Monthly Archives: January 2009

today’s legislative update

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bills continue to file into the 2009 legislative session

HB 1017 – (Appropriations Committee at the request of the Governor) – Appropriates $59,566,703 for the Game and Fish Department for the biennium beginning July 1, 2009, and ending June 30, 2011. House Appropriations Committee heard 1/14, no action taken.

HB 1045 – (Legislative Council) – Would continue the prohibition of severance of hunting rights from the surface estate. HNRC to hear 1/15, 9 a.m.

HB 1076 – (Representative DeKrey) – Would prohibit an individual from applying for a license to hunt big game, small game or furbearers who is barred by state or federal law from possessing a firearm. HNRC to hear 1/15, 10 a.m.

HB 1110 – (Agriculture Committee) – Would prohibit an individual from engaging, sponsoring, assisting or profiting from the release, hunting or trapping of feral swine. House Agriculture Committee to hear 1/15, 9:45 a.m., Peace Garden Room.

HB 1125 – (Natural Resources Committee at the request of the Agriculture Commissioner) – Clarifies the current law permitting federal Wildlife Services to control furbearers and deer in cooperation with the North Dakota Agiculture Commissioner and the Game and Fish Director. HNRC to hear 1/15, 2 p.m.

HB 1167 – (Rep’s Delzer, Nottestad, Weiler; Sen’s Freborg, Fischer) – Would allow 13 year olds to participate in the youth deer season if they turn 14 by the opening day of the November deer gun season. Currently, youth must be 14 by the opening day of the youth hunting season. HNRC to hear 1/15, 11 a.m.

HB 1188 – (Rep’s Porter, Damschen, DeKrey, Hanson; Sen’s Hogue, Lyson) – Increases the penalty for some individuals with multiple Game and Fish offenses. HNRC to hear 1/22, 9 a.m.

HB 1210 – (Rep’s Hanson, Gruchalla, Mueller, Porter; Sen’s Fischer, Freborg) – Would prohibit the use of state and federal funds to regulate any enclosed big game or farmed elk facilities. House Agriculture Committee to hear 1/23, 9 a.m.

HB 1211 – (Rep’s Hanson, Gruchalla, Mueller, Porter; Sen’s Fischer, Freborg) – Would require the address or telephone number in addition to the name on all posting signs. HNRC to hear 1/22, 3 p.m.

HB 1216 – (Rep’s Kerzman, DeKrey, Froelich; Senator Lyson) – Would change the structure of the nonresident small game license from two 7-day periods to three 5-day periods. HNRC to hear 1/23, 10:30 a.m.

HB 1217 – (Rep’s Kerzman, Froelich, Hanson, Porter; Sen’s Krauter, Lyson, Wanzek) – Would make it illegal to hunt unharvested oilseed crops (sunflower, safflower, rapeseed or canola, crambe and flax) without permission of the owner or tenant. HNRC to hear 1/22, 10 a.m.

HB 1227 – (Rep’s Headland, Damschen, Porter; Sen’s Erbele, Hogue) – Would provide an online hunter education course for individuals ages 18 and older; allows 12 year olds to hunt deer for one season before turning age 14; eliminates the fee for a habitat restoration stamp and the fee for doe licenses for residents under age 16; establishes a provisional license for individuals over age 18 that entitles them to hunt for free during any two seasons for which licenses are not issued by lottery; and provides $60,000 to Game and Fish for youth hunting programs. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1239 – (Rep’s Hofstad, S. Meyer, Porter; Sen’s Heckaman, Oehlke) – Clarifies that only the owner, or an individual authorized by the owner, may post land. Also defines the standard for the conviction of this offense. HNRC to hear 1/22, 9:30 a.m.

HB 1240 – (Rep’s Hofstad, Hanson, Porter; Sen’s Hogue, Oehlke) – Would change agricultural exemption from licensure for guides and outfitters. HNRC to hear 1/22, 11 a.m.

HB 1246 – (Rep’s Amerman, J. Kelsh, Kempenich; Sen’s Dotzenrod, Lyson) – Would change the structure of the nonresident small game license by making it valid for up to 14 days in periods of at least three consecutive days each. HNRC to hear 1/23, 10 a.m.

HB 1248 – (Rep’s S. Meyer, DeKrey, Delmore, Hanson, Hofstad; Senator Hogue) – Would allow an individual fishing from shore to use up to four poles. HNRC to hear 1/22, 3:30 p.m.

HB 1379 – (Rep’s Onstad, Hatlestad; Senator Warner) – Would appropriate $1.7 million out of the general fund in the state treasury to the Game and Fish Department for constucting a paved roadway and boat ramp near the marina at Arrowhead Point near New Town. HNRC to hear 1/23, 11 a.m.

