Author Archives: dougleier

this is not an official ND Game & Fish blog. This is from Doug Leier not the NDGF

Twins Lakes boat ramp

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The Twin Lakes boat ramp located 4 miles north of LaMoure is now open for public use after it was closed for several weeks due to reconstruction.

remaining turkey tags

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Fall turkey licenses remain in Unit 25 for hunters who do not have a license, or for those who want additional licenses. Hunters are allowed a maximum of 15 licenses for the fall season.

Unit 25 covers McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties.

Resident and nonresident hunters can apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.

The fall turkey season is open through Jan. 4, 2015.

 

posting & trespass law

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Posting and Trespass

  • Only the owner or tenant, or an individual authorized by the owner, may post land by placing signs giving notice that no hunting is permitted on the land. The name of the person posting the land must appear on each sign in legible characters. The signs must be readable from the outside of the land and must be placed conspicuously not more than 880 yards (one-half mile) apart. As to land entirely enclosed by a fence or other enclosure, posting of signs at or on all gates through the fence or enclosure constitutes a posting of all the enclosed land.
  • Hunting on posted lands without permission from the owner or tenant is illegal and punishable by suspension of hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for a period of at least one year.
  • Hunting on posted lands without permission can be prosecuted even if the land is not posted to the letter of the law.
  • Any person may enter upon legally posted land (without a firearm or bow) to recover game shot or killed on land where he/she had a lawful right to hunt.
  • It is illegal to hunt in unharvested cereal and oilseed crops, including sprouted winter wheat, alfalfa, clover and other grasses grown for seed, without the owner’s consent.
  • It is illegal to deface, take down or destroy posting signs.
  • Failure to close gates upon exit or entry is a criminal violation punishable by forfeiture of hunting licenses.
  • It is illegal to hunt upon the premises of another within 440 yards (onequarter mile) of any occupied building without the consent of the person occupying the building. This does not prohibit hunting on land owned by neighbors (private or public) even if the land is less than 440 yards (onequarter mile) from the occupied building.

have you seen?

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This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov. Friday, Nov. 7 at noon marks the opening of the 2014 regular deer gun season. Game and Fish wildlife division chief Jeb Williams talks about the upcoming deer firearms season.   Click here to Watch! 
http://gf.nd.gov/publications/television/outdoors-online-webcast

 

waterfowl hunting safety

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Waterfowlers hunting from boats are encouraged to wear properly-fitted life jackets while on the water.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department boat and water safety coordinator Nancy Boldt said there are hunting jackets available with life jackets already built in.

“There are no excuses, they are light and comfortable to wear,” Boldt said.

Eight people have drowned in state waters since 1998 while hunting from a boat, and none were wearing life jackets. Boldt wants to make sure a duck hunter doesn’t become another statistic.

“Capsizing and falling overboard from small boats are the most common types of fatal boating accidents for hunters,” Boldt added. “With all the gear in the boat, including dogs, it can quickly become unbalanced.”

In addition, wearing a life jacket will not only keep the overboard hunter afloat, but also slow the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.

keep an eye out for whooping cranes

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Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.

Whoopers stand about five feet tall and have a wingspan of about seven feet from tip to tip. They are bright white with black wing tips, which are visible only when the wings are outspread. In flight they extend their long necks straight forward, while their long, slender legs extend out behind the tail. Whooping cranes typically migrate singly, or in groups of 2-3 birds, and may be associated with sandhill cranes.

Other white birds such as snow geese, swans and egrets are often mistaken for whooping cranes. The most common misidentification is pelicans, because their wingspan is similar and they tuck their pouch in flight, leaving a silhouette similar to a crane when viewed from below.

Anyone sighting whoopers should not disturb them, but record the date, time, location, and the birds’ activity. Observers should also look closely for and report colored bands which may occur on one or both legs. Whooping cranes have been marked with colored leg bands to help determine their identity.

Whooping crane sightings should be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office at Lostwood, 701-848-2466, or Long Lake, 701-387-4397, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, 701-328-6300, or to local game wardens across the state. Reports help biologists locate important whooping crane habitat areas, monitor marked birds, determine survival and population numbers, and identify times and migration routes.

find & verify your deer license

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department urges deer hunters to find their license and check it for accuracy.

