West nile seems to be what they are blaming it on. Populations have been going down before west nile. Populations with grouse, pheasants and most small game numbers went down, when raptors were protected and rose in numbers. Saw a bat the other night around four thiry in the after noon. Was in a meadow with spruce trees around it, and watched a male coopers or sharpshinned hawk even try to catch it. Did not get it that time , maybe next time. The coopers and sharpshinned hawks are great bird eaters. In the spring they will one by one kill a whole brood of turkey poults, grouse and pheasant chicks. You are seeing the results of an uncontrolled whole classs of predators. As the Game Commision said if not controlled they will hurt small game numbers, they were right. We lost our limited grouse populations in the Adams county area back in the nineties, about when I saw the last wild pheasant. Grouse will probably be gone from the whole state in the next fifteen years. Not a good outlook. Funny thing is they blame west nile for the grouse losses, but west nile is known for sure to kill raptors, but yet the raptor numbers are doing well. If you take note to the pattern with predators be it coyotes, fisher, otter, raptors, bear, and others their numbers keep going up, despite all the disease and poor habitat claims. May it just that as predator numbers go up they have to eat more, pretty basic. I personally have seen more hawks while hunting this year than game.