tracking legislation

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will once again track hunting and fishing issues during the 2015 legislative session.

Interested outdoor enthusiasts can follow proposed outdoors-related bills by logging onto the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.

A brief description of each bill will be included, along with the bill sponsor and hearing schedule. To view each bill in its entirety, click on the hot-linked bill number.

 

late season hunting ending

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North Dakota waterfowl hunters are reminded  duck hunting in the high plains unit  continues through Jan. 4, 2015.

In addition, the season for Canada geese closed Dec. 25, except for the Missouri River Zone, which closes Jan. 2, 2015. Light goose hunting closes statewide Jan. 4, 2015.

Archery deer, fall turkey, sharp-tailed and ruffed grouse, partridge, pheasant and tree squirrel hunting seasons continue through Jan. 4, 2015.

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. NDGF news editor Greg Freeman talks about the Department’s outdoors legislation web page.   Click here to Watch! 

mountain lion season in quota zone is closed

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Mountain lion hunting during the late season in zone 1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season quota of seven was filled after three cats were taken yesterday.

Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.

 

The mountain lion season in zone 2, which is the rest of the state outside zone 1, has no quota and is open through March 31, 2015.

 

6th mountain lion taken

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The 6th mountain lion has been taken in the Zone 1 late season. The late season quota for zone 1 is 7 lions. The Zone 1 late season remains open until the 7th mountain lion is taken, orMarch 31, whichever comes first. In Zone 2, the season is also open through March 31, and there is no harvest quota. More details available here: or http://gf.nd.gov/hunting/ furbearers/mountain-lions

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. NDGF director Terry Steinwand talks about the upcoming 2015 Legislative Session.  Click here to Watch! 

Game and Fish recognizes employee efforts

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North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand recently honored a number of employees with performance-based awards. Steinwand presented the following awards at the department’s annual staff meeting Dec. 11.

Lara Anderson, Bismarck, received the Special Projects award, given to an individual who implemented a successful new project. She was recognized for her efforts with working on the department’s customer portal project, which is designed to simplify record keeping for numerous projects. “Her professional experience and familiarity with databases and programming has been extremely valuable for this task and the overall coordination of the project,” Steinwand said.

Arvid Anderson, Riverdale, received the Solid Foundation award, presented to an employee who demonstrates exemplary work in their field. He was recognized for his willingness to take on additional tasks. “Arvid jumps in and gets it accomplished whenever something unexpected needs to get done,” Steinwand said. “He is a classic example of a dedicated employee.”

Dale Repnow, Bismarck, received the Public Outreach award, presented to an employee for showing a significant effort, ability or accomplishment in interacting with the public while promoting the department’s programs. Repnow was recognized for his professionalism, dedication and efficiency. “Dale is the consummate employee,” Steinwand said. “He is always respectful, courteous and understanding.”

Jim Houston and Tom Crutchfield of Bismarck were presented with the Innovations award, which recognizes staff for implementing a process to improve department goals and objectives. They were recognized for their efforts in improving the quality of the food plots within their district. “Jim and Tom are always willing to work long hours to make sure everything is seeded and sprayed in a timely fashion,” Steinwand said. “The last few years they have transitioned to planting a diverse crop rotation, which has led to many positive public comments.”

Jackie Lundstrom, Bismarck, was named North Dakota’s Boating Officer of the Year. Chief warden Robert Timian said Lundstrom is active with boat patrols, boat ramp checks and boat safety equipment checks. “Warden Lundstrom is skilled in the detection, apprehension and prosecution of boaters who are operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” Timian said. “In addition, she is often called upon to assist in the search for missing or stranded boaters.”

Game and Fish employee of the year

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Brian Hosek, IT section supervisor and GIS coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, received the agency’s Director’s Award for professional excellence during the Department’s annual meeting Dec. 11 in Bismarck.

Terry Steinwand, Game and Fish director, said Hosek produces high quality work on a consistent basis. “Brian’s expertise and creative thinking has led to many practical, efficient and effective advances with the department,” Steinwand said.

Hosek was mentioned for his ability to understand and visualize problems and opportunities, and then develop and integrate the most reasonable approach using the available resources. “He can squeeze out the most effective, cost-efficient and thorough analysis possible,” Steinwand said.

hunter education sign up

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Students interested in taking a hunter education class in 2015 should visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov for a statewide list of courses. Many classes will be added over the next several weeks, and the rest will be added throughout the year as they are finalized.

To register, click on the online services tab, and “online course enrollment” under the hunter education heading. Classes are listed by city, and can also be sorted by start date. To register for a class, click on “enroll” next to the specific class, and follow the simple instructions. Personal information is required.

Those who do not have access to the Internet and want to sign up for a class can call the hunter education program in Bismarck at 701-328-6615.

Individuals interested in receiving a notice by email when each hunter education class is added can click on the “subscribe to news, email and text alerts” link found below the news section on the department’s home page. Check the box labeled “hunter education class notification” under the education program updates.

State law requires anyone born after December 31, 1961 to pass a certified hunter education course to hunt in the state. Hunter education is mandatory for youth who are turning 12 years old, and children can take the class at age 11.

Game and Fish to maintain current deer license system

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The State Game and Fish Department has decided to not implement its proposal to limit deer hunters to only one license for the 2015 season.

 

While it is still months before the 2015 season is set, that means deer hunters will again be able to apply for deer gun and muzzleloader lottery licenses, and also purchase an archery license.

 

Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand said the decision involved several factors, including substantial public input both for and against the proposal, and significant costs needed to put the new system in place.

 

“One of our goals is to increase the deer population statewide, and we can still work toward that under the current system,” Steinwand said.

 

Under the proposal that Game and Fish offered in early November, in 2015 deer hunters who received a lottery deer gun or muzzleloader license, or a gratis license, would not have been able to purchase an additional archery license.

 

Game and Fish drafted the proposal based on public input and comments following eight special deer meetings held in February 2014. The meetings were set up to encourage public input on options for changing the way deer licenses are distributed, because of a significant reduction in the state’s deer population.

 

In 2014 Game and Fish allocated 48,000 deer gun season licenses, compared to more than 140,000 licenses as recently as 2008.

 

In addition, Game and Fish used the recent fall round of district advisory board meetings to further discuss the resulting proposal. “Over the past year,” Steinwand said, “we’ve had a thorough and healthy discussion on the Department’s role in providing opportunity.”

 

For instance, in 2013 about 10,000 hunters had both gun and bow licenses, while just over 20,000 prospective hunters who applied for a gun license did not receive any type of deer license.

 

“This was a social issue more than it was a biological issue,” Steinwand said, “but it is Game and Fish’s responsibility to address how our policies and regulations affect hunters as well as wildlife. We will continue to look at all feasible alternatives for future years that will provide opportunity for the most hunters possible.”