Upland bird broods are more or less sensitive to wet, chilly weather according to species, but no kind of ground-nesting bird is immune to weather that hits newly hatched chicks before they develop hard feathers. Timing of hatches amid spells of hard weather can be critical, especially in habitat that may be marginal.
Based on admittedly anecdotal reports from around the western side of the state, good broods of chukar, huns (gray partridge) and quail have turned up in mid to late summer. Pheasant, where they can still be found, might be more of an iffy proposition and turkeys tend to stick to dense woody habitats where people do not commonly see them until fall.
Forest grouse have never been counted before hunting seasons because they live in habitats only penetrable on a large scale by hunters; information on these species derives largely from hunting.
Idaho bird hunters have been able to find an early indication of upland bird numbers in the helicopter counts Fish and Game conducted along the Snake River and Salmon corridors for many years. Those flights have been discontinued starting this year, a result of a tightening budget and the obvious dangers of counting critters from a low-flying helicopter.
Hunters should remember that season openers come later this year than the traditional dates for most species. Chukar, hun, and quail hunting begins October 1 this year with pheasant season starting later in the month. September need not find bird hunters fretting at home, however. Hunting for forest grouse begins August 30 and doves on September 1. (Doves require a migratory bird permit.)
Fall turkey hunting begins September 15 in many, but not all, game management units. Best to read the turkey rules with an eye to detail.
And there are always sandhill cranes to think about.