wetland conditions

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates good to excellent wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout most of the state.

Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird biologist, said the northwest has a near-record number of wetlands, while the rest of the state has wetland numbers similar to, or above the 2003-13 average.

“Most areas have fairly similar conditions compared to last year, with improvements in the central part of the state,” Szymanski said. “Really, we seem to have pretty good numbers of wetlands holding water statewide. The western half of the state is the wettest, but other than a few smaller isolated areas, hunters across the state shouldn’t have issues finding wetlands holding water.”

The western half of the state received significant rainfall in August. Hunters should be cautious driving off-trail to avoid soft spots and areas like tall vegetation that could be a fire hazard.

The quality of waterfowl hunting in North Dakota is predicated on weather conditions and patterns. Szymanski said strong reproduction for ducks in breeding areas both in and outside of North Dakota makes for good fall hunting potential.

“Hunters should always scout because of ever changing conditions and distribution of waterfowl,” Szymanski said.

The wetland survey is conducted in mid-September, just prior to the waterfowl hunting season, to provide an assessment of conditions duck hunters can expect.

PLOTs regulations

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , ,

Out-of-state hunters are reminded that state law does not allow nonresidents to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department owned or managed lands during the first week of the pheasant season.

Private Land Open to Sportsmen acreage and state wildlife management areas are open to hunting by resident hunters only from Oct. 11-17. Nonresidents, however, can still hunt those days on other state-owned and federal lands, or private land.

The law applies to all small game, waterfowl, furbearer and big game hunting on PLOTS and state wildlife management areas during the first seven days of the pheasant season. Starting Oct. 18 this year, nonresidents may hunt on PLOTS and WMAs as long as the appropriate season is open.

In addition, all hunters are reminded that activities such as riding horses for hunting purposes or for pleasure on PLOTS require written permission from the landowner. Permission from the landowner is always required for motorized vehicle access, such as for setting decoys in a field, unless specially designated on the PLOTS sign.

Also, leaving equipment or other provisions in a PLOTS area overnight, for example tree stands or blinds, decoys, firearms and archery equipment, trail cameras, or any type of bait used to attract big game animals, is not allowed without written permission from the landowner.

Jeb Williams named Wildlife Division Chief

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

North Dakota Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand has appointed 15-year department employee Jeb Williams as chief of wildlife. Williams succeeds Randy Kreil, who announced his retirement in August.

“Jeb has a proven track record in all of his capacities with the department,” Steinwand said. “This, along with his communication skills, was a large part in his selection.”

Williams has been the assistant wildlife chief since 2011. He has also held biologist and wildlife resource management supervisor positions.

A native of Beach in Golden Valley County, he has a bachelor’s degree in biology and resource management from Dickinson State University.

2014 North Dakota youth pheasant hunt

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , ,

North Dakota’s two-day youth pheasant season is Oct. 4-5. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger may hunt roosters statewide.

Resident youth hunters, regardless of age, must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. Nonresident youth hunters from states that provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents qualify for North Dakota resident licenses. Otherwise, nonresident youth hunters must purchase a nonresident small game license.

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Youth ages 12 and older need to have passed a certified hunter education course. The daily bag limit and all other regulations for the regular pheasant season apply.

An adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter in the field. The adult may not carry a firearm.

See the 2014 North Dakota Small Game Hunting Guide for additional information.

2014 waterfowl season opener

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , ,

North Dakota’s 2014 waterfowl season has been set, with noteworthy changes including a daily bag of one canvasback during the season, and an additional two blue-winged teal during the first 16 days of the season.

Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 27 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Oct. 4. The season for swans opens Oct. 4 for both residents and nonresidents.

Hunters may take six ducks per day with the following restrictions: five mallards of which two may be hens, three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two pintails and one canvasback. An additional two blue-winged teal can be taken from Sept. 27 through Oct. 12. The daily limit of five mergansers may include no more than two hooded mergansers. For ducks and mergansers, the possession limit is three times the daily limit.

The hunting season for Canada geese in the Missouri River zone will close Jan. 2, 2015, while the remainder of the state will close Dec. 25. The season for whitefronts closes Dec. 7, while the season on light geese is open through Jan. 4, 2015. Shooting hours for all geese are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 1. Beginning Nov. 2, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.

Extended shooting hours for all geese are permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on Saturdays and Wednesdays through Nov. 26, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from Nov. 29 through the end of each season.

The bag limit for Canada geese during the regular season is eight daily and 24 in possession, except in the Missouri River zone where the limit is five daily and 15 in possession.

The daily limit on whitefronts is two with six in possession, and light goose is 50 daily, with no possession limit.

Nonresidents have the option of buying either a statewide waterfowl license or one with zone restrictions. Nonresidents who designate zones 1 or 2 may hunt that zone for only one seven-day period during the season. Nonresident hunters who chose to hunt in zone 1 or 2 and wish to use the full 14 consecutive days allowed, must use the other seven days in zone 3. Hunters in zone 3 can hunt that zone the entire 14 days.

In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 11-17.

