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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced today that the state’s 2014 regular paddlefish snagging season will close at 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time, Sunday, May 18, to protect the population level of the fish. However, snaggers are reminded that Sunday is a snag-and-release only day.
The 2014-16 fishing proclamation allows for the Game and Fish director to close the snagging season early if it appears more than 1,000 paddlefish will be harvested. Fisheries chief Greg Power said it’s been another successful year. “The unique thing is that half the harvest was large, presumably old females,” Power said. “Relatively high water levels perhaps contributed to the harvest of so many females.”
An additional four-day snag-and-release season will begin Monday, May 19 and run through Thursday, May 22. Paddlefish snaggers with an unused paddlefish tag can continue snagging during the additional snag-and-release season, but must release all fish immediately. Snaggers who already used their tag on a harvested paddlefish are not allowed to participate in the additional snag-and-release period.
Beginning Monday, snag-and-release is legal only in that area of the Missouri River starting on the north shore from the Confluence boat ramp then east (downstream) one-half mile, and that area of the Missouri River starting on the south shore from the Confluence with the Yellowstone River then east (downstream) one-half mile (both areas will have boundary signs).
Paddlefish snagging is allowed only from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (CDT) during each day of the additional four-day season. The use or possession of a gaff on snag-and-release days is illegal.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s advisory board meetings scheduled for tonight and tomorrow in Williston, Turtle Lake and Walhalla have been postponed due to inclement weatherand travel difficulties. The meeting scheduled for tomorrow in Makoti will take place as planned.
The meeting in Turtle Lake is rescheduled for Monday, April 14. Reschedule dates for the Williston and Walhalla meetings are pending.
Mountain lion hunting during the late season in zone 1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season quota of seven was filled after five cats were taken this weekend.
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, 2014.
So far 1 cougar taken in the 2nd season for North Dakota.
With nearly 60,000 deer hunters taking the field I’m always interested to see if the number of mountain lions sighted/taken spikes during the 16 ½ day deer season. Across the badlands, fields, sloughs and shelter belts there will be a spike in hunter activity. Just by share odds the chance of finding and taking a mountain lion increases. As it stands as last check the quota zone of the badlands has had 3 mountain lions taken. The early season quota is 14. The total is updated here: http://gf.nd.gov/news/mountain-lion-zone-1-early-season-quota-3-14
Hanson Named to Advisory Board, Leiseth and Christoferson Reappointed
Governor Jack Dalrymple has appointed Duane Hanson of West Fargo to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s advisory board.
The governor appoints eight Game and Fish Department advisors, each representing a multi-county section of the state, to serve as a liaison between the department and public.
Hanson is a financial advisor, West Fargo city commissioner, and avid hunter and angler, and fills the expiring term of Loran Palmer, Wahpeton, in District 5, which includes Cass, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele and Traill counties.
In addition, the governor recently reappointed District 1 advisory board member Jason Leiseth, Arnegard; and District 6 advisory board member Joel Christoferson, Litchville, to another term.
Four members of the advisory board must be farmers or ranchers and four must be hunters/anglers. Appointments are for a term of four years. No member can serve longer than two terms.
Advisory board members host two public meetings, held each spring and fall, to provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel.
CWD Surveillance Continues
The State Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2013 hunting season, by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis from 13 units in North Dakota. In addition, all moose and elk harvested in the state are eligible for testing.
Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken in the eastern portion of the state will be tested from units 1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F1, 2F2, 2G, 2G1, 2G2 and 2L. In addition, deer will be tested from unit 3F2 in the southwest.
Every head sampled must have either the deer tag attached, or a new tag can be filled out with the license number, deer hunting unit and date harvested.
Hunters are encouraged to drop off deer heads at the following locations:
- · Aneta – Aneta Meats Service
- · Bottineau – Mattern Family Meats
- · Cando – K&E Meats
- · Carrington – Barton Meats
- · Casselton – Casselton Cold Storage
- · Devils Lake – Game and Fish Department
- · Dunseith – Wayne’s Food Pride
- · Edgeley – Edgeley Meat Processing Plant
- · Enderlin – Maple Valley Lockers
- · Fargo – J&K Taxidermy, Jer’s Wildlife Taxidermy
- · Fordville – Dakota Prairie Wildlife Club
- · Grand Forks – Bob’s Oil, Ted’s Taxidermy
- · Great Bend – Manock Meats
- · Gwinner – Stoppleworth Taxidermy
- · Jamestown – Game and Fish Department, Real Look Taxidermy
- · LaMoure – LaMoure Lockers
- · Langdon – Hickory Hut
- · Larimore – Glenn’s EZ Stop
- · Milnor – Milnor Locker
- · New Rockford – Risovi Taxidermy
- · Oakes – Butcher Block
- · Park River – Jim’s Super Value Inc.