HCR 3007 – (Rep’s Porter, Carlson, Damschen, Hanson; Sen’s Stenehjem, Hogue) – A concurrent resolution urging Congress to amend federal law to allow North Dakota resident sharpshooters to take elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. HNRC to hear 1/22, 2:30 p.m.

SB 2068 – (Senator Behm) – Would replace the social security number with a distinguishing number for a Game and Fish license applicant. SNRC to hear 1/15, 9 a.m.

SB 2146 – (Transportation Committee at the request of the State Treasurer) – Would change the date of payment of state gas tax to the Game and Fish Department from July 1 to any date in July. Senate Transportation Committee to hear 1/16, 9:30 a.m., Lewis and Clark Room.

SB 2165 – (Sen’s Krauter, Lyson; Rep’s Damschen, DeKrey, Kerzman, Nottestad) – Would allow individuals who have not taken the hunter education course to be issued an apprentice hunter validation, entitling them to hunt small game and deer for only one license year in a lifetime. SNRC to hear 1/15, 9:30 a.m.

SB 2189 – (Senator Hogue; Rep’s DeKrey, Hofstad, Porter, Ruby) – Would require a resident to purchase a small game license at age 18 instead of 16, and eliminates license fees for residents under age 18. Referred to SNRC.

Failed/Withdrawn

HB 1260 – (Rep’s S. Meyer, Damschen, DeKrey, Hanson) – Would have made it illegal for a person to use a bow with an axle-to-axle length under 30 inches. Withdrawn from consideration.

 

watchable wildlife issues

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biologist Doug Leier joins Michelle Turnberg on The Valley Today with a discussion on some watchable wildlife issues

 

 

Hos in Feffer update

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Not sure the correct spelling of has n feffer or if it even applies but I think we’ll refer to the rabbits as hos n feffer.

This morning at about 4:45AM our youngest daughter Grace stirred and wouldn’t go back to sleep, it seems she was intent on checking the status of our rabbit trap. Sure enough there was hos or feffer tooling around the bushes, drifts and trap under the cover of darkness. Grace was captivated by the little furry bugger and I was just hoping hos would take the bait and get into the trap. Grace watched for 10 minutes and went back to bed.

Alas, as sunrise crept in the trap was empty and either the carrot was eaten, and the trap trigger plugged by the snow, or the latest inch of white stuff covered it. 

Regardless if I was betting on eating rabbit anytime soon, I’d need to reconsider my tactics. Chad suggested something green, and that’s our next option. 

Wednesday legislative update

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Update as of 11:30 today on the legislative bills

