Tag Archives: news

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

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.”

keep an eye out for whooping cranes

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Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.

Whoopers stand about five feet tall and have a wingspan of about seven feet from tip to tip. They are bright white with black wing tips, which are visible only when the wings are outspread. In flight they extend their long necks straight forward, while their long, slender legs extend out behind the tail. Whooping cranes typically migrate singly, or in groups of 2-3 birds, and may be associated with sandhill cranes.

Other white birds such as snow geese, swans and egrets are often mistaken for whooping cranes. The most common misidentification is pelicans, because their wingspan is similar and they tuck their pouch in flight, leaving a silhouette similar to a crane when viewed from below.

Anyone sighting whoopers should not disturb them, but record the date, time, location, and the birds’ activity. Observers should also look closely for and report colored bands which may occur on one or both legs. Whooping cranes have been marked with colored leg bands to help determine their identity.

Whooping crane sightings should be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office at Lostwood, 701-848-2466, or Long Lake, 701-387-4397, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, 701-328-6300, or to local game wardens across the state. Reports help biologists locate important whooping crane habitat areas, monitor marked birds, determine survival and population numbers, and identify times and migration routes.

2014 North Dakota pheasant season preview

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North Dakota’s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August indicates total birds and number of broods are up statewide from 2013.

Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are up 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were up 37 percent, while the average brood size was down 4 percent. The final summary is based on 253 survey runs made along 106 brood routes across North Dakota.

“With the good spring weather for most of the nesting and early brooding period, I suspected a better production year and it looks like it did occur,” Kohn said.

Even though average brood size is down slightly in all districts, Kohn said the number of broods observed will in most cases offset the small decline.

“Late-summer roadside counts indicate pheasant hunters are going to find more pheasants in most parts of the state, with more young roosters showing up in the fall population,” Kohn said.

Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicate total pheasants were up 22 percent and broods observed up 23 percent from 2013. Observers counted 19 broods and 154 birds per 100 survey miles. The average brood size was 5.7.

Results from the southeast show birds are up 2 percent from last year, and the number of broods up 16 percent. Observers counted six broods and 50 birds per 100 miles. The average brood size was 5.4.

Statistics from the northwest indicated pheasants are up 21 percent from last year, with broods up 26 percent. Observers recorded seven broods and 57 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 5.1.

The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat, with much of it lacking good winter cover, showed two broods and 16 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.2. Number of birds observed was up 126 percent, and the number of broods recorded was up 166 percent.

The 2014 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 11 and continues through Jan. 4, 2015.

Sportsmen Against Hunger accepting Canada geese

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North Dakota’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program can now accept donations of Canada geese taken during the regular waterfowl hunting season.

 

Previously, the program could accept snow, blue and Ross’s geese during the regular season, but Canada goose donations were only allowed during the early Canada goose season.

 

This new opportunity for hunters to donate goose meat is part of a two-year pilot program between the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

“In the past couple of years we have heard from many hunters who would like to donate geese taken during the regular season,” said Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand. “We appreciate the Fish and Wildlife Service setting up this pilot program so we can see how well it works.”

 

North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger program coordinator Sarah Hasbargen said the additional donations accepted during this pilot project will be a much-needed increase to food pantries across the state. “We will accept as much as hunters are able to donate,” Hasbargen said, while mentioning donated goose meat must be received no later than the day after the close of the season.

 

Provisions for donating goose meat during the regular season are basically the same as for the early Canada goose season. In addition, hunters can also donate meat from geese that were taken during the early season.

 

Hunters can bring their geese home and clean them prior to delivering meat to a processor, but breast meat brought from home without a wing or head attached to the meat, must be accompanied by written information that includes the hunter’s name, address, signature, hunting license number, date taken and species and number taken.

 

Hunters may also deliver geese directly from the field to a processor, but identification must remain attached to the bird until in possession of the processor. Since no goose carcasses or feathers are allowed inside processing plants, hunters must be able to ensure proper disposal and clean-up of carcasses.

 

The list of participating processors is available on the Game and Fish Department website atgf.nd.gov, and at the NDCAP website, www.capnd.org.

 

Hunters interested in donating are encouraged to call the processor before dropping off geese, to have a clear understanding of how processors will accept goose breasts, and their hours of operation.

 

The North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger is a charitable program that raises money for processing of donated goose and deer meat, and coordinates distribution of donated meat to food pantries in North Dakota. It is administered by the North Dakota Community Action Partnership, a nonprofit agency that serves low-income families across the state.

 

For more information, visit the NDCAP website, or contact Sarah Hasbargen at 701-232-2452.

 

2014 pheasant brood numbers up 30% in North Dakota

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North Dakota’s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August indicates total birds and number of broods are up statewide from 2013.

 

Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are up 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were up 37 percent, while the average brood size was down 4 percent. The final summary is based on 253 survey runs made along 106 brood routes across North Dakota.

 

“With the good spring weather for most of the nesting and early brooding period, I suspected a better production year and it looks like it did occur,” Kohn said.

 

Even though average brood size is down slightly in all districts, Kohn said the number of broods observed will in most cases offset the small decline.

 

“Late-summer roadside counts indicate pheasant hunters are going to find more pheasants in most parts of the state, with more young roosters showing up in the fall population,” Kohn said.

 

Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicate total pheasants were up 22 percent and broods observed up 23 percent from 2013. Observers counted 19 broods and 154 birds per 100 survey miles. The average brood size was 5.7.

 

Results from the southeast show birds are up 2 percent from last year, and the number of broods up 16 percent. Observers counted six broods and 50 birds per 100 miles. The average brood size was 5.4.

 

Statistics from the northwest indicated pheasants are up 21 percent from last year, with broods up 26 percent. Observers recorded seven broods and 57 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 5.1.

 

The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat, with much of it lacking good winter cover, showed two broods and 16 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.2. Number of birds observed was up 126 percent, and the number of broods recorded was up 166 percent.

 

The 2014 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 11 and continues through Jan. 4, 2015. The two-day youth pheasant hunting weekend, when legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger can hunt statewide, is set for Oct. 4-5.

 

Sept 3 fall turkey application deadline

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North Dakota’s fall turkey season is set with 3,805 licenses available to hunters, 215 fewer than last year.

Prospective hunters, including gratis applicants, can apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the State Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will be available by Aug. 22 from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors. The deadline for applying is Sept. 3.

Applications are also accepted at the department’s toll-free licensing line, 800-406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made over the phone.

Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply in the first lottery. Nonresidents can apply for fall turkey licenses that are still available following the first lottery.

An experimental hunting season will continue for the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan. A maximum of 30 licenses will be available. These licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department once a person first obtains a permit from USDA-ARS.

An experimental turkey bow hunting season will continue within the city of Bismarck to help control a growing population of birds in residential areas. A maximum of 25 licenses will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to individuals who are licensed to bow hunt deer within the city. These licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department in Bismarck once a person has a valid city archery permit.

A maximum of 75 turkey licenses are available for a concurrent experimental bow season on the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation land south of Bismarck. Licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department after a person receives an access permit from NDDOCR.

A maximum of 45 turkey licenses will be issued for a concurrent experimental bow season for the city of Fargo and specific surrounding areas. Licenses will be distributed to those licensed to bow hunt deer within the city limits of Fargo, and will be available at the Game and Fish headquarters in Bismarck after a person has received a valid city archery permit.

Hunting units 21 (Hettinger and Adams counties) and 53 (Divide and Williams counties) will remain closed to fall turkey hunting in 2014 because of low turkey numbers.

The fall wild turkey season extends from Oct. 11 through Jan. 4, 2015.

record fishing license sales in North Dakota

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The number of anglers buying fishing licenses in North Dakota continues to increase, as 2013-14 is the second consecutive year a new record for license sales has been established.

 

Statistics compiled by the Game and Fish Department revealed more than 219,000 fishing licenses were sold last year, an increase of 1,000 from 2012-13. A record total of 160,100 resident and 59,300 nonresident fishing licenses were sold last year.

 

In terms of actual individuals participating in fishing, the past year was again record-setting with more than 203,000 active anglers. Ice fishing activity experienced a substantial increase, while open water angler days took a slight dip.

 

A record number of fishing lakes (many at all-time elevations) and aggressive fish management in North Dakota have helped produce record fishing license sales.

 

Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake and Lake Oahe/Missouri River remained the top three fisheries in the state.

deer lottery held

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Deer Lottery Held, Antlerless Licenses Remain

 

North Dakota’s deer gun lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the State Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

 

More than 2,300 antlerless deer gun licenses remain. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the first lottery can apply for remaining licenses.

 

The first lottery application process – deer gun, muzzleloader, youth and landowner – had more than 94,000 applicants, and 46,000 were unsuccessful.

 

An option for unsuccessful applicants to apply online for remaining licenses will be available Aug. 6. Paper applications for remaining licenses will be mailed to individuals Aug. 11. The deadline for applying is Sept. 3.

 

 

 

Remaining Deer Gun Licenses

 

(B = Any Antlerless   D = Antlerless Whitetail)

 

Unit Type Available
3D1 D 34
3E1 D 175
3E2 B 64
3E2 D 361
3F1 B 120
3F1 D 320
3F2 B 380
3F2 D 687
4F D 176

2014 North Dakota early Canada goose season

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North Dakota’s early Canada goose season is set, and bag limits and licensing requirements are the same as last year.

 

The season will open Aug. 15 and continue through Sept. 15, except in the Missouri River Zone where the season ends Sept. 7. The early Canada goose season has a limit of 15 daily and 45 in possession.

 

Limits and shooting hours for the early season are different from the regular season. Shooting hours during the early season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.

 

Residents need a $5 early Canada goose license and a general game and habitat license. Also, residents age 16 and older need a small game license. Nonresidents need only a $50 early Canada goose license, and the license is valid statewide without counting against the 14-day regular season license.

 

A federal duck stamp for hunters age 16 and older, and Harvest Information Program certification, is required beginning Sept. 1.

 

Hunters may notice an increase in license fees, which were established and set by the 2013 state legislature. The general game and habitat license increased to $20, the small game license is $10, and the combination license, which includes general game and habitat, small game, furbearer and fishing, increased to $50.

 

Hunters who purchase a license through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website atgf.nd.gov, or instant licensing telephone number 800-406-6409, can easily get HIP certified. Otherwise, hunters can call 888-634-4798 and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who registered to hunt the spring light goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required only once per year.

 

Waterfowl rest areas, closed to hunting during the regular season, are open during the early season. Most land in these rest areas is private, so hunters may need permission to hunt.

 

The early hunting season is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers. Despite liberalized regulations the past several years, with longer seasons, large bag limits and expanded shooting hours the statewide population remains high, with numbers well above population goals.

 

For additional information and regulations, hunters should refer to the Game and Fish Department website.

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