North Dakota Hunters Educators Association
 
 
 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Welcome to NDHEA
 

The August 2013 NDHEA newsletter is now here!

Click here to download and view the newsletter

 

Shooting Sports Family Camp

 

 

 

 

2014 Raffle Winners announced!!

 

Drawing held 6-29-2014 5:00 PM at Scheels All Sports – Bismarck ND

 

Winners of this year’s gift cards are as follows

Richard Brewster - Washburn, ND


Cory Hallen - Dickinson, ND


Sheri Ellingson - Grace City, ND


Curt Walen - Carrington, ND


Larry Kukla - Jamestown, ND


Gene Just - Jamestown, ND


Larry Kaul - LaMoure, ND


Scott Pedersen - Northwood, ND


Kerry Whipp - Courtenay, ND


Dale Kilwein - Dickinson, ND
 

THANK YOU! too everyone who help NDHEA this year buy purchasing tickets or helping to sell them. The money will be used to sponsor shooting events, mentored hunting events, promotion for safe hunting and to supply additional teaching aids across the state.

 

Have a great summer and safe hunting season!

 

 

NDG&F July 21st Newsletter

 

Record Number of Lakes Stocked with Walleye

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently wrapped up stocking walleye in a record 133 lakes across the state.
Jerry Weigel, fisheries production and development supervisor, said thanks to the excellent walleye fingerling production from the Garrison Dam and Valley City national fish hatcheries, these waters received nearly 10 million fingerlings.
“With a record number of fishing waters across the state, the demand to stock these new waters with hatchery fish has greatly increased,” Weigel said. “We’ve increased our efforts to make sure we meet the record production demands.”
Game and Fish works with both federal hatcheries, providing operational funding and temporary staff, as well as collecting all the eggs and transporting fish to all the fishing waters across the state.
Most recently, the department partnered with the Fish and Wildlife Service to make improvements to the 50-year-old Valley City hatchery, which resulted in a hatchery record 2.5 million walleye fingerlings produced this year.
Stocking conditions were optimal this year, Weigel said, with cooler weather and increasing water levels at many lakes. The stocked 30-day-old fingerings averaged about 1.25 inches in length.
“They should find lots of food and good survival conditions which bodes well for future fishing opportunity,” Weigel added. “Later this fall fisheries personal will sample walleye lakes to access the success of this year’s walleye stocking, as well as what Mother Nature provides.”
One common observation fish haulers noted while traveling across the state, Weigel said, was the amount of fishing taken place, both from shore and from a boat. “There has never been a better time to fish for walleye,” he added. “Statewide, there are a lot of great opportunities, and a very good chance of success.”
 

 

Open Fires Banned on Oahe WMA

 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is prohibiting open burning this spring on property managed south of Bismarck and Mandan, as a means to reduce potential for wildfires on a heavily wooded recreation area along the Missouri River.
Bill Haase, wildlife resource management supervisor, said all open burning, including campfires, is banned until further notice on the Oahe Wildlife Management Area along both sides of the Missouri River. Haase said these woodlands are prone to wildfires prior to spring green-up.
"The combination of mild temperatures and a high fuel load in the river bottoms is of concern," Haase said. "In addition, it is an area of high use by anglers, campers and other outdoor recreationists."
Oahe WMA covers more than 16,000 acres along Lake Oahe south of Bismarck-Mandan, in portions of Burleigh, Emmons, and Morton counties. Burning restriction signs are posted at all entrances to the WMA.
 

 

Oahe WMA Map 1 - printable version     Oahe WMA Map 2 - printable version

 

Fire Danger Index

 

 

BIG GAME HUNTING APPLICATION DEADLINES

 

North Dakota:

  • Big Game applications anticipated May-June 2014

  • Deer: Non-resident archery March 1st

Montana:

  • Elk: March 15th

  • Deer: March 15th

  • Antelope: June 2

  • Bear: April 14th

  • Moose: May 1st

  • Bighorn Sheep: May 1st

  • Mountain Goats: May 1st

  • Bison: May 1st

Colorado:

  • Big Game: April 1st

  • Elk-Deer-Bear-Moose-Antelope-Bighorn Sheep-Mountain Goats

Wyoming:

  • Moose, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat and Bison Applications: February 28

  • Elk: drawing is past

New Mexico:

  • Deer, Elk, Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, Oryx, Ibex, Javelina: March 19

Minnesota:

  • Deer: September 15

  • Bear: May 2

  • Elk: June 13

  • Camp Ripley Archery: August 15

Idaho:

  • Bighorn Sheep-Mountain Goats-Moose: April 30

  • Elk-Deer-Fall Bear-Antelope-Fall Turkey: June 5

 

Mountain Lion Zone 1 Early Season Quota - 2 of 14

(updated 12/17/2013)

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.
 

