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Idaho mulls hunt for ESA-candidate game birds


BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho wildlife officials want the public's input on proposed hunting changes for sage grouse, a game bird that's a candidate for federal Endangered Species Act protections.






The Idaho Fish and Game Commission plans to take up recommendations for the 2012 sage grouse hunting season at its Aug. 23 meeting.






If adopted, the changes would follow guidelines laid out in Idaho's state plan meant to protect the birds -- and help convince federal officials that Idaho is doing enough without federal listing.






A listing could dramatically affect activities including ranching in sage grouse habitat.






Among changes include closure of all sage grouse hunting in Elmore County, from a portion last year, and moving opening day to Sept. 15, earlier than in 2011.






Officials urge people to go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov for information.









Copyright 2012 The AP.



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