Photo © Chris Hull

Sage Grouse

The sage-grouse is the largest of all North American grouse, and often referred to as sage-hen, sage-chicken, or sage-cock. Both the male and female sage-grouse have a grayish-brown appearance, narrow pointed tail feathers and feathering to the toes.  Female grouse are more cryptic in coloration and adult males are distinguished by a dark throat surrounded by a V-shaped patch of white feathers on the neck. During courtship display activities, males extend two skin sacs of a yellow-green coloration found near the throat and possess pronounced yellow eyecombs.

Declines in sage-grouse abundance and distribution in South Dakota are consistent with range-wide trends. Sage-grouse once inhabited the western third of the state outside of the Black Hills, but now primarily inhabit only portions of Butte and Harding counties. A restricted hunting season is available for sage-grouse only when biological survey data meet identified thresholds.

Season Information 
Population Status