HB 1017 – (Appropriations Committee at the request of the Governor) – Appropriates $59,566,703 for the Game and Fish Department for the biennium beginning July 1, 2009, and ending June 30, 2011. House Appropriations Committee to hear 1/14, 9 a.m., Roughrider Room.
HB 1045 – (Legislative Council) – Would continue the prohibition of severance of hunting rights from the surface estate. HNRC to hear 1/15, 9 a.m.
HB 1076 – (Representative DeKrey) – Would prohibit an individual from applying for a license to hunt big game, small game or furbearers who is barred by state or federal law from possessing a firearm. HNRC to hear 1/15, 10 a.m.
HB 1110 – (Agriculture Committee) – Would prohibit an individual from engaging, sponsoring, assisting or profiting from the release, hunting or trapping of feral swine. House Agriculture Committee to hear 1/15, 9:45 a.m., Peace Garden Room.
HB 1125 – (Natural Resources Committee at the request of the Agriculture Commissioner) – Clarifies the current law permitting federal Wildlife Services to control furbearers and deer in cooperation with the North Dakota Agiculture Commissioner and the Game and Fish Director. HNRC to hear 1/15, 2 p.m.
HB 1167 – (Rep’s Delzer, Nottestad, Weiler; Sen’s Freborg, Fischer) – Would allow 13 year olds to participate in the youth deer season if they turn 14 by the opening day of the November deer gun season. Currently, youth must be 14 by the opening day of the youth hunting season. HNRC to hear 1/15, 11 a.m.
HB 1188 – (Rep’s Porter, Damschen, DeKrey, Hanson; Sen’s Hogue, Lyson) – Increases the penalty for some individuals with multiple Game and Fish offenses. HNRC to hear 1/22, 9 a.m.
HB 1210 – (Rep’s Hanson, Gruchalla, Mueller, Porter; Sen’s Fischer, Freborg) – Would prohibit the use of state and federal funds to regulate any enclosed big game or farmed elk facilities. Referred to House Agriculture Committee.
HB 1211 – (Rep’s Hanson, Gruchalla, Mueller, Porter; Sen’s Fischer, Freborg) – Would require the address or telephone number in addition to the name on all posting signs. HNRC to hear 1/22, 3 p.m.
HB 1216 – (Rep’s Kerzman, DeKrey, Froelich; Senator Lyson) – Would change the structure of the nonresident small game license from two 7-day periods to three 5-day periods. HNRC to hear 1/23, 10:30 a.m.
HB 1217 – (Rep’s Kerzman, Froelich, Hanson, Porter; Sen’s Krauter, Lyson, Wanzek) – Would make it illegal to hunt unharvested oilseed crops (sunflower, safflower, rapeseed or canola, crambe and flax) without permission of the owner or tenant. HNRC to hear 1/22, 10 a.m.
HB 1227 – (Rep’s Headland, Damschen, Porter; Sen’s Erbele, Hogue) – Would provide an online hunter education course for individuals ages 18 and older; allows 12 year olds to hunt deer for one season before turning age 14; eliminates the fee for a habitat restoration stamp and the fee for doe licenses for residents under age 16; establishes a provisional license for individuals over age 18 that entitles them to hunt for free during any two seasons for which licenses are not issued by lottery; and provides $60,000 to Game and Fish for youth hunting programs. Referred to HNRC.
HB 1239 – (Rep’s Hofstad, S. Meyer, Porter; Sen’s Heckaman, Oehlke) – Clarifies that only the owner, or an individual authorized by the owner, may post land. Also defines the standard for the conviction of this offense. HNRC to hear 1/22, 9:30 a.m.
HB 1240 – (Rep’s Hofstad, Hanson, Porter; Sen’s Hogue, Oehlke) – Would change agricultural exemption from licensure for guides and outfitters. HNRC to hear 1/22, 11 a.m.
HB 1246 – (Rep’s Amerman, J. Kelsh, Kempenich; Sen’s Dotzenrod, Lyson) – Would change the structure of the nonresident small game license by making it valid for up to 14 days in periods of at least three consecutive days each. HNRC to hear 1/23, 10 a.m.
HB 1248 – (Rep’s S. Meyer, DeKrey, Delmore, Hanson, Hofstad; Senator Hogue) – Would allow an individual fishing from shore to use up to four poles. HNRC to hear 1/22, 3:30 p.m.
HB 1379 – (Rep’s Onstad, Hatlestad; Senator Warner) – Would appropriate $1.7 million out of the general fund in the state treasury to the Game and Fish Department for constucting a paved roadway and boat ramp near the marina at Arrowhead Point near New Town. HNRC to hear 1/23, 11 a.m.
HCR 3007 – (Rep’s Porter, Carlson, Damschen, Hanson; Sen’s Stenehjem, Hogue) – A concurrent resolution urging Congress to amend federal law to allow North Dakota resident sharpshooters to take elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. HNRC to hear 1/22, 2:30 p.m.
SB 2068 – (Senator Behm) – Would replace the social security number with a distinguishing number for a Game and Fish license applicant. SNRC to hear 1/15, 9 a.m.
SB 2146 – (Transportation Committee at the request of the State Treasurer) – Would change the date of payment of state gas tax to the Game and Fish Department from July 1 to any date in July. Senate Transportation Committee to hear 1/16, 9:30 a.m., Lewis and Clark Room.
SB 2165 – (Sen’s Krauter, Lyson; Rep’s Damschen, DeKrey, Kerzman, Nottestad) – Would allow individuals who have not taken the hunter education course to be issued an apprentice hunter validation, entitling them to hunt small game and deer for only one license year in a lifetime. SNRC to hear 1/15, 9:30 a.m.
SB 2189 – (Senator Hogue; Rep’s DeKrey, Hofstad, Porter, Ruby) – Would require a resident to purchase a small game license at age 18 instead of 16, and eliminates license fees for residents under age 18. Referred to SNRC.

Failed/Withdrawn

HB 1260 – (Rep’s S. Meyer, Damschen, DeKrey, Hanson) – Would have made it illegal for a person to use a bow with an axle-to-axle length under 30 inches. Withdrawn from consideration.

 

more problems with the snow

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Near-record early winter snowfall over much of North Dakota is generating public and state Game and Fish Department concerns regarding the state’s fishing waters. Winter anglers are having a tough time getting on or moving around on many lakes, and Game and Fish biologists may have to alter plans for winter lake work, according to Greg Power, department fisheries division chief.