                --CLOSED--
Zone 1: Early season (firearms and archery equipment) - 2013
Opens: Aug. 30
Closes: Nov. 24 (or when zone quota is reached)
*Zone Quota: 14
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter
 

Zone 2: Firearms and archery equipment - 2013
Opens: Aug. 30
Closes: March. 31, 2014
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter
 

                       --CLOSED--

Zone 1: Late season (firearms, archery equipment, or pursuit with dogs) - 2013
Opens: Nov. 25
Closes: March 31, 2014 (or when zone quota is reached)
Zone Quota: 7
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter
*Animals taken to date (updated 12/15/2013) - 7 of 7

 

Coyote Catalog Available for Hunters, Landowners

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department have reopened the Coyote Catalog to connect coyote hunters and trappers with landowners who want fewer coyotes in their areas.
The Coyote Catalog is an online database similar to the one the Game and Fish Department uses to connect deer hunters with farmers and ranchers.
“We’ve had a lot of success matching deer hunters with landowners,” said NDGF Director Terry Steinwand. “We hope the Coyote Catalog works out just as well.”
NDDA officials estimate livestock producers in North Dakota lost more than $1 million last year to coyotes. At the same time, coyotes are a popular furbearer species for hunters and trappers.
“I encourage landowners, especially farmers and ranchers who have problems with coyote depredation, to sign up for the Coyote Catalog,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Hunting and trapping are valuable tools in managing these predators.”
Goehring and Steinwand said the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services should be the first contact for landowners experiencing coyote depredation of livestock.
Landowners can sign up on the NDDA website at www.nd.gov/ndda/coyote-catalog. Required information includes county and contact information.
Hunters and trappers can sign up at the NDGF website at www.gf.nd.gov.
Periodically throughout the winter, hunters or trappers will receive information on participating landowners, and they can then contact landowners to make arrangements.
Although the Coyote Catalog does not guarantee a good match for every participating landowner or hunter, Goehring and Steinwand said it has great potential to focus hunting or trapping pressure in areas where farmers and ranchers are experiencing coyote depredation problems.
Anyone who registered for the Coyote Catalog in the past must register again to activate their names on the database.
The Coyote Catalog will remain active through March 31, and then start up again next winter.

Second Deer Lottery Held, Remaining License Sales Suspended

North Dakota’s second deer lottery has been held and individual results are available on the State Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
While slightly more than 1,000 antlerless deer licenses were still available after the second lottery, all of them are in units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F in the southwestern part of the state, where Game and Fish is receiving ongoing reports of white-tailed deer mortality caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease.
As such, Game and Fish administration has decided to not issue those remaining licenses. “The decision is based on previous years’ experience where moderate to significant white-tailed deer losses were documented in situations similar to this year,” said wildlife chief Randy Kreil.
In addition, Kreil said the likelihood of an extended fall, and possible continuation of EHD losses was also a factor in the decision. “While we first received reports of isolated deer deaths in August, loss of deer to this disease appears to have extended into September, and depending on the weather, may continue into October,” Kreil added, noting that the area of reported white-tailed deer deaths to EHD covers Bowman to Bismarck.
In 2011, deer deaths from EHD occurred well into October, and prompted Game and Fish to offer refunds to license holders in several southwestern units. Kreil said it’s too early to tell whether this year’s EHD episode is significant enough to warrant a similar action, and the agency will wait until after opening weekend of pheasant season to determine whether refunds would be an option. “In the past,” Kreil added, “it has been helpful to gauge the scope and intensity of an EHD situation when there are thousands of hunters in the field in EHD areas, who might observe dead deer along waterways.”
EHD, a naturally occurring virus that is spread by a biting midge, is almost always fatal to infected white-tailed deer, while mule deer do not usually die from the disease. Hunters do not have to worry about handling or consuming meat from infected deer because the virus that causes EHD is not known to cause disease in humans. In addition, the first hard freeze typically kills the midge that carries and transfers the EHD virus which will slow or halt the spread of the disease.
 

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 3,200 antlerless deer gun licenses remain. A total of 44,000 applicants were unsuccessful. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the first lottery can apply for remaining licenses.