All migratory bird hunters, including waterfowl, must register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters purchasing a license from the Game and Fish Department can easily get a HIP number. Otherwise, hunters must call 888-634-4798, or log on to the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov, provide the registration information, and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who HIP registered to hunt this spring’s light goose season or early fall Canada goose season do not have to register again, as it is required only once per year.

Hunters should refer to the 2014 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide for further details on the waterfowl season. Paper copies will be at license vendors in early September.

have you seen?

0
Filed under Uncategorized

As hunting seasons continue to open and more and more activity is taking place in the field, safe hunting must always remain a priority.This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online athttp://gf.nd.gov. NDGF hunter education coordinator John Mazur gives somehunting safety tips.  Click here to Watch!  or http://gf.nd.gov/publications/television/outdoors-online-webcast

 

Sportsmen Against Hunger accepting Canada geese

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , ,

North Dakota’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program can now accept donations of Canada geese taken during the regular waterfowl hunting season.

 

Previously, the program could accept snow, blue and Ross’s geese during the regular season, but Canada goose donations were only allowed during the early Canada goose season.

 

This new opportunity for hunters to donate goose meat is part of a two-year pilot program between the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

“In the past couple of years we have heard from many hunters who would like to donate geese taken during the regular season,” said Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand. “We appreciate the Fish and Wildlife Service setting up this pilot program so we can see how well it works.”

 

North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger program coordinator Sarah Hasbargen said the additional donations accepted during this pilot project will be a much-needed increase to food pantries across the state. “We will accept as much as hunters are able to donate,” Hasbargen said, while mentioning donated goose meat must be received no later than the day after the close of the season.

 

Provisions for donating goose meat during the regular season are basically the same as for the early Canada goose season. In addition, hunters can also donate meat from geese that were taken during the early season.

 

Hunters can bring their geese home and clean them prior to delivering meat to a processor, but breast meat brought from home without a wing or head attached to the meat, must be accompanied by written information that includes the hunter’s name, address, signature, hunting license number, date taken and species and number taken.

 

Hunters may also deliver geese directly from the field to a processor, but identification must remain attached to the bird until in possession of the processor. Since no goose carcasses or feathers are allowed inside processing plants, hunters must be able to ensure proper disposal and clean-up of carcasses.

 

The list of participating processors is available on the Game and Fish Department website atgf.nd.gov, and at the NDCAP website, www.capnd.org.

 

Hunters interested in donating are encouraged to call the processor before dropping off geese, to have a clear understanding of how processors will accept goose breasts, and their hours of operation.

 

The North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger is a charitable program that raises money for processing of donated goose and deer meat, and coordinates distribution of donated meat to food pantries in North Dakota. It is administered by the North Dakota Community Action Partnership, a nonprofit agency that serves low-income families across the state.

 

For more information, visit the NDCAP website, or contact Sarah Hasbargen at 701-232-2452.

 

MacLean Bottoms shooting range reopens

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , ,

The MacLean Bottoms public shooting range located 15 miles south of Bismarck is open following a major upgrade effort.

The renovated shooting range includes seven benches at the 200-yard rifle range, 15 benches at 100 yards, nine benches at 25 yards and a shotgun range.  Each range includes handicap accessible parking and benches.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife resource management supervisor Bill Haase said while minor delays due to wet conditions prolonged completion of the project, the major improvements were worth the wait.

“The range is paid for by funds generated by hunters and recreational shooters, so we need cooperation in following the posted rules and in documenting and reporting any violations,” Haase said. “Failure to abide by range rules could result in additional restrictions in the future. However, we would rather not impose further restrictions.”

The range is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free. Anyone witnessing rules violations is asked to call the Game and Fish Department’s enforcement division at 328-6604.

To learn more about what the Game and Fish Department is doing to expand shooting access and oppportunity check out this issue of the North Dakota Outdoors magazine, Providing Safe Places for Shooting or copy and paste this link into your browser: http://gf.nd.gov/gnf/publications/magazine/2012-july.pdf

2014 youth pheasant hunt

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

North Dakota’s two-day youth pheasant season is Oct. 4-5. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger may hunt roosters statewide.

Resident youth hunters, regardless of age, must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. Nonresident youth hunters from states that provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents qualify for North Dakota resident licenses. Otherwise, nonresident youth hunters must purchase a nonresident small game license.

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Youth ages 12 and older need to have passed a certified hunter education course. The daily bag limit and all other regulations for the regular pheasant season apply.

An adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter in the field. The adult may not carry a firearm.

See the 2014 North Dakota Small Game Hunting Guide for additional information.

waterfowl hunting and ANS

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , ,

Waterfowl hunters are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species into or within North Dakota.

Waterfowl hunters must remove plants and plant fragments from decoys, strings and anchors; remove plants seeds and plant fragments from waders and other equipment before leaving hunting areas; remove all water from decoys, boats, motors, trailers and other watercraft; and remove all aquatic plants from boats and trailers before leaving a marsh or lake. In addition, hunters are encouraged to brush their hunting dogs free of mud and seeds.

Cattails and bulrushes may be transported as camouflage on boats. All other aquatic vegetation must be cleaned from boats prior to transportation into or within North Dakota.

ANS information, including regulations, is available by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.