In addition, department biologists are also worried about the potential for low oxygen levels in many lakes because of heavy snowpack.

Game and Fish does not have the equipment resources to maintain access to lakes in winter, Power said. Even agency fisheries biologists will likely have to do their winter monitoring work via snowmobile on loan from other divisions. “This year, even if we could help with access points on a few lakes, people would have difficulty getting around,” Power said.

In many cases, Power added, local individuals or groups pitch in to try to keep access points open. In particular, Devils Lake has an active local effort to plow select areas so people can get vehicles on the lake.

“It’s just hard this year,” Power acknowledged. “Every time the wind blows it plugs up areas that had been open.”

This winter’s snow pack is double trouble because it also will likely lead to some fish kills, Power said. “As in the past during tough winters, we will undoubtedly lose some lakes to winterkill, but it’s just too early to predict which lakes and how many may be impacted,” he said.

Similar conditions have not existed since the winter of 1996-97. To compare the two at this point is difficult. “We are just getting into the heart of winter,” Power said. “Who knows what the next couple months will bring.”

Game and Fish biologists have studied and experimented with ways to avoid or reduce winterkill for decades. These projects have included winter aeration systems and clearing snow from the ice in an effort to enhance oxygen in the water. Because of inconclusive findings and safety concerns, Game and Fish no longer operates any aeration systems, and snow removal experiments were phased out in the 1970s.

In spite of the rough conditions so far this winter, Power said there is a potential upside. “A good snow pack may lead to a decent spring runoff event,” he added. “If this occurs, the department will be prepared to restock any winterkill lakes, and with more water in those lakes, habitat conditions will greatly improve which will lead to longer term sustainability of those lakes.”

 

snow cancel

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I just got off the horn with Jay Holm from the Barnes County Wildlife Federation, they cancelled their Saturday ice fishing derby due to all the snow on the ice. Not so much because it would to hard to get out there…but..what happens is the weight of the ice sinks the ice and water floods/slushes the area. Not a good thing. So it’s not just basketball/wrestling and school activities getting knocked around. One last note, Thursday night is the BCWF longest rooster tail contest.

empty

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My son was ‘sure’ we would catch a rabbit…but this morning it looks empty. Havent told him…yet. My hunch is rabbits at -30 are holding tight out of the snow and cold in a little state computers call, ‘standby’

rabbit trapping

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As you can see from the photo, my son and I have decided we’ll give rabbit trapping a try this winter. I grew up on the trap line with my dad, and have fond memories of tumbling down the field edges and praire trails of LaMoure and Dickey County. Back then dad made money–or at least broke even–and now unless I could get into some bobcats making money on the trapline is difficult. Saturday he baited it with a few twigs–he knows what rabbits have to chew on in the winter. But the ol’trapper Grampa Leier was here for his birthday and advised young trapper Joe that some carrots might be even better.

So we’ll see if a few carrots in the live trap are enough to get my just turned 7 year old into a a trapper. 

After setting the trap today, he was chomping at the bit before he went to bed to go check it. I convinced him we’ll wait until morning. 

Monday legislative update

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many more bills on the docket

HB 1017 – (Appropriations Committee at the request of the Governor) – Appropriates $59,566,703 for the Game and Fish Department for the biennium beginning July 1, 2009, and ending June 30, 2011. House Appropriations Committee to hear 1/14, 9 a.m., Roughrider Room.

HB 1045 – (Legislative Council) – Would continue the prohibition of severance of hunting rights from the surface estate. HNRC to hear 1/15, 9 a.m.

HB 1076 – (Representative DeKrey) – Would prohibit an individual from applying for a license to hunt big game, small game or furbearers who is barred by state or federal law from possessing a firearm. HNRC to hear 1/15, 10 a.m.

HB 1110 – (Agriculture Committee) – Would prohibit an individual from engaging, sponsoring, assisting or profiting from the release, hunting or trapping of feral swine. House Agriculture Committee to hear 1/15, 9:45 a.m., Peace Garden Room.

HB 1125 – (Natural Resources Committee at the request of the Agriculture Commissioner) – Clarifies the current law permitting federal Wildlife Services to control furbearers and deer in cooperation with the North Dakota Agiculture Commissioner and the Game and Fish Director. HNRC to hear 1/15, 2 p.m.

HB 1167 – (Rep’s Delzer, Nottestad, Weiler; Sen’s Freborg, Fischer) – Would allow 13 year olds to participate in the youth deer season if they turn 14 by the opening day of the November deer gun season. Currently, youth must be 14 by the opening day of the youth hunting season. HNRC to hear 1/15, 11 a.m.

