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SD will have no sage grouse hunting season

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PIERRE (AP) -- South Dakota will have no sage grouse hunting season this year.

The Game, Fish and Parks Commission has decided that no season will be held this fall because the bird's population has fallen in recent years in South Dakota and other states. In South Dakota, sage grouse are found mainly in Butte and Harding counties.

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South Dakota has had only a limited sage grouse season in prior years. Last year, 35 licensed hunters killed only nine birds.

Wildlife biologists recommended that no season be held this year because of a continuing decline in the number of male sage grouse seen in spring breeding grounds.

State wildlife officials have been working with federal agencies and other states in an effort to prevent the bird from being listed as an endangered species.

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