- · Reynolds – Weber’s Meats
- · Rolette – The Meat Shack
- · Sheyenne – Brenno Meats
- · Valley City – Valley Meat Supply
- · Wahpeton – J&R Taxidermy, Auto Value Parts Store
- · Walhalla – Walhalla Co-op
- · Wyndmere – Bridgemart Meats LLC
Drop off locations for deer taken from unit 3F2:
- · Bismarck – Game and Fish Department, Call of the Wild Taxidermy, M&M Sausage and Meats, West Dakota Meats
- · Elgin – Gunny’s Bait and Tackle, Melvin’s Taxidermy
- · Glen Ullin – Kuntz’s Butcher Shop
- · Hettinger – Dakota Packing
- · Mandan – Butcher Block Meats
- · New Leipzig – Hertz Hardware
Moose and elk heads should be taken to a Game and Fish office.
CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.
Baiting of Big Game Prohibited in Five Deer Units
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding deer hunters that hunting over bait is prohibited in deer units 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.
Hunting over bait is defined as the placement and/or use of bait(s) for attracting big game and other wildlife to a specific location for the purpose of hunting. Baits include but are not limited to grains, minerals, salts, fruits, vegetables, hay or any other natural or manufactured foods. The designation does not apply to the use of scents and lures, water, food plots, standing crops or livestock feeds used in standard practices.
In addition to the units where hunting over bait is no longer allowed on either private or public land, hunting over bait is also not allowed on most other public land through the state, including state wildlife management areas; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas; U.S. Forest Service national grasslands; and all North Dakota state school, state park and state forest service lands.
Carcass Transportation Requirement in Deer Unit 3F2
Hunters harvesting a big game animal this fall in North Dakota deer unit 3F2 cannot transport a carcass containing the head and spinal column outside of the unit unless it’s taken directly to a meat processor.
The head can be removed from the carcass and transported outside of the unit if it is to be submitted to a State Game and Fish Department district office, CWD surveillance drop-off location or a licensed taxidermist.
If the deer is processed in the field to boned meat, and the hunter wants to leave the head in the field, the head must be legally tagged and the hunter must be able to return to or give the exact location of the head if requested for verification.
As snow geese begin to make their way into the state, hunters are advised to properly identify their target as whooping cranes could potentially be in the same areas.
Whooping cranes were observed this week north of Minot near Kenmare, and recent reports indicate most of the population is still north of the Canadian border and will soon migrate through North Dakota. With Kenmare’s annual Goose Fest in progress, hunters in the vicinity of the Upper Souris and Des Lacs national wildlife refuges should be aware of the potential for whooping cranes and snow geese in the same area.
Whoopers, an endangered species, stand about five feet tall and have a wingspan of about seven feet from tip to tip. Like snow geese, 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, but are occasionally in slightly larger flocks.
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) 848-2722, or Long Lake, (701) 387-4397, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s main office in Bismarck at (701) 328-6300, or to local game wardens across the state.
North Dakota’s waterfowl production areas will be open to hunting on the pheasant opener after all.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday afternoon rescinded its closure of WPAs to public access, including hunting and fishing, effective immediately.
That means the WPAs in North Dakota will be available to hunters for the state’s pheasant opener on Saturday, Oct. 12.
“The waterfowl production areas are important public lands for hunters,” said North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand. “We have been working hard all week toward the goal of having these areas back open by the pheasant opener, and we appreciate Service Director Dan Ashe’s reconsideration of their closure action.”
The WPAs and national wildlife refuges in North Dakota and other states were closed to public access on Oct. 1 as a result of the federal government shutdown. National wildlife refuges in North Dakota remain closed, however, as today’s action by the Fish and Wildlife Service only affects WPAs.
1 cat taken so far in the quota zone for the 2013 North Dakota mountain lion season. More details here: