Tag Archives: hunting

weekend snow goose insight

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As a former game warden, biologist and sometimes hunter since the 1999 birth of the spring hunt the best snow goose advice I can give you going into the weekend is use the snowline and your gut as a guide. I’ve put the snow line link in here, but check the date/current conditions as the air temperature will change it daily. While the massive snow/storms caught some birds off guard hunters right now in Dakota are looking for the belly of the migration and it stands to be on the South Dakota side of of the border as I type this.
Beyond that be prepared to drive and don’t forget to stop, shut off the truck and listen. You never know what you might be missing in the air and on the ground.

Snow goose migration in spring tends to occur farther east than in the fall. Birds generally arrive in the southeastern corner of the state and spread north and northwest through the Valley City, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Rugby and Kenmare areas. However, scattered flocks may be found anywhere in the state during spring.

Birds normally move through the state quickly, their arrival and stay depending on weather and availability of open water and food.

Spring snow melt progression.

Light Goose Hotline Provides Migration Updates

Migration updates available at 701-328-3697, until season ends or geese have left the state.

snow goose migration update

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While most of the migration appears to remain south, large numbers of snow geese could be on the move into the state this weekend with temperatures to be in the 60s on Saturday. Snow geese have been observed in North Dakota mainly in the southeastern and south central portions of the state.

 

 

Some Notes on the Spring Migration Route

Snow goose migration in spring tends to occur farther east than in the fall. Birds generally arrive in the southeastern corner of the state and spread north and northwest through the Valley City, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Rugby and Kenmare areas. However, scattered flocks may be found anywhere in the state during spring.

Birds normally move through the state quickly, their arrival and stay depending on weather and availability of open water and food.

Spring snow melt progression.

Light Goose Hotline Provides Migration Updates

Migration updates available at 701-328-3697, until season ends or geese have left the state.

time is running out

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The 2014 big three applications close at midnight Dec 26! North Dakota’s 2014 bighorn sheep, elk and moose proclamation is finalized and most season information is the same as last year.

The bighorn sheep season will have five licenses available, one more than last year. Licenses in Unit B1 increased from one to two due to skewed male-female ratios caused by declining numbers of females. Unit B2, which was created to prevent overharvest of Sully Creek rams, has been immersed into B1 due to low numbers in the area. Similar to last year, collared rams may not be harvested in Unit B3. The season length has been extended to two months, and the new opening date corresponds with the peak of the rut to improve prospects of finding mature rams.

A total of 261 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, the same as in 2013. A total of 937 elk – including 701 adult cows – were taken out of the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park during the National Park Service’s reduction effort from 2010-2012. In addition, an estimated 363 elk were taken by licensed hunters in E3 and E4, reducing the number of elk in the park to below 200. Therefore, the number of elk licenses in units E3 and E4 will remain the same as last year.

A total of 111 moose licenses are available in 2014, the same as last year. Hunting units M1C and M4 will remain closed due to a continued downward trend in moose numbers in the northeastern part of the state.

Online applications are available by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will be available on the website for printing, and at license vendors the week of March 10. The deadline for applying is March 26.

The application fee for moose, elk and bighorn sheep has increased from $3 to $5 for each species, as part of the license fee increase bill passed by the 2013 state legislature. For those who are fortunate enough to draw a license, the fee has increased from $20 to $30.

Bighorn sheep, moose and elk 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.

ground conditions are changing

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Anglers and hunters are reminded to be wary of ground conditions when traveling to and from a favorite fishery or hunting location.

Greg Power, fisheries chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said with fishing good statewide, many anglers are taking advantage of late-season ice and early-season shore fishing.

“However, travel can be difficult this time of year with the soft conditions,” Power said. “We urge anglers to use common sense when conditions are likely to cause problems with township roads and access points.”

Wildlife chief Randy Kreil said spring snow goose and turkey hunters are encouraged to maintain positive landowner/hunter relations. “We ask hunters to be cognizant of these conditions,” Kreil said. “Driving on soft, muddy roads and trails is strongly discouraged.”

Hunters are advised to seek permission before attempting any off-road travel on private land.

landowner meetings

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department invites landowners to attend upcoming informational sessions about private land conservation program opportunities.

 

The sessions coincide with each of the eight district advisory board meetings scheduled around the state starting the week of March 31-April 4.

 

Starting at 6 p.m. before each advisory meeting, Game and Fish representatives, along with other partners, will discuss various conservation program options for producers, including what the Private Land Open to Sportsmen or PLOTS program can do for their land. Following a 15-minute presentation, biologists and other conservation partners will be available to discuss options one-on-one with landowners.

 

Advisory board meeting dates and locations are listed below. The advisory meetings start at 7 p.m. local time.

 

Landowners who are not able to attend any of the sessions but are interested in further program information can call the Game and Fish Bismarck office at 701-328-6300; or email ndgf@nd.gov.

 

 

 

District 1 

 

Date: March 31

 

Location: Montana Dakota Utilities, Williston

 

 

 

District 7 

 

Date: March 31

 

Location: Wildlife Club House, Turtle Lake   

 

 

 

District 2 

 

Date: April 1  

 

Location: Senior Citizens Center, Makoti

 

 

 

District 4 

 

Date: April 1

 

Location: American Legion Hall, Walhalla

 

 

 

District 5 

 

Date: April 7

 

Location: Auditorium, Finley

 

 

 

District 8 

 

Date: April 7

 

Location: Eagles Club, Dickinson

 

 

 

District 3 

 

Date: April 8

 

Location: Lake Region College, Devils Lake

 

 

 

District 6 

 

Date: April 8

 

Location: VFW, Valley City

 

 

deer management meetings recap

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North Dakota’s 2014 deer seasons will look pretty much the same as in previous years.

Through a series of public meetings and an open comment period that ran through March 17, however, deer hunters have provided a lot of input for the State Game and Fish Department to consider for 2015 and beyond.

“We told people at the meetings that it was very unlikely any major changes would take place this year,” said Game and Fish wildlife chief Randy Kreil. “Aside from some possible adjustments to the total number of deer gun season licenses, we won’t be recommending any changes in season structure or the number of licenses any one deer hunter can have.”

Game and Fish wildlife managers will analyze the hundreds of written and verbal comments received, before deciding whether to pursue changes for 2015.

More than 800 people attended the eight deer meetings held around the state the last two weeks in February. Several hundred additional hunters either watched the final meeting broadcast online, or viewed a recorded version. Game and Fish received about 400 written online comments and many other direct emails and phone calls.

“We expected high interest in this process and the response we got was even above that,” Kreil said. “North Dakota hunters are passionate about our deer hunting tradition. Our long-term hope is that habitat trends will allow us to rebuild the deer population from where it is now to a level that is satisfactory to the deer hunting public. Most people seem willing to make some type of short-term licensing-related changes to help us do that. Because of the great response we’ve had, we have a lot of ideas to evaluate, some of which are new or variations of the current system.”

Game and Fish set up the meetings and public comment process to explore some ideas for changes in deer license allocation the agency has received in recent years, in response to a declining deer population and fewer available licenses. In 2008 Game and Fish allocated nearly 150,000 licenses and in 2013 the total fell to 59,500.

While even at 150,000 licenses not every hunter could get a preferred license in a preferred unit, Kreil said the number of hunters who applied for a gun season license and didn’t get one has increased significantly over the past years.

As with all issues, Game and Fish is open to continuing public input. The general department email address is ndgf@nd.gov; and phone is 701-328-6300

snow goose update

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The bulk of the migration remains south, however reports of huntable numbers of snow geese have been observed moving into parts of south central and south eastern North Dakota. Some geese have even been seen in the central portion of the state.

get HIP certified

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All spring light goose hunters, regardless of age and residency, are reminded that Harvest Information Program registration is required before hunting this spring.

 

The HIP number can be obtained online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website,gf.nd.gov, or by calling 888-634-4798. The HIP number is good for the fall season as well, so spring hunters should save it to record on their fall license. Hunters must HIP register in each state for which they are licensed.

 

For detailed season information, including licensing requirements and regulations, refer to the Game and Fish Department website.

2014 deer season success

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2013 Deer Gun Season Summarized

North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 28,600 deer during the 2013 deer gun hunting season.

The State Game and Fish Department made available 59,500 deer gun licenses in 2013, and more than 98 percent were issued. Overall hunter success was 55 percent, and each hunter spent an average of 4.6 days in the field.

Hunter success for antlered white-tailed deer was 62 percent, and antlerless whitetail was 55 percent.

Mule deer buck success was 82 percent. No mule deer doe licenses were issued in 2013.

Hunters with any-antlered or any-antlerless licenses almost exclusively harvest white-tailed deer. Buck hunters had a success rate of 57 percent, while doe hunters had a success rate of 54 percent.

The department is in the process of determining recommendations for licenses in the 2014 deer proclamation. These recommendations will be discussed at the upcoming spring Game and Fish public advisory board meetings, scheduled for March 31 and April 1, and April 7-8. The proclamation will be sent to the governor’s office for approval in late April.

In addition to harvest rates and winter aerial surveys, the department monitors a number of other population indices to determine license numbers, including depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

spring snow goose update

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As predicted alot changed in the past week. I noted the thin snowcover without much to effort it wouldn’t last long once spring arrived. While snow extended to the South Dakota & Nebraska border it wouldn’t take much to dissolve it. That’s exactly what happened. South Dakota hit 70s and many 60s and 50s across North Dakota. The sun beat the snow in a quick hurry.

Next the birds began to fill into the I90 stretch across South Dakota and scout flocks began filtering into North Dakota late Wednesday into Thursday. I just finished a trip from Bismarck to Fargo and saw nothing to make me think anyone has missed out. But there’s nothing to hold the birds back either. The weather forecast shouldn’t be to much of a factor the next week and if you thought you were caught flat footed, you’ll have a little time to get ready to go. Here’s the snow cover map 

http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/snow_model/images/full/National/nsm_depth/201403/nsm_depth_2014031405_National.jpg