watch out for deer this time of year

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , ,

Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways, especially this time of year, because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges.

October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents. Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways. Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around.

Motorists should be aware of warning signs signaling deer are in the area. When you see one deer cross the road, look for a second or third deer to follow. Also, pay attention on roadways posted with Deer Crossing Area caution signs.

Deer-vehicle accidents are at times unavoidable. If an accident does happen, motorists are reminded that a law passed by the 2013 state legislature eliminates the need for the driver involved in an accident to notify law enforcement authorities, if only the vehicle is damaged. Deer-vehicle accidents that involve injury or other property damage still must be reported.

In addition, a permit is still required to take parts or the whole carcass of a road-killed deer. Permits are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement offices.

A few precautions can minimize chances of injury or property damage in a deer-vehicle crash.

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Don’t swerve or take the ditch to avoid hitting a deer. Try to brake as much as possible and stay on the roadway. Don’t lose control of your vehicle or slam into something else to miss the deer. You risk less injury by hitting the deer.
  • If you spot deer ahead, slow down immediately and honk your horn.

2014 bighorn sheep population survey

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , ,

Results from this summer’s bighorn sheep survey indicate the population in western North Dakota is lower than last year.

State Game and Fish Department big game biologist Brett Wiedmann said the July-August survey showed a minimum of 287 bighorn sheep, down 4 percent from 2013. Results revealed 82 rams, 153 ewes and 52 lambs.

Due to an ongoing disease event in the northern badlands, Game and Fish biologists have verified more than 20 bighorn sheep deaths over the summer. Wiedmann said the survey is a tale of two segments of the state’s population. “The four herds in the northern badlands not affected by the die-off increased 28 percent from last year, with the lamb count increasing 46 percent,” Wiedmann said. “However, the eight herds impacted by disease declined 25 percent, with the lamb count declining by 66 percent.”

Although population levels were down markedly in portions of the northern badlands, biologists were pleased to see a slight increase in the southern badlands.

The department’s survey does not include approximately 40 bighorn sheep that live in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Game and Fish wildlife veterinarian Dan Grove said only time will tell how severe the die-off will be. “Mortalities so far have been significant but not yet catastrophic,” Grove said. “However, the outbreak is ongoing, and we have detected a virulent strain of bacteria from biological samples collected from dead bighorns. Consequently, impacts will be more apparent when females and lambs are recounted next March, but the full extent of the outbreak likely will not be realized until the 2015 survey is completed.”

Each summer, Game and Fish Department biologists count and classify all bighorn sheep, a process that takes nearly six weeks to complete as biologists locate each bighorn herd in the badlands by tracking radio-marked animals from an airplane, and then hike into each group to record demographic data using a spotting scope and binoculars. Biologists then complete the annual survey by recounting lambs in March to determine lamb recruitment, or lambs that survive the first winter.

 

last day of youth pheasant hunt

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , ,

North Dakota’s two-day youth pheasant season is Oct. 4-5. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger may hunt roosters statewide.

Resident youth hunters, regardless of age, must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. Nonresident youth hunters from states that provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents qualify for North Dakota resident licenses. Otherwise, nonresident youth hunters must purchase a nonresident small game license.

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Youth ages 12 and older need to have passed a certified hunter education course. The daily bag limit and all other regulations for the regular pheasant season apply.

An adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter in the field. The adult may not carry a firearm.

See the 2014 North Dakota Small Game Hunting Guide for additional information.

have you seen?

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , ,

The 2014 North Dakota pheasant season opens on October 11, 2014 and hunters are likely to find a few more roosters in the fields this fall.

NDGF upland game management supervisor Stan Kohn talks about the upcoming 2014 pheasant season.   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

wetland conditions

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates good to excellent wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout most of the state.

Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird biologist, said the northwest has a near-record number of wetlands, while the rest of the state has wetland numbers similar to, or above the 2003-13 average.

“Most areas have fairly similar conditions compared to last year, with improvements in the central part of the state,” Szymanski said. “Really, we seem to have pretty good numbers of wetlands holding water statewide. The western half of the state is the wettest, but other than a few smaller isolated areas, hunters across the state shouldn’t have issues finding wetlands holding water.”

The western half of the state received significant rainfall in August. Hunters should be cautious driving off-trail to avoid soft spots and areas like tall vegetation that could be a fire hazard.

The quality of waterfowl hunting in North Dakota is predicated on weather conditions and patterns. Szymanski said strong reproduction for ducks in breeding areas both in and outside of North Dakota makes for good fall hunting potential.

“Hunters should always scout because of ever changing conditions and distribution of waterfowl,” Szymanski said.

The wetland survey is conducted in mid-September, just prior to the waterfowl hunting season, to provide an assessment of conditions duck hunters can expect.

