Hunting Guide and Outfitter Exam

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The next guide and outfitter written examination is Aug. 15 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office in Bismarck. The test is given periodically to anyone interested in becoming a hunting guide or outfitter in the state.

In addition to passing a written exam, qualifications for becoming a guide include a background check for criminal and game and fish violations; certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid; and employment by or contract with a licensed hunting outfitter.

Hunting outfitter eligibility requirements include the guide qualifications, as well as an individual must have held a hunting guide license for two years; and must have proof of liability insurance.

Interested individuals are required to preregister by calling the Game and Fish Department’s enforcement office at 328-6604.

have you read?

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The July  issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now. It’s highlighted by an in depth story on Lake Sakakawea Bounces Back by fisheries biologist Dave Fryda. Five years ago North Dakota Outdoors feaJULY13tured an article that outlined the reasons for great optimism for the future of Lake Sakakawea. The optimism of 2010 is a reality in 2015. It’s important to look back to discuss how critical water levels and water management are to the fishery.
There’s a great piece of how some of the waters you fish have been named. Ron Wilson shares his findings on how places like Crooked Lake, Flooded House Lake and Paris Lake were named. Check these stories and more for free in the full July issue  available right here: or here


have you seen?

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This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at North Dakota Game and Fish upland game management supervisor Stan Kohn talks about Pheasant Crowing Counts. Click here to Watch! More information on pheasants in North Dakota at this click:

want to be a game warden?

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Individuals interested in taking the district game warden or warden pilot exams scheduled for July 17 are reminded to register no later than July 13, by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website.


The tests are scheduled for 10 a.m. at the department’s main office in Bismarck.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have a bachelor’s degree, have a valid driver’s license and a current North Dakota peace officer license, or be eligible to be licensed. Candidates must have excellent interpersonal skills in communications and writing, and must not have a record of any felony convictions.

In addition, game warden pilot applicants must have a commercial pilot’s license for a single engine land with an instrument rating, and hold an FAA Class II medical certificate. Candidates also must have a minimum of 500 hours total flying time and have a clean record without any felony convictions. Job duties include day and night flights, involving enforcement and administrative flight activities. Responsibilities also include enforcing game and fish laws and other related regulations.

District game wardens enforce game and fish laws and related regulations in an assigned district and other locations as determined by the department. Wardens normally work alone under varied conditions, at all hours of the day, night and weekends. In addition to law enforcement duties, wardens assist in the areas of public relations, education programs, and hunter and boat safety education.

Salary through training for a district game warden is $3,600 per month, while the warden pilot position is $3,800 per month. Upon successful completion of training, the monthly salary ranges are $4,136 – $6,894. Wardens also receive the state benefits package, including travel allowance. Uniforms and other equipment are provided.

2015 spring sharp-tailed grouse numbers are up

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Statistics from the 2015 spring sharp-tailed grouse census indicate a 22 percent increase in the number of male grouse counted compared to last year.



Statewide, 4,346 sharptails were observed on spring dancing grounds this year compared to 3,551 in 2014. Male grouse recorded per square mile increased from 3.4 to 4.2. More than 1,000 square miles were covered.

Aaron Robinson, upland game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Dickinson, said the outlook for the 2015 hunting season is still premature as lek counts are a metric of population trends and not a reliable predictor of hunter success.

“Preliminary observations indicate good residual cover for a favorable hatch, but this is heavily influenced by timing, duration, location of severe precipitation and low temperatures,” Robinson said.

An indication of the fall season won’t be known until completion of brood surveys in late summer.

2015 spring pheasant numbers are up!

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North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is up 10 percent from last year, according to the State Game and Fish Department’s 2015 spring crowing count survey.

Pheasant for 8-8-12 column

Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was up statewide, with increases ranging from about 2 to 12 percent in the primary regions holding pheasants.

“A much improved production year for pheasants in spring 2014, coupled with the mild winter, produced a healthy breeding population this spring,” Kohn said.

While the spring number is a positive indicator, Kohn said it does not predict what the fall population will look like. Brood surveys, which begin in mid-July and are completed by September, provide a much better estimate of summer pheasant production and what hunters might expect for a fall pheasant population.

Kohn mentioned a higher breeding population is good for production if the weather cooperates and nesting habitat is available. “This spring’s weather hasn’t been ideal, but I don’t think it has been a cause for major concern yet either,” he said.

Of concern, according to Kohn, is the continued loss of Conservation Reserve Program acres, variable commodity prices and native grassland conversion. “All of this affects the amount of nesting and brood rearing habitat on the landscape, and as we lose grassland habitat we lose ground nesting bird populations,” Kohn said.

Pheasant crowing counts are conducted each spring throughout North Dakota. Observers drive specified 20-mile routes, stopping at predetermined intervals, and counting the number of pheasant roosters heard crowing over a two-minute period during the stop.

The number of pheasant crows heard is compared to previous years’ data, providing a trend summary.

have you seen?

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This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at North Dakota Game and Fish fisheries production and development section leader Jerry Weigel talks about fish stocking. Click here to Watch! and then visit the fishing portal of the Game and Fish Department website right here or here for detailed information on stocking in North Dakota.

Game & Fish pay’s property taxes

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently paid more than $533,500 in taxes to counties in which the department owns or leases land. The 2014 in-lieu-of-tax payments are the same as property taxes paid by private landowners.

The Game and Fish Department manages more than 200,000 acres for wildlife habitat and public hunting in 51 counties. The department does not own or manage any land in Traill or Renville counties.

Following is a list of counties and the tax payments they received.

County Tax Due County Tax Due County Tax Due
Adams 168.63 Grand Forks 16,222.00 Pierce 3,028.92
Barnes 4,659.63 Grant 824.85 Ramsey 16,112.78
Benson 4,193.46 Griggs 89.58 Ransom 1,289.15
Billings 232.91 Hettinger 3,518.17 Richland 15,086.41
Bottineau 5,165.95 Kidder 7,057.00 Rolette 34,351.83
Bowman 1,717.98 LaMoure 8,480.73 Sargent 15,941.79
Burke 951.57 Logan 329.99 Sheridan 56,352.14
Burleigh 27,490.54 McHenry 1,683.24 Sioux 265.59
Cass 6,888.14 McIntosh 7,408.64 Slope 1,223.82
Cavalier 25,864.62 McKenzie 32,153.15 Stark 192.25
Dickey 12,042.49 McLean 54,315.91 Steele 8,953.66
Divide 1,546.95 Mercer 13,788.32 Stutsman 4,708.06
Dunn 6,158.70 Morton 17,557.26 Towner 1,917.26
Eddy 7,862.36 Mountrail 7,957.75 Walsh 10,667.85
Emmons 3,990.78 Nelson 5,548.76 Ward 94.80
Foster 750.23 Oliver 2,408.27 Wells 54,988.79
Golden Valley 122.99 Pembina 14,958.35 Williams 4,228.09

fireworks banned on wildlife management areas

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds citizens that possession or use of fireworks on state wildlife management areas is prohibited.

photo by Craig Bihrle, ND Game and Fish

photo by Craig Bihrle, ND Game and Fish

The primary objective of a wildlife management area is to enhance wildlife production, provide hunting and fishing opportunities, and offer other outdoor recreational and educational uses. Only activities that would not disrupt the intentions of how these areas are managed are encouraged, and a fireworks display is not compatible.

Excessive noise and commotion that come with fireworks disturbs wildlife, and their explosive nature is a potential source of wildfires. Chances of a wildfire developing are greatly enhanced when explosives, such as fireworks, come in contact with tall grasses in rural areas.

A complete list of the WMA regulations is available on the Game and Fish website,


2015 spring breeding duck survey

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This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at North Dakota Game and Fish waterfowl biologist Mike Szymanski discusses the 2015 breeding duck survey. Click here to watch! For more detailed information on waterfowl in North Dakota including hunting seasons, rules and regulations click here or here:

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