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Ptarmigan and Grouse Seasons Open August 10

Hunting season for ptarmigan and grouse opens on Saturday August 10th. Patrick Jones is Assistant area wildlife Biologist for unit 18 in Bethel.  He says the generally hot and dry summer in Southwest Alaska should have given young birds a good chance of survival.

"Drier conditions generally relate to better chick survival, versus the really wet conditions. It looks like we had big flocks of of  willow ptarmigan and  rock ptarmigan going into the spring, pre-breeding.  I would expect that breeding went off rather well, even though we had a late spring.  Chick survival will be pretty good.   We should have some pretty good production this summer," said Jones.

Jones says the late start to summer may have delayed things, but not enough to impact nesting.

"It just seemed like winter  forever and then switched to summer pretty fast.  I think things might have been delayed a little bit.  The males had territories with females and they had nest sites selected.  The seemed to make do with it, said Jones.

As hunters head out in the coming days, the Jones reminds everyone to stay safe.

"Gun seem like every year a high schooler  ends up hurting themselves.  Parents should go over some basic gun safety before turning their kids loose," said Jones.

Grouse and ptarmigan season in unit 17 opens Saturday and runs through April 30th.