Send in Grouse Wings to Help Wildlife Management

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will conduct its annual grouse wing collection during the upcoming upland season starting Sept. 1.

Hunters in the zone east of U.S. Highway 81 already are required to send in wings, but hunters in the zone west of the highway also are encouraged to participate.

Hunters in the east zone are required to have a “special grouse permit” prior to hunting, in addition to a hunt permit and habitat stamp. This special grouse permit is free, but availability is limited to 400 overall and one per hunter. Requests for this permit are accepted in person at the Game and Parks headquarters in Lincoln, by phone at 402-471-5410, by mail or by email at

East zone hunters will be issued a hunt diary to record their hunting efforts, as well as wing envelopes to send in a wing from each harvested grouse.

Those hunting in the west zone who are interested in participating will be sent postage paid envelopes for wings to be submitted. Requests can be made to Bryan O’Connor, Game and Parks’ upland game program manager, at or 308-293-0102.

The annual wing collection allows Game and Parks to monitor harvest and hunter effort, while also identifying the age structure and health of the grouse population. A wildlife biologist will age each wing submitted to determine the ratio of juvenile to adult birds harvested; this information helps determine how successful grouse reproduction was for the current year and is an indication of population growth or decline.

“We’d like to see more participation from hunters in the west zone so we can expand our sample size and get a better representation of harvest and age structure across the state,” O’Connor said.

All data collected will help wildlife biologists make management decisions in the future that benefit the grouse population.

Prairie grouse season begins Sept. 1 and ends Jan. 31, 2024. Learn more about upland hunting and Game and Parks wildlife management efforts at; search for “upland.”

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