PLOTs regulations

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , ,

Out-of-state hunters are reminded that state law does not allow nonresidents to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department owned or managed lands during the first week of the pheasant season.

Private Land Open to Sportsmen acreage and state wildlife management areas are open to hunting by resident hunters only from Oct. 11-17. Nonresidents, however, can still hunt those days on other state-owned and federal lands, or private land.

The law applies to all small game, waterfowl, furbearer and big game hunting on PLOTS and state wildlife management areas during the first seven days of the pheasant season. Starting Oct. 18 this year, nonresidents may hunt on PLOTS and WMAs as long as the appropriate season is open.

In addition, all hunters are reminded that activities such as riding horses for hunting purposes or for pleasure on PLOTS require written permission from the landowner. Permission from the landowner is always required for motorized vehicle access, such as for setting decoys in a field, unless specially designated on the PLOTS sign.

Also, leaving equipment or other provisions in a PLOTS area overnight, for example tree stands or blinds, decoys, firearms and archery equipment, trail cameras, or any type of bait used to attract big game animals, is not allowed without written permission from the landowner.

Jeb Williams named Wildlife Division Chief

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , ,

North Dakota Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand has appointed 15-year department employee Jeb Williams as chief of wildlife. Williams succeeds Randy Kreil, who announced his retirement in August.

“Jeb has a proven track record in all of his capacities with the department,” Steinwand said. “This, along with his communication skills, was a large part in his selection.”

Williams has been the assistant wildlife chief since 2011. He has also held biologist and wildlife resource management supervisor positions.

A native of Beach in Golden Valley County, he has a bachelor’s degree in biology and resource management from Dickinson State University.

2014 North Dakota youth pheasant hunt

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , ,

North Dakota’s two-day youth pheasant season is Oct. 4-5. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger may hunt roosters statewide.

Resident youth hunters, regardless of age, must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. Nonresident youth hunters from states that provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents qualify for North Dakota resident licenses. Otherwise, nonresident youth hunters must purchase a nonresident small game license.

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Youth ages 12 and older need to have passed a certified hunter education course. The daily bag limit and all other regulations for the regular pheasant season apply.

An adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter in the field. The adult may not carry a firearm.

See the 2014 North Dakota Small Game Hunting Guide for additional information.

2014 waterfowl season opener

0
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , ,

North Dakota’s 2014 waterfowl season has been set, with noteworthy changes including a daily bag of one canvasback during the season, and an additional two blue-winged teal during the first 16 days of the season.

Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 27 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Oct. 4. The season for swans opens Oct. 4 for both residents and nonresidents.

Hunters may take six ducks per day with the following restrictions: five mallards of which two may be hens, three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two pintails and one canvasback. An additional two blue-winged teal can be taken from Sept. 27 through Oct. 12. The daily limit of five mergansers may include no more than two hooded mergansers. For ducks and mergansers, the possession limit is three times the daily limit.

The hunting season for Canada geese in the Missouri River zone will close Jan. 2, 2015, while the remainder of the state will close Dec. 25. The season for whitefronts closes Dec. 7, while the season on light geese is open through Jan. 4, 2015. Shooting hours for all geese are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 1. Beginning Nov. 2, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.

Extended shooting hours for all geese are permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on Saturdays and Wednesdays through Nov. 26, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from Nov. 29 through the end of each season.

The bag limit for Canada geese during the regular season is eight daily and 24 in possession, except in the Missouri River zone where the limit is five daily and 15 in possession.

The daily limit on whitefronts is two with six in possession, and light goose is 50 daily, with no possession limit.

Nonresidents have the option of buying either a statewide waterfowl license or one with zone restrictions. Nonresidents who designate zones 1 or 2 may hunt that zone for only one seven-day period during the season. Nonresident hunters who chose to hunt in zone 1 or 2 and wish to use the full 14 consecutive days allowed, must use the other seven days in zone 3. Hunters in zone 3 can hunt that zone the entire 14 days.

In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 11-17.

All migratory bird hunters, including waterfowl, must register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters purchasing a license from the Game and Fish Department can easily get a HIP number. Otherwise, hunters must call 888-634-4798, or log on to the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov, provide the registration information, and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who HIP registered to hunt this spring’s light goose season or early fall Canada goose season do not have to register again, as it is required only once per year.

Hunters should refer to the 2014 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide for further details on the waterfowl season. Paper copies will be at license vendors in early September.

have you seen?

0
Filed under Uncategorized

As hunting seasons continue to open and more and more activity is taking place in the field, safe hunting must always remain a priority.This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online athttp://gf.nd.gov. NDGF hunter education coordinator John Mazur gives somehunting safety tips.  Click here to Watch!  or http://gf.nd.gov/publications/television/outdoors-online-webcast