Monthly Archives: June 2007

the best thing for wild animals

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the best thing for any animal found in the wild is to stay…in the wild.

Leave Baby Animals Alone

The North Dakota Game and Fish
Department emphasizes a simple message to well-intentioned humans who want to
pick up and rescue what appears to be orphaned baby animals – don’t
touch them. Whether it is a young fawn, duckling, cottontail rabbit or a
songbird, it is better to just walk away.

More often than not young animals
are not abandoned or deserted, and the mother is probably watching nearby.
Young wildlife are purposely placed into seclusion by their mothers to protect
them from predators.

Anytime a young wild animal has
human contact its chance for survival decreases significantly. It’s
illegal to take wild animals home, and captive animals later returned to the
wild will struggle to survive because they do not possess learned survival skills.

The only time a baby animal should
be picked up is if a young songbird is found on a doorstep. If that is the
case, the young bird should be moved nearby to suitable habitat.

Citizens should also steer clear of
adult wildlife, such as deer or moose that might wander into urban areas.
Crowding stresses animals, and this could lead to a potentially dangerous
situation.

Also, motorists are reminded to
watch for deer along roadways. June is one of the peak months for deer?vehicle
accidents because young animals are dispersing from their home ranges. With
deer more active during these months, the potential for car?deer
collisions increases.

for the summer, for the kids

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Youth Conservation Camp Scheduled in August

The
North Dakota Wildlife Federation
will hold a youth conservation camp Aug. 5-11 at the Triangle Y Camp
near Garrison on Lake Sakakawea. Boys and girls ages 12-16 are invited
to
participate.

Hands-on activities include firearms
safety, archery, dog training, boating, fishing, water ecology, outdoor survival, trapshooting, and soil and range
studies.

Cosponsored by the North Dakota Game
and Fish Department, the camp is limited to the first 80 kids registered. Cost
is $200, which covers all meals and accommodations.

For more information, contact the
Wildlife Federation at 888-827-2557.

go, see, do, fish

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It’s a Friday staple, and here’s the latest update from Devils Lake to Lake of the Woods. Thank you to Brad Dokken and the Grand Forks Herald. 

from Craig at the Outdoor U

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Here’s a posted response that Craig from the Outdoor U received on his letter he sent about their support of anti-hunting organizations.

Microsoft Sticks it to Sportsmen

 

From this day forward I will not spend one single dime on a
Microsoft product, you shouldn’t either. When it comes to computers and
software there are alternatives. I know that in some cases for business you
can’t use anything but a Microsoft product but if there is a way I will find
it. My Macintosh runs circles around my Windows machine and if it were not for
one program that I need for business the Windows machine would be going into
the garbage tonight for tomorrow mornings garbage pick-up day.

 

Why am I talking so much trash about Microsoft when you came
here for a hunting or fishing tip? Well let me tell you.

 

I received my response letter back from Microsoft about
their “i’ m” Initiative. This is the program where people can donate money
while using instant messaging. Earlier this month Microsoft added the Humane
Society to the list of recipients for this cash. There was a widespread effort
from sportsman to have this Anti-Hunting and Anti-Trapping group removed from
the list. The Humane Society hides behind cute little puppies and kitties in
order to gain the support of millions to further their effort to STOP ALL
HUNTING AND TRAPPING. Don’t believe me? Do a web search and you’ll be amazed
what the Humane Society is up to. Just ask the Michigan sportsman.

 

Here is the response letter I got back from Microsoft.

 

Dear Mr. Manock.

 

Thank you for forwarding your concern.

 

At Microsoft, our mission and values are to help people and
organizations throughout the world realize their full potential. With the “i’m”
Initiative, our goal is to empower our users to support causes that are most
important to them through something they do every day – send instant messages.
Consistent with our initiative slogan “It’s your voice, it’s your choice”,
people are able to choose from among ten of the most recognized social cause
organizations that address issues ranging from poverty, child protection,
disease, environmental degradation and animal protection.

 

We respect and value your opinion, however, we do not plan
to make changes to our relationships with our partners. We feel strongly that
these organizations provide a range of causes that will appeal to a wide range
of passions.

 

Sincerely,

Microsoft Corporation

 

I guess that sportsmen mean nothing to Microsoft and it
appears that they are totally satisfied being PARTNERS with the Humane Society.
I just wonder what would happen if the NRA would approach Microsoft to be
included on their list of recipients?

 

Posted by Craig A. Manock at 6:03 PM 1

Nick Simonson goes Texas rigging

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Our Outdoors… Texas rigging

By Nick Simonson 

Summertime
and the living’s easy.  The fishing is pretty good too as predator
species begin to enter a warm-weather pattern of eating, eating and
more eating.  Bass hide along weedlines, under docks and around stumps
in wait for any prey to swim by.  One of the most effective rigs for
bass at this time is a Texas rig.  For newcomers to this niche of
angling though, the set up might not seem as easy to rig and fish as
more familiar tackle.  What follows will help anyone refine their Texas
rig, and put more bass in the boat.
A brief history
Texas rigs
are about as old as the first soft plastic worms.  Developed by Nick
Creme in the 1950s, the first plastics were reusable, flexible and
downright effective on bass.  Throughout the past five decades
variations on the originals have spawned not only new styles of worms,
but also entirely new bait categories as well.  Tube, fluke, shad,
lizard, creature, and crawdad plastics of various sizes, shapes and
colors can be found on the walls of tackle stores throughout the
country.  All are effective in catching fish; some more than others,
depending on the situation.
Accompanying some form of soft plastic
in a Texas rig is a hook.  Hooks, well, they’ve been around forever; so
long I’m certain no one can put an exact date on it.  There are over 20
pages in the Cabela’s Master Catalog that deal solely with varieties of
hooks.  Some are suited for Texas rigs, but most are not.  Going with
the keep-it-simple theory, lets examine a 2/0 worm hook from the VMC
company.  This hook is a basic hook; it has an offset gape, is
moderately thick and is fairly inexpensive.  For my efforts on local
waters, these hooks have fit the bill when it comes to largemouth bass.
Texas rigging steps:
Place
hook in worm, cast worm out, catch fish, it’s that simple right?  Not
really.  Well, it IS, but probably not to a person who has never done
it before.  A Texas rig involves a little twisting of the bait, some
tweaking of the hook, and the addition of weight.  Follow along with
the sidebar guide and go step-by-step until the process becomes habit.  
Getting
Started – Necessary, of course, are a hook and a worm (or other soft
plastic) and a weight if the situation calls for it.
1 – Place hook
in worm: I like to position the hook in a little bit deeper than the
length of the neck of the hook.  Usually on a 2/0 VMC, that depth is
about 1/8-inch deep before I turn it out through the bottom of the
plastic.  
2 – Thread the hook through the worm: Carefully slide the
length of the hook through the hole you have created in the plastic
until it looks like the second picture.  The eye of the hook can be
inside the plastic a little or it can be out.  This variation can be
determined by your preference or that of the fish.
3 – Insert hook
into plastic again: Leave the point buried in the plastic for a pure
Texas rig or pop it out for a “Texposed” set up.  If there’s a bend in
the worm, that’s ok, it may provide added triggering action.
4 -
“Texpose” the hook: When fishing sparse cover, Texpose the hook by
pushing the point all the way through the plastic.  Then pierce the
point into the underlying plastic to prevent vegetation from
accumulating on the lure.   Just remember, if the hook point is not out
of the plastic, you will have to set the hook harder to penetrate both
the plastic and the mouth of the fish.  
5 – Add a weight: Attaching
a bullet sinker of varying size at the front of your offering will help
you deliver your snag-proof, fish-catching composition to any depth and
at any rate of fall.  I recommend Water Gremlin’s BullShot sinkers,
like the one in picture five, for their easy-on application on the
water.
Texas-rigged lures are great for slithering off of the
shoreline into shallow weedy areas.  Since they don’t snag up as often
and look more natural when they don’t fall out of the sky into the
water, this approach can be very effective.  This rig has worked well
for half a century, and now it is time to add it to your arsenal. 
Expand your horizons this year – try out a Texas-rigged soft plastic
for bass in the region, and enjoy the easy summer fishing…in our
outdoors.

outdoors online

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this weeks North Dakota Outdoors online, is available…only on the world wide web check it out right here
http://www.gf.nd.gov/multimedia/ndoutdoors/webcast-new.html
 
The program features chief warden Bob Timian discussing enforcement issues that
have recently come up. 

 

Friday Friday Friday

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Friday blows out for me. I’ll do a regular spot on the Tom and Larry show on AM 790 at 6:20 AM if you want you can listen live on the web each morning. That’s partly why I’m up so early.

I’ve also got a podcast loaded

Later on in the day it’s back to AM 790 with a regular Friday spot on the Joel Heitkamp show at 4:35. That can be heard also on 910 KCJB in Minot, and 550 KFYR in Bismarck.

Then I’ll wrap up with a spot on ESPN radio 1660 with Derek Hanson and his "Fish, Field and Waterfowl" it’s each Friday between 5-6PM.

whew….

the sale of the year?

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Dorgan Disputes Land Sale


KFYR-TV News
6/14/2007
The U.S. Forest Service says it is selling 5,200 acres of federal land to ranchers in Billings County.

The agency says it`s selling the land to the ranchers to off-set the
same amount of acreage it gained from the purchase of a historic
Badlands ranch in western North Dakota.

Senator Byron Dorgan says the Forest Service isn`t authorized by
Congress to do that. And real estate agents question whether it`s
legal, saying the sale should be open to everyone.

The Forest Service completed the purchase of the ranch in April in a deal worth $5.3 million.

The 5,200-acre-ranch is next to Roosevelt`s Elkhorn Ranch site, where the former president ranched more than a century ago.

Before the Forest Service completed the purchase, agency officials said
the Forest Service would balance the acquisition by selling 5,200 acres
throughout the state.

the rising cost of doing business

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it’s no secret the value of land has been increasing. From recreational value to the demand for ethanol and corn. Here’s the latest run-down from South Dakota. If your a landowner it’s good news, if your a hunter it may not be…two sides to every story, and that’s what makes the world go around and around:

S.D. sees double-digit increases in farmland value

Last year was another year of double-digit increases in farmland
value in the state, according to the annual farm real estate market
survey by South Dakota State University.

Ag land values rose 14.4 percent from 2006 to 2007, the same as the previous year, the report said.

Farm land values in South Dakota have doubled since 2002 and tripled since 1996.
The
latest reported increase tied for third-highest in the 17 years the
survey has been taken. The record was 20.2 percent from 2004 to 2005,
followed by a 17 percent increase from 2003 to 2004, said Larry
Janssen, SDSU economics professor and one of the report’s authors.

The value of farm land varies from $285 per acre in the northwest to $1,946 per acre in the east-central region.

The
statewide average was $850 an acre, up from $743 per acre in the
previous report. The $107-an-acre increase is the second highest in the
past 17 years.
The average value in the northeast was $1,422 an
acre, a 21 percent increase, and in the north-central region it was
$945 per acre.

The survey is based on reports from 214 ag
lenders, Farm Service Agency officials, rural appraisers, assessors,
real estate agents, professional farm managers and Extension
agricultural educators.

Land values rose despite the continued drought in western South Dakota, Janssen said.

“It
shows the strengths of other factors,” Janssen said. “It wasn’t enough
to really bring everything down. It remained positive, just at a slower
rate.”
The 14.4 percent increase equals the average increase of the past six years, he said.
“Two
years were lower, and two were higher, but all were 10 percent or
above, with the average being about 14,” Janssen said. “That’s a pretty
major finding.”

Janssen said ethanol, made from corn, has contributed to the increase.

a prothonotary warbler?

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ever hear of a PROTHONOTARY WARBLER? I’ll admit I havent, but one was seen this week near the Hazelton boat ramp south of Bismarck. Here’s the rundown of other not so commons birds observed across ND last week:

Piping Plover
Least Tern
LESSER GOLDFINCH
EASTERN MEADOWLARK
Horned Grebe
TRICOLORED HERON
American Black Duck
LESSER YELLOWLEGS
California Gull
STILT SANDPIPER
TRUMPETER SWAN
SANDERLING
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER
Black-billed Cuckoo
Least Bittern
LITTLE BLUE HERON
Great Egret
SNOWY EGRET
Cattle Egret
Burrowing Owl
LeConte’s Sparrow
Yellow Rail

Say’s Phoebe
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER
SNOWY PLOVER
Bufflehead
SNOW GOOSE
Mallard
Red-necked Grebe
Ferruginous Hawk
Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Baird’s Sparrow
Sprague’s Pipit
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Turkey Vulture
Eastern Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Sandhill Crane
American Kestrel
BLACK-NECKED STILT
HENSLOW’S SPARROW

Welcome to the North Dakota Rare Bird Alert compiled by the North
Dakota Birding Society and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This report was prepared on Tuesday, June 19. Unless otherwise
noted, any phone numbers mentioned are area code 701.

Transcriber’s Note: Birds listed in ALL CAPS in the Birds Mentioned
section signify that the Revised Checklist of North Dakota Birds
lists them as Occasional, Accidental, Extirpated, or never having
occurred before for the season being reported.

Maybe now that the bulk of the spring migration is over, the really
outstanding birds are–well– standing out more.  Or maybe we just
have more time to look for them.

Dan and Emily Svingen found a singing PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
at the Hazelton boat ramp in Emmons County on June 17.  Dan says the bird, an
“accidental,” was singing from an elm tree at the public site.  They could
also
see four PIPING PLOVERS and three LEAST TERNS on large sandbars
upstream from the boat ramp.  For details, call Dan at 250-4443, ext. 107.

Keith Corliss isn’t ready to call it a sure thing, but he believes the two
“dirty”
goldfinches he saw between Medora and Fryburg on June 15 may have been
LESSER GOLDFINCHES.  He is hoping somebody else sees the pair, and
 describes the location as “just east of the east river road, along the
Fryburg
road.”  Keith says he had only a brief look at the birds, but saw quite a few
of the species in Nevada last summer.  For more information, contact him
at kcorliss@forumcomm.com

Another “accidental” is the EASTERN MEADOWLARK that was singing
and calling east and north of the Dawson exit off I-94.  Clark Talkington
first discovered the bird on June 15, and Paulette Scherr reports it was
still at
that location in the late afternoon two days later.  Clark’s other
sightings that
day included a breeding adult HORNED GREBE north of Wing in Sheriday
County.  He says there have only been three nesting locations found in the

Bismarck-Mandan area since the 1970s.  If you’re interested, contact Clark
at ctalkington@bis.midco.net

There’s something about Lake Alice National Wildlife Refuge that attracts a
TRICOLORED HERON.  Dave Lambeth found the bird on June 14 at the north
end of the lake, which is north of Devils Lake, in roughly the same
location a
member of that species was found last fall.  For more information about this
bird, listed as an “occasional,” contact Dave at
davidlambeth58201@yahoo.com

Eve Freeberg saw the TRICOLORED HERON at Lake Alice refuge later
that day. Her other June 14 sightings included a BLACK DUCK, a LESSER
YELLOWLEGS along Highway 20 in Ramsey County and a large
CALIFORNIA GULL colony of 300 adults and 30 or 40 young at Davis
Flats near Devils Lake.  Back in Grand Forks County, Eve added a late
STILT SANDPIPER and the two TRUMPETER SWANS first seen June 4
near Larimore.  She says Grand Forks County still has some shorebirds.
Eve found SANDERLINGS, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS on June 12.  A new yard-bird showed
up on June 13. Eve was surprised to hear a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO
calling from outside her window in Grand Forks early that morning.   For
details on any of those sightings, call Eve at 741-8105.

Participants in the Potholes and Prairie Birding Festival the second
weekend in June were excited to see and hear a LEAST BITTERN.
The bird was located west of the junction of Highways 9 and 281 on  June
10, according to Paulette Scherr.  She reports that a researcher  saw a
LITTLE BLUE HERON on one of the nesting islands in Chase
Lake, where GREAT EGRETS, SNOWY EGRETS and CATTLE
EGRETS are nesting.  Some festival goers located BURROWING
OWLS on three different sites on private land about nine miles
southwest of Pingree.  Paulette says at least five singing male
LECONTE’S SPARROWS can be found near the Highway 281
turnoff to Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge.  Although the
site is on private land, Paulette says the birds can be easily viewed
from the road.  And, Paulette adds that two or three YELLOW
RAILS were calling on June 8 and at least one on June 12 on
the south side of Chicago Lake, which is just north of Chase
Lake in west-central Stutsman County.  For more information,
contact Paulette at 285-3341.

The yard-first SAY’S PHOEBE seen by Ann Hoffert at Pipestem
Creek south of Carrington on May 15 is now nesting there.  Ann
believes the bird has added to an existing barn swallow nest under  the
eave of a granary.  On June 10, Ann saw a lone WHITE-WINGED
SCOTER just south of McHenry.  For details, call Ann at 652-2623.

More SNOWY PLOVER sightings: Carol Aron saw two pairs at Long
Lake National Wildlife Refuge on June 12 and another pair at the
 public access point of Big Muddy Lake, three miles north of Dawson.
You can reach Carol at 355-8506.  Daniel Ackerman discovered a pair  of
SNOWY PLOVERS near the Wilton boat ramp on the Missouri
River on June 15.  He says they are easily visible from a boat at river
mile 1339.  Contact him at 330-5781.

Jean Legge saw two male and one female BUFFLEHEADS near the
north end of Horsehead Lake in Kidder County on June 11.  One day
earlier, she found a blue-phase SNOW GOOSE standing in a field
with several MALLARDS in Griggs County near the Cooperstown
Bible Camp.  She reports the goose walked away, and there were
no other geese in the area.  Call Jean at 845-4762.

Bob Anderson got a close look at two RED-NECKED GREBES
outhwest of Pettibone on June 14.  While birding between Valley
City and Tuttle, he also saw a FERRUGINOUS HAWK nest with
three young southeast of Horsehead Lake and multiple NELSON”S
SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS, BAIRD’S SPARROWS, LECONTE’S
SPARROWS, SPRAGUE’S PIPITS and CHESTNUT-COLLARED
LONGSPURS from Chase Lake to the Tuttle area.  On June 12 and 13,  Bob
birded around Amidon to south of Rhame and Marmarth with
Jean Legge.  In addition to the species common to that area, they  came
across seven TURKEY VULTURES near the Burning Coal
Vein campground.  For more information, contact Bob at
bob.anderson@vcsu.edu

Ron Martin had singing EASTERN TOWHEE and SPOTTED TOWHEE
during a June 14 stop in the Turtle Mountains breeding bird survey.   He
says both species are rare breeders there.  The count produced 91
species.  Contact Ron at jrmartin@srt.com

Judith Sparrow and Gary Ash observed two singing male SPRAGUE’S
PIPITS at Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge near Kenmare on June 5.   The
same auto tour route also produced a singing male BAIRD’S
SPARROW.  You can reach Judith at jsparrow@centurytel.net

Jesse Kolar saw a flock of 15 SANDHILL CRANES southwest of
Amidon on June 14.  Contact him at jekolar@hotmail.com

And, from South Dakota, Dick Kappedal has confirmed nesting by
the AMERICAN KESTREL pair he observed earlier at Crooks in
Minnnehaha County.  However, Dick says he found one dead chick
near the nest.  For more information, contact him at
roughrider@sio.midco.net

Larry Igl and Steve Peterson saw a BLACK-NECKED STILT on the
shore of a large alkali lake in McPherson County, S.D. on June 13 and 14.

Larry says the stilt was acting as if it had a nest in the area, although no
second stilt was seen.  On June 16, Larry found a singing male HENSLOW’S
SPARROW near Bristol in Day County, S.D.  For details, call him at
253-5511.