This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov. NDGF fisheries supervisor Paul Bailey talks about the ongoing winter creel surveys. Click here to Watch!
Tag Archives: North Dakota
Harvest statistics released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show overall hunter success during the 2014 season for bighorn sheep was 100 percent, 88 percent for moose and 67 percent for elk.
The department issued four bighorn sheep licenses and auctioned one. All five hunters harvested a bighorn ram.
The department issued 110 moose licenses last year. Of that total, 106 hunters harvested 93 animals – 82 bulls and 11 cows/calves. One additional license was raffled by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the hunter was successful in harvesting a moose. Harvest for each unit follows:
The department issued 274 elk licenses last year. Of that total, 249 hunters harvested 166 elk – 97 bulls and 69 cows/calves. One additional license was raffled by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the hunter was successful in harvesting an elk. Harvest for each unit follows:
Hunter success during last fall’s limited pronghorn hunting season was 89 percent, according to statistics provided by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
The first open season since 2009 was held only in unit 4-A, the far southwestern corner of the state. Game and Fish issued 249 licenses, and 235 hunters took 210 pronghorn, consisting of 199 bucks, five does and six fawns.
Hunters who received a lottery or gratis pronghorn license could participate in an early bow-only portion of the season, and in a later part of the season when legal firearms were allowed. Ten percent of the harvest occurred during the early bow-only part of the season, and 90 percent occurred during the 16.5 days when hunters could use firearms.
Boat owners purchasing watercraft from private individuals this winter are reminded to register it in their name with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Registering a used watercraft purchased from an individual must include proof of transfer of ownership, such as a photocopy of the previous owner’s registration card, a canceled check or a signed note from the previous owner stating transfer of ownership.
The prorated price to register motorboats under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, is $12, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length, $24, and motorboats at least 20 feet in length, $30.
The current three-year boat registration cycle runs through Dec. 31, 2016.
In addition, boat owners who need to renew their registration can renew online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, by clicking the online services link, and “watercraft registration and renewals” under the watercraft heading.
Also, anyone buying a new or used watercraft can register online and generate a 10-day temporary permit that is valid until the registration is processed
Regulations require the boat number to be in contrasting color to the hull in plain vertical block letters at least 3 inches in height, excluding any border, trim, outlining or shading, and must be maintained in a legible condition so the number is clearly visible in daylight hours. The number must read from left to right, and groups of numbers and letters must be separated by a space or hyphen equivalent in width to the letter “M.”
In addition, a validation sticker issued by the Game and Fish Department must be displayed on the boat within 6 inches of the number toward the rear of the boat. No other numbers should be displayed in this area.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is offering 5,815 wild turkey licenses for the spring hunting season, 65 fewer than last year.
Two of the 22 hunting units have slightly more spring licenses than in 2014, two have fewer and 17 remain the same. Unit 21 (most of Hettinger and Adams counties) is again closed in 2015 due to lack of turkeys in the unit.
Successful spring turkey applicants must purchase a 2015-16 hunting license, as last year’s 2014-15 licenses expire March 31. In addition to the spring turkey license, hunters must have a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate, and a general game and habitat license. Also, hunters ages 16 and older must possess a small game license, or combination license.
First-time spring turkey hunters ages 15 or younger are eligible to receive one spring license valid for the regular hunting season in a specific unit. To be eligible, the youth hunter must be 15 or younger on opening day of spring turkey season, and have never received a spring turkey license in North Dakota.
Spring turkey applicants can apply online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Applications can also be submitted by calling 800-406-6409.
Application forms will also be available by Feb. 1 at most license vendors, county auditors and Game and Fish offices. The deadline for applying is Feb. 11. Online or phone applications must be logged before midnight that day.
Spring turkey licenses are available only to North Dakota residents. The spring turkey season opens April 11 and continues through May 17.
North Dakota’s spring light goose season opens Feb. 21 and continues through May 17.
Residents can hunt during the spring season by having last fall’s 2014-15 bird licenses. Otherwise, hunters will need to purchase either a 2015-16 combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license.
Nonresidents, regardless of age, need a 2015 spring light goose season license. The cost is $50 and the license is good statewide. Nonresidents who hunt the spring season remain eligible to buy a fall season license. The spring season does not count against the 14-day fall hunting season regulation.
A federal duck stamp is not required for either residents or nonresidents.
Availability of food and open water dictate when snow geese arrive in the state. Early migrants generally start showing up in the southeast part of the state in mid-to-late March, but huntable numbers usually aren’t around until the end of March or early April. Movements into and through the state will depend on available roosting areas and the extent of the snow line.
Hunters must obtain a new Harvest Information Program registration number before hunting. The HIP number can be obtained online 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.
The Game and Fish Department will provide hunters with migration updates once geese have entered the state. Hunters can access the department’s website, or call 701-328-3697, to receive generalized locations of bird sightings in North Dakota until the season ends or geese have left the state. Migration reports will be updated periodically during the week.
The spring season is only open to light geese – snows, blues, and Ross’s. Species identification is important because white-fronted and Canada geese travel with light geese. The season is closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory birds.
Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. There is no daily bag limit or possession limit. Electronic and recorded calls, as well as shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, may be used to take light geese during this season.
There are no waterfowl rest areas designated for the spring season. Hunters should note that private land within waterfowl rest areas closed last fall may be posted closed to hunting.
Nontoxic shot is required for hunting all light geese statewide. Driving off established roads and trails is strongly discouraged during this hunt because of the likelihood of soft, muddy conditions, and winter wheat that is planted across the state.
To maintain good landowner relations, hunters are advised to seek permission before hunting on private lands or attempting any off-road travel during this season. Sprouted winter wheat is considered an unharvested crop. Therefore, hunting or off-road travel in winter wheat is not legal without landowner permission.
All regular hunting season regulations not addressed above apply to the spring season. For more information on regulations refer to the 2015 Spring Light Goose Hunting Regulations and the 2014 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide.
Individuals interested in taking a hunter education class in 2015 are reminded to register early as most classes are held the first few months of the calendar year.
To register for a hunter education course, students need to sign up online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. 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.
In addition, SMS text notifications of new classes can be sent directly to a cell phone. Simply text “NDGF HunterClass” to 468311 to subscribe to this feature.
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.
All individuals who participate in darkhouse spearfishing are reminded to register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department prior to participating.
Fisheries chief Greg Power said perfect conditions have led to record participation this winter. “Our pike population is at levels never seen before, and mild weather conditions coupled with very little snow have led to unlimited lake access,” Power said.
With interest at an all-time high, Power said the department is receiving inquiries on who needs to register. “The simple answer is everyone,” he added. “It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you participate you need to register.”
Free registration is available at the department’s website, gf.nd.gov, or through any Game and Fish Department office.
North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season closes March 15. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.
Darkhouse spearing is allowed for all residents with a valid fishing license and for residents under age 16. Nonresidents may darkhouse spearfish in North Dakota if they are from states that offer the same privilege for North Dakota residents.
All waters open to hook-and-line fishing are open to darkhouse spearing except:
Braun Lake – Logan County
East Park Lake, West Park Lake, Lake Audubon – McLean County
Heckers Lake – Sheridan County
New Johns Lake – Burleigh County
Red Willow Lake – Griggs County
Sweet Briar Dam – Morton County
Anglers should refer to the 2014-16 North Dakota Fishing Guide for more information.