but the morning and evening hours will be perfect. A slight chop will get you on walleyes, and winds will be light enough to have some deer movement out there, and you’ll be able to take advantage of the major new moon phase rising and setting with today’s Double Edge Hours. We’re leaning fishing AM, hunting PM. Good luck!
STATE STATS. Sharp-tailed grouse faired better than pheasants and partridge in the Peace Garden State this summer, losing only about 30 percent year-over-year. In the Southwest, with its large, contiguous blocks of grassland habitat, bird numbers were off by less than 10 percent from 2016’s survey results.
HABITAT HELPS. Sharp-tailed grouse are native prairie birds in ND, and have evolved to rely on the prairie grasses of the state to provide all the cover, food, lekking (more on that) and rearing areas for their life cycle. The loss of CRP and the breaking of native prairie biomes for agriculture are detrimental to their long-term survival in huntable numbers.
LET’S DANCE. Male sharp-tailed grouse dance to attract females on flattened grassy sites known as “leks” each spring. The process, called lekking, helps females select the most coordinated and dominant male to breed with. Better work on your moonwalk-lawn-mower-sprinkler-worm combination for next year!