NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Hunters are now being asked to lend a hand in helping the Department of Game and Fish better manage game bird population.

Typically, birds in the ND Game and Fish Department’s upland game wing survey — which has been in practice for decades — include sharp-tailed grouses, Hungarian partridge, turkeys, ruffled grouse, and ring-necked pheasants.

However, more data is required to paint an accurate picture of the bird populations for the 2022 season.

While the Department does not have issues when it comes to collecting pheasant samples, sharptail and partridge feathers are much harder to come by.

It’s this need for more samples that lead the Department to seek out the aid of game hunters across the state.

Using wing envelopes, hunters can send their collected samples over to the Department to be studied. Biologists from Game and Fish will gladly take as many sharptail and partridge feathers as possible — as the more feathers they can collect, the better data can be obtained.

“And then you have an outer envelope. And you put your inners in and there are pictures of what you need to do based on the species. Different feathers, different samples. And you need to put the county where it was harvested, the date you harvested, and then the species,” said Upland Game Biologist for North Dakota Game and Fish, RJ Gross.

From this data, the Department can determine the gender, age ratio, nesting success, survival, hatch dates, and overall production of bird populations.

Hunters interested in receiving wing envelopes should visit this page to learn how to apply. Instructions for submitting wing data are printed on the envelopes.