HB 1188 – (Rep’s Porter, Damschen, DeKrey, Hanson; Sen’s Hogue, Lyson) – Increases the penalty for some individuals with multiple Game and Fish offenses. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1210 – (Rep’s Hanson, Gruchalla, Mueller, Porter; Sen’s Fischer, Freborg) – Would prohibit the use of state and federal funds to regulate any enclosed big game or farmed elk facilities. Referred to House Agriculture Committee.

HB 1211 – (Rep’s Hanson, Gruchalla, Mueller, Porter; Sen’s Fischer, Freborg) – Would require the address or telephone number in addition to the name on all posting signs. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1216 – (Rep’s Kerzman, DeKrey, Froelich; Senator Lyson) – Would change the structure of the nonresident small game license from two 7-day periods to three 5-day periods. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1217 – (Rep’s Kerzman, Froelich, Hanson, Porter; Sen’s Krauter, Lyson, Wanzek) – Would make it illegal to hunt unharvested oilseed crops (sunflower, safflower, rapeseed or canola, crambe and flax) without permission of the owner or tenant. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1227 – (Rep’s Headland, Damschen, Porter; Sen’s Erbele, Hogue) – Would provide an online hunter education course for individuals ages 18 and older; allows 12 year olds to hunt deer for one season before turning age 14; eliminates the fee for a habitat restoration stamp and the fee for doe licenses for residents under age 16; establishes a provisional license for individuals over age 18 that entitles them to hunt for free during any two seasons for which licenses are not issued by lottery; and provides $60,000 to Game and Fish for youth hunting programs. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1239 – (Rep’s Hofstad, S. Meyer, Porter; Sen’s Heckaman, Oehlke) – Clarifies that only the owner, or an individual authorized by the owner, may post land. Also defines the standard for the conviction of this offense. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1240 – (Rep’s Hofstad, Hanson, Porter; Sen’s Hogue, Oehlke) – Would change agricultural exemption from licensure for guides and outfitters. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1246 – (Rep’s Amerman, J. Kelsh, Kempenich; Sen’s Dotzenrod, Lyson) – Would change the structure of the nonresident small game license by making it valid for up to 14 days in periods of at least three consecutive days each. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1248 – (Rep’s S. Meyer, DeKrey, Delmore, Hanson, Hofstad; Senator Hogue) – Would allow an individual fishing from shore to use up to four poles. Referred to HNRC.

HB 1260 – (Rep’s S. Meyer, Damschen, DeKrey, Hanson) – Would make it illegal for a person to use a bow with an axle-to-axle length under 30 inches. Referred to HNRC.

HCR 3007 – (Rep’s Porter, Carlson, Damschen, Hanson; Sen’s Stenehjem, Hogue) – A concurrent resolution urging Congress to amend federal law to allow North Dakota resident sharpshooters to take elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Referred to HNRC.

SB 2068 – (Senator Behm) – Would replace the social security number with a distinguishing number for a Game and Fish license applicant. SNRC to hear 1/15, 9 a.m.

SB 2146 – (Transportation Committee at the request of the State Treasurer) – Would change the date of payment of state gas tax to the Game and Fish Department from July 1 to any date in July. Senate Transportation Committee to hear 1/16, 9:30 a.m., Lewis and Clark Room.

SB 2165 – (Sen’s Krauter, Lyson; Rep’s Damschen, DeKrey, Kerzman, Nottestad) – Would allow individuals who have not taken the hunter education course to be issued an apprentice hunter validation, entitling them to hunt small game and deer for only one license year in a lifetime. SNRC to hear 1/15, 9:30 a.m.

SB 2189 – (Senator Hogue; Rep’s DeKrey, Hofstad, Porter, Ruby) – Would require a resident to purchase a small game license at age 18 instead of 16, and eliminates license fees for residents under age 18. Referred to SNRC.

feeding frenzy

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I took part of Sunday to get out in the middle of it- after celebrating 2 kids birthday’s this weekend which was preceded by an entire 2 week hitch with everyone but me on antibiotics –it hadnt been a real happy new year. I was reminded with the pending storm how much we can learn from the critters. Sunday afternoon was a buzz of feeding activity with the forecast calling for PM blizzard blowing in from Canada.It was like the grocery store of wildlife and all checkout lanes were full.

 I kind of laughed to myself wondering, "where were all these pheasants 3 weeks ago?" It just goes to show even if we don’t seem them it doesn’t mean they aren’t here. As the next barage of winter peppers us I’m feeling like a boxer just getting punched and punched. Let’s hope we get saved by the bell here pretty soon.