Every year the Game and Fish Department’s licensing section receives last-minute inquiries from hunters who can’t find their license. When that happens, it’s difficult to try to get a replacement license in time for the season opener.

Another reason to check the license now is to make sure the unit and species is what was intended.

Deer hunters in need of a replacement license can print out a duplicate (replacement) license application from the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, or can call 701-328-6300 to have an application mailed or faxed.

The form must be completely filled out and notarized, and sent back in to the department with a fee.

 

fall fisheries surveys

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North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are assessing how the cooler-than-normal summer may have impacted fish spawning and stocking success across the state.

Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said it looks like catches varied this year, depending on the lake or fish species. “On a lot of our smaller lakes, we had extremely high catch rates of young-of-the-year fish in some, but disappointing catches in others,” Gangl said. “Overall, though, I’d say we experienced average reproduction and stocking success.”

With good water levels and abundant spawning habitat, Gangl said Lake Sakakawea produced good catches of virtually all young-of-year fish. Walleye were most abundant in the upper and middle sections of the reservoir, he said, with good numbers of perch and pike throughout. “Forage fish are plentiful on Lake Sakakawea this year, and both sonar surveys and anecdotal observations suggest rainbow smelt production was really good in 2014,” Gangl added.

Devils Lake and Stump Lake reported fair to good numbers of young-of-the-year walleye, while yellow perch reproduction was much lower than the strong reproduction year of 2013. “Although walleye natural reproduction was down in 2014, good reproduction in recent years has resulted in an abundance of young walleye in Devils Lake,” Gangl said. “Strong numbers of yearling perch will provide a good source of forage for walleye and other predators.”

According to Gangl, Lake Oahe is starting to show signs of recovery from the flood of 2011. “Although smelt numbers are still very low, reproduction of other forage fish, mostly white bass and crappie, was very good in 2014,” he added. “Young-of-year walleye displayed their highest catch rate since the dominant year class in 2009.”

However, Gangl said the Missouri River isn’t showing such signs of recovery, as catch rates of forage fish and young-of-year game fish remain low upstream from Lake Oahe. Biologists attribute poor production on the river to the massive habitat changes during the 2011 flood. “The flood scoured and changed the river channel so dramatically, it’s going to take a much longer time to recover,” Gangl said. “The productive capacity was taken away. It’s like scraping the topsoil from a field.”

have you seen?

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department website is packed full of information and tools. With the expansion of mobile use, this information is available for many different formats and uses, from your desktop at home to your handheld device in the field. Game and Fish GIS coordinator Brian Hosek talks about the Department’s mapping applications.   Click here to Watch!   This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov.

http://gf.nd.gov/publications/television/outdoors-online-webcast

2014 North Dakota pheasant season preview

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North Dakota’s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August indicates total birds and number of broods are up statewide from 2013.

Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are up 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were up 37 percent, while the average brood size was down 4 percent. The final summary is based on 253 survey runs made along 106 brood routes across North Dakota.

“With the good spring weather for most of the nesting and early brooding period, I suspected a better production year and it looks like it did occur,” Kohn said.

Even though average brood size is down slightly in all districts, Kohn said the number of broods observed will in most cases offset the small decline.

“Late-summer roadside counts indicate pheasant hunters are going to find more pheasants in most parts of the state, with more young roosters showing up in the fall population,” Kohn said.

Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicate total pheasants were up 22 percent and broods observed up 23 percent from 2013. Observers counted 19 broods and 154 birds per 100 survey miles. The average brood size was 5.7.

Results from the southeast show birds are up 2 percent from last year, and the number of broods up 16 percent. Observers counted six broods and 50 birds per 100 miles. The average brood size was 5.4.

Statistics from the northwest indicated pheasants are up 21 percent from last year, with broods up 26 percent. Observers recorded seven broods and 57 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 5.1.

The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat, with much of it lacking good winter cover, showed two broods and 16 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.2. Number of birds observed was up 126 percent, and the number of broods recorded was up 166 percent.

The 2014 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 11 and continues through Jan. 4, 2015.