An option to apply online will be available Aug. 7. Paper applications will be mailed to individuals Aug. 12. The deadline for applying is Sept. 4.

Remaining Deer Gun Licenses

(B = Any Antlerless D = Antlerless Whitetail)

Unit

Type

Available

Unit

Type

Available

2K2

B

57

3E2

D

331

2L

B

125

3F1

B

276

3B3

D

148

3F1

D

501

3C

D

248

3F2

B

349

3E1

D

239

3F2

D

661

3E2

B

33

4F

D

311

 

Hunters Advised to Check Water Conditions

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department advises hunters to be cautious with their dogs around water this time of year, due to potential health hazards associated with blue-green algae.
Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the Game and Fish Department, said late summer and early fall offer prime conditions for blue-green algae growth in many state waters. Ingestion by a hunting dog while perhaps retrieving a bird during the early goose season, or just practicing retrieving, can lead to severe illness and potential death.
“Conditions are right this year for stagnant water to become contaminated, especially with all of the rainfall that has occurred,” Grove said.
Potentially toxic algae blooms occur under conditions of hot, dry weather. Shallow, stagnant water with moderate to high nutrient content provides an optimum environment for algal growth. Water or wind movements often concentrate the algae, and eventually the bloom appears as a blue-green “scum” floating on the water’s surface. The threat disappears once the weather turns colder.
“Hunting dogs shouldn’t drink or swim in discolored water or where algal blooms are apparent,” Grove said. “If dogs retrieve in these conditions, they should be rinsed off immediately and shouldn’t be allowed to lick their coat.”
For additional information about the effects of blue-green algae blooms on hunting dogs, contact the Animal Health Division, North Dakota Department of Agriculture, at (701) 328-2655; or a local veterinarian.
 

2013 Waterfowl Regulations Set

North Dakota’s 2013 waterfowl season has been set, with noteworthy changes including an increase in the daily limit of Canada and snow geese, and the possession limit for most migratory birds.
Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 21 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Sept. 28. The season for swans opens Sept. 28 for both residents and nonresidents.
Hunters may take six ducks per day with the following restrictions: five mallards of which two may be hens, three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two pintails and two canvasbacks. The daily limit of five mergansers may include no more than two hooded mergansers. For ducks and mergansers, the possession limit is three times the daily limit.
The hunting season for Canada geese in the Missouri River zone will close Dec. 27, while the remainder of the state will close Dec. 21. The season for whitefronts closes Dec. 1, while the season on light geese is open through Dec. 29. Shooting hours for all geese are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 2. Beginning Nov. 3, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.
Extended shooting hours for all geese are permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on Saturdays and Wednesdays through Nov. 27, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from Nov. 30 through the end of each season.
The bag limit for Canada geese during the regular season is eight daily and 24 in possession, except in the Missouri River zone where the limit is five daily and 15 in possession.
The daily limit on whitefronts is two with six in possession, and light goose is 50 daily, with no possession limit.
The special youth waterfowl hunting season is Sept. 14-15. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents 15 years of age or younger can hunt ducks, coots, mergansers and geese statewide. Youth hunters must have a general game and habitat license and a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. A licensed adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter into the field.
Nonresidents have the option of buying either a statewide waterfowl license or one with zone restrictions. Nonresidents who designate zones 1 or 2 may hunt that zone for only one seven-day period during the season. Nonresident hunters who chose to hunt in zone 1 or 2 and wish to use the full 14 consecutive days allowed, must use the other seven days in zone 3. Hunters in zone 3 can hunt that zone the entire 14 days.
In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 12-18.
All migratory bird hunters, including waterfowl, must register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters purchasing a license from the Game and Fish Department can easily get a HIP number. Otherwise, hunters must call (888) 634-4798, or log on to the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov, provide the registration information, and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who HIP registered to hunt this spring’s light goose season or early fall Canada goose season do not have to register again, as it is required only once per year.
The waterfowl rest areas previously established in Barnes and Nelson counties have been eliminated.
Hunters should refer to the 2013 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide for further details on the waterfowl season. Paper copies will be at license vendors in early September.
 

NDGF Concerned about Possible Corps Land Transfer

Officials at the State Game and Fish Department are concerned that a potential transfer of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land around Lake Sakakawea would include thousands of acres of public land managed for fish, wildlife and recreation, and would jeopardize free access to numerous boat ramps within the middle third of the reservoir.
Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand says the Corps is apