As a hunter and user of wildlife management area’s I’m glad to see some of these practices like paintball removed from accepted use.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department regulations governing public use of the state’s wildlife management areas have been amended effective immediately. The change involves tree stands, paintballing and geocaching.
Scott Peterson, wildlife resource section supervisor, said the Game and Fish Department periodically reviews public use regulations and modifies as needed. “We present the proposed changes to the public to gather input, and the state legislature’s administrative rules committee grants final approval,” Peterson said.
The deadline to remove tree stands from WMAs has been extended three weeks to Jan. 31. Peterson said extending the archery season has allowed archers to hunt WMAs later into January than in previous years. “This left very little time for archers to remove tree stands,” Peterson said. “We thought it was prudent to give hunters more time to remove tree stands.”
In addition, tree stands left unattended on WMAs require an identification tag displaying the owner’s name, address and telephone number. “The reason for this is two-fold,” Peterson said. “First, it allows us to contact the owner of a tree stand if a conflict should arise, and second, we believe this will deter theft of tree stands on public land.”
Paintball and geocaching activities on WMAs are now prohibited. “While these types of activities may not always create a significant impact to an individual WMA, they do create a considerable amount of unnecessary disturbance to both wildlife and wildlife habitat,” Peterson said. “They also have the potential to create competition with hunters and anglers who help pay for managing WMAs.”
A complete list of the WMA regulations is available by contacting the Game and Fish Department at (701) 328-6300, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. WMA use regulations are also available on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.