This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov. North Dakota Game and Fish fisheries production and development section leader Jerry Weigel talks about fishing information, stocking reports and maps available on the Department website. To view some of the maps and available information click here or http://gf.nd.gov/fishing. When you’re done Click here to Watch!
This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov. North Dakota Game and Fish wildlife division chief Jeb Williams explains why there will be no Bighorn Sheep season this year and then gives a preview of the Moose and Elk seasons. Click here to Watch! And to read more in depth information about bighorn sheep in North Dakota click here as well.
Wildlife, shooting, fraternal and nonprofit civil organizations are urged to submit an application for the Encouraging Tomorrow’s Hunters program, a State Game and Fish Department grant program developed to assist recruitment of the next generation of hunters and shooters.
The maximum grant allowed is $3,000. The program currently helps fund approximately 40 club and organizational events and projects, with an average grant of $1,550.
Grant funds help cover event expenses, including promotional printing; event memorabilia such as shirts, caps or vests; ammunition and targets, and eye and ear protection.
Past funding has enabled several groups to conduct youth pheasant and waterfowl hunts, while others have sponsored trap and other shooting events, including archery and rifle shooting.
Any club or organization interested in conducting a youth hunting or shooting event can get more information, including a grant application, from the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or by contacting outreach biologist Pat Lothspeich at 701-328-6332.
The deadline to apply for a 2015 grant is April 19.
The February issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine has a review of the 2014 year from the Enforcement Division. Game and Fish wildlife division chief Jeb Williams explains the latest on the North Dakota bighorn sheep population and the considerations for closing the 2015 season. Plus a look at the Devils Lake walleye population. Check these stories and more for free in the full February issue available right here: or here
Anglers have until mid-March to remove permanent fish houses from North Dakota waters, and from any state wildlife management area or federal refuge land.
State law requires permanent fish houses must be removed from North Dakota waters by midnight March 15. In addition, it is illegal to leave fish houses on any state-owned or managed land, and federal refuge land, after March 15.
Anglers are advised to use caution while accessing area lakes because mild weather conditions can quickly result in unstable ice conditions.
Fish houses may be used after March 15 if they are removed daily.
North Dakota’s elk and moose hunting seasons are set with more licenses available in 2015 than last year. However, the bighorn sheep hunting season will be closed for the first time since 1983.
A total of 301 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, an increase of 40 from last year. Unit E1 has an additional 15 any-elk and 15 antlerless licenses, and unit E3 has an increase of 10 antlerless licenses. In addition, the split season antlerless elk only portion of E1 is eliminated to provide additional hunting opportunity and address late-season depredation issues.
A total of 131 moose licenses are available in 2015, an increase of 20 from 2014. Units M9 and M10 have more licenses than last year due to high cow survival and calf recruitment. Hunting units M1C and M4 will remain closed due to a continued downward trend in moose numbers in the northeastern part of the state.
The bighorn sheep hunting season is closed this year due to significant sheep mortality in 2014 caused by bacterial pneumonia. North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife chief Jeb Williams said an intensive search during last year’s rut revealed a majority of mature rams in the badlands were among the sheep lost to disease. “The summer 2015 survey will provide more information as to when Game and Fish may be able to re-establish a sheep season,” Williams said.
Online applications will be available March 6 by visiting the Game and Fish Department’s website,gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will be on the website for printing, and at license vendors the week ofMarch 9. The deadline for applying is March 25.
Elk and moose lottery licenses are issued as once-in-a-lifetime licenses in North Dakota. Hunters who have received a license through the lottery in the past are not eligible to apply for that species again.
Anglers are reminded that North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season closes March 15.
Individuals who would still like to get out for the first time this year must register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Registration is available through the department’s website,gf.nd.gov, or through any Game and Fish Department office.
March 15 is also the deadline for anglers to remove permanent fish houses from state waters.
A total of 700 licenses remain in nine units. The governor’s proclamation allows a maximum of two licenses, and hunters who did not apply in the first drawing are also eligible.
Licenses remain in unit 06, Bowman County; unit 13, Dunn County; unit 19, Grant and Sioux counties and portions of Morton County; unit 25 McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward Counties; unit 31, Mountrail County; unit 45, Stark County; unit 47, Eddy, Foster, Kidder, Sheridan, Stutsman and Wells counties; unit 51, Burke County and portions of Renville, Bottineau and Ward counties; and unit 99, Mercer and Oliver counties.
Licenses are issued on a first-come, first-served basis beginning March 18. Applicants can apply online, or print an application to mail at the Game and Fish website. In addition, applications can be requested by calling 701-328-6300. Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply.
The spring turkey season opens April 11 and continues through May 17.
Boat owners purchasing watercraft from private individuals this winter are reminded to register it in their name with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Registering a used watercraft purchased from an individual must include proof of transfer of ownership, such as a photocopy of the previous owner’s registration card, a canceled check or a signed note from the previous owner stating transfer of ownership.
The prorated price to register motorboats under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, is $12, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length, $24, and motorboats at least 20 feet in length, $30.
The current three-year boat registration cycle runs through Dec. 31, 2016.
In addition, boat owners who need to renew their registration can renew online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, by clicking the online services link, and “watercraft registration and renewals” under the watercraft heading.
Also, anyone buying a new or used watercraft can register online and generate a 10-day temporary permit that is valid until the registration is processed
Regulations require the boat number to be in contrasting color to the hull in plain vertical block letters at least 3 inches in height, excluding any border, trim, outlining or shading, and must be maintained in a legible condition so the number is clearly visible in daylight hours. The number must read from left to right, and groups of numbers and letters must be separated by a space or hyphen equivalent in width to the letter “M.”
In addition, a validation sticker issued by the Game and Fish Department must be displayed on the boat within 6 inches of the number toward the rear of the boat. No other numbers should be displayed in this area.