Tag Archives: ducks

late winter arrival?

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On the way to church this morning seeing the lessser Canada’s hanging on open water around the first week of November my wife asked out of the blue, “could this mean a late winter?” The short answer is “who knows” but it did get me thinking that with the exception to the SW storm of early October we’re still in ‘fall’ 50s the last couple days (and windy!) but the ever unreliable 10 day forecast looks more like longer fall than early winter. So duck and goose hunters are still enjoying the slow, methodical migration of birds from Canada into North Dakota.

The farmers, hunters and hearty Dakotan’s wouldn’t mind it. Snowmobilers, ice fisherman and snow blower salesmen. They’d like winter NOW. They can wait :) enjoy your Sunday!

yes it’s roosters, ducks and geese

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But today also marks the opening of the 2013 North Dakota bighorn sheep season, tomorrow mink, muskrat and weasel trapping opens as well. About the only thing we’re waiting for is the deer gun season which opens 2 weeks from today at 12noon. With all the activity in the field please be safe. It’s not just hunting, but farmers/ranchers are busy as well. Which reminds me, the roads havent dried out much in the last 5 days. If you don’t have to travel down a muddy, soft township road.  Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Park and walk.

 

 

a little migration information

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So far we’ve not had the BIG push of birds through North Dakota. Some years by later October an Alberta Clipper cranks up and the snow,  wind and freezing temps virtually begin and end the bulk of the best duck and goose hunting. Not the case so far in 2013. I’m still hearing reports of birds in Stonewall, Manitoba and snow geese down to the North Dakota Hwy. 200 corridor . I could type for hours on what may, can or could occur in the next 48-72 hours. But the fact is any reports are old by the time they hit my keyboard. That’s how rapidly things change in late October. The good news is the migration has been more influence by shortening of day’s than extreme weather conditions and should help lengthen the peak migration and hunting opportunities. Across the area some scouting should produce.

roosters, ducks and deer this weekend

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Mid-October traditionally is high time for hunters with about every season imaginable OPEN-the exception is deer gun-and weather and field conditions typically overlap peak duck & goose migration along with optimal rooster chasing not to mention the build up of archery deer hunting. My point? Lots of field activity.
But unlike last year. This fall is wet. Across North Dakota I’m not sure if anyone is praying for a 1/2 inch of rain (or snow for that matter) but the prairie trails and backroads are soft, muddy and won’t be drying out anytime soon.
Trust me I know and see all the farm, energy and school bus traffic across the state. But my job is to let hunters & anglers know we don’t want to be the ones stuck off the edge of an approach looking for a toe rope and tractor to get you out.
Steer clear, park on the hard surface and just don’t be that guy. Enjoy your weekend outdoors

waterfowl migration update

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It’s more difficult than usual to get a feel for the waterfowl migration. The weekend storm was HUGE in the SW and central portions of ND moving out the local ducks & geese, it’ll take awhile for the migration to fill in. Beyond that the federal government shut down means the usual Fish and Wildlife Service info from all the refuges in northern tier of North Dakota are non-existent. So if you have anything to report post it up or shoot an email: outdoorslive@gmail.com

waterfowl questions

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With the non-resident opener today in North Dakota I’ve had a number of questions on legal transportation requirements. Here it is:

 

Transportation and Storage

License holders must accompany their game, or parts thereof, during transportation. Except for legally gifted game, it is illegal to possess or transport another’s game, or parts thereof, without the license holder accompanying or as otherwise permitted. No resident of the state may ship game, or parts thereof, out of state without a permit from the Department. A nonresident licensee may arrange shipment of, or personally transport, his/her game from this state. Game may be shipped by common carrier in receipt of proper bill of lading.

No person shall leave or store any game birds at any place other than that person’s legal residence unless each piece of game is tagged with the owner’s signature and address, date taken, number and species of game, and license number of the person who harvested the game.

Game may be gifted to another, however, nothing allows a person to exceed a daily limit. Any gifted game to be transported must be tagged with the above information and display sex and species identification as required. Termination of possession can only be accomplished by: (1) Gifting of legally harvested game, (2) by consuming the game.

No one may possess, store, transport or ship at any one time more than a possession limit of migratory game birds. No person shall ship migratory game birds unless the package is marked on the outside with: (1) the name and address of the person sending the birds, (2) the name and address of the person to whom the birds are being sent, and (3) the number of each species contained in the package. No person shall put or leave any game birds at any place unless the birds are tagged by the hunter with the following information: the hunter’s signature and address, date taken, number and species of such birds, and small game or waterfowl license number. The above tag is required if the birds have been left by the hunter for cleaning, storage (including temporary storage), shipment or taxidermy services. No person shall transport migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are tagged as required. Passengers in a vehicle that is transporting their birds are not required to tag their birds.

and the full link:

http://www.gf.nd.gov/regulations-hunting-fishing-etc/waterfowl-hunting-guide#transport

weekend waterfowl forecast

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

Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird biologist, said the northwest has a record number of wetlands, while the rest of the state has wetland numbers similar to the 2003-12 average.

“Most areas are wetter than last year, with poorest conditions in the southern half of the state,” Szymanski said.

Much of the state has received significant rainfall in the last few weeks, while other areas remain dry. 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.

 

non-resident waterfowl regulations

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State law restricts nonresident waterfowl hunters to zones (exception – statewide license) and specified days. For waterfowl hunting a nonresident may choose either option (1) hunting in zone 3 only for 14 consecutive days or for two 7-consecutive-day periods; (2) hunting in zones 1 or 2 for 7 consecutive days and also hunting in zone 3 for 7 consecutive days – either back-to-back or split; (3) choosing either zones 1 or 2 and also selecting zone 3 for the same 7-day time period; or (4) purchasing the statewide license which allows statewide hunting for 14 consecutive days or for two 7-consecutive-day periods. Nonresidents may purchase only one waterfowl license per year.

waterfowl regulations

http://gf.nd.gov/regulations-hunting-fishing-etc/waterfowl-hunting-guide#eligibility

 

fall wetland conditions in good shape

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

 

Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird biologist, said the northwest has a record number of wetlands, while the rest of the state has wetland numbers similar to the 2003-12 average.

 

“Most areas are wetter than last year, with poorest conditions in the southern half of the state,” Szymanski said.

 

Much of the state has received significant rainfall in the last few weeks, while other areas remain dry. 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.

waterfowl numbers for the 2013 opener

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North Dakota’s 2013 fall duck flight is expected to be down significantly from last year, but still similar to the good fall flights of 2007-11.

Mike Johnson, game management section leader for the State Game and Fish Department, said the fall flight estimate is a combination of the spring breeding duck survey and the summer brood survey.

Results from the breeding duck survey in May indicated the duck index was down 17 percent from 2012, but still exceeded the long-term average by 73 percent.
May water conditions were up 17 percent from 2012 and 12 percent above the long-term average.

The mid-July waterfowl production survey indicated a duck brood index that was down 48 percent from 2012, but still 27 percent above the long-term average. Average brood size was 7.2 ducklings, up 0.3 from last year. The long term average is 7.1 ducklings per brood.

The water index in mid-July was up 60 percent from last year and 67 percent above the long-term average.

The index does not count every water body or duckling in the state. Instead, biologists sample representative transects across the state each year. Over time, survey results provide biologists with trend information that allows annual comparisons of waterfowl production in the state.