E-mail Alert
Sage-grouse hunters asked to turn in GPS tags

Sept. 12, 2017 – Wyoming's greater sage-grouse hunting season is open Sept. 16-Sept. 30 in Hunt Area 1, which includes nearly all of Carbon County and most of Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Many sage-grouse around the state have been tagged or collared as part of various research and study programs.

The GPS tags have a mini solar cell to recharge the batteries, and are painted to reduce visibility by predators. The tags are attached to the back of each grouse with a thin brown strap.

Power Company of Wyoming LLC is asking hunters to please be aware that lightweight GPS tags have been placed on about 50 female and male sage-grouse located on and around The Overland Trail Cattle Company ranch, the site of PCW's Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project.

Hunters who shoot a greater sage-grouse and discover that the bird is wearing a GPS tracking device are simply asked to please return the device, so scientists can continue the integrity of the overall sage-grouse monitoring program and the important scientific data being gathered. Hunters can drop the tags into WGFD wing barrels or at the BLM Rawlins Field Office. Alternatively, hunters can arrange for the device to be retrieved by calling 303.487.1183.

Since the GPS tags were first deployed in early 2010, sage-grouse have been continuously monitored by PCW and by research partners as part of long-term studies related to sage-grouse conservation and wind energy development.

"Over the years we have tagged over 400 birds and gathered more than 700,000 data points, helping us see exactly how sage-grouse move seasonally and diurnally among different types of habitats, where they nest, and when they are impacted by weather and predators, among other findings," says Garry Miller, PCW vice president of land and environmental affairs. "We appreciate the hunting community's support so that our program can be as accurate and complete as possible."

Located south of Rawlins and northwest of Saratoga, the Overland Trail Ranch is closed to the general public, and sage-grouse hunting has been prohibited for many years as part of a series of sage-grouse conservation measures implemented ranch-wide. However, the GPS tags reveal that tagged sage-grouse typically migrate well beyond the ranch, sometimes as far as 40 miles away.

More information about WGFD's hunting rules and regulations is at http://wgfd.wyo.gov/.


- XXX -