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Small Game and Some Bird Seasons Opening

blue grouse (Courtesy of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

September 1st marks the season opener for a variety of small game and upland and migratory birds. Wyoming Game and Fish Department spokesman Al Langston says blue grouse are found in most mountain areas throughout the state on both Bureau of Land Management and National Forest lands. Ruffed grouse are found in western Wyoming in the Shoshone, Bridger-Teton, and Targhee national forests. The season is long, ending Nov. 30.  The hunting season for sharp-tailed grouse also opens Sept. 1 and the season ends Dec. 31.

Mourning doves are found throughout the state, and the quality of hunting is weather dependent. Langston says with the first cold snap, doves will head for warmer climes, but if the weather stays mild, dove hunters often have opportunities throughout much of September. Snipe and rail seasons also open Sept. 1 as does the Canada goose season in Wyoming’s Pacific Flyway, which runs through Sept. 8.

All migratory bird hunters are reminded to have the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit in their possession while hunting. The HIP permit is available for free on the Game and Fish website or for 50 cents from license selling agents. All duck, goose, and merganser hunters 16 and over are reminded to also purchase the federal Migratory Waterfowl Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “duck stamp,” which is available at post offices and some license agents.

Small game animals are also found throughout much of the state. In Wyoming, animals legally classified as small game include cottontail rabbits, snowshoe hares, and red, gray, and fox squirrels. The small game season is long, opening Sept. 1 and running through March 1. License requirements for small game and birds vary with the age and residency of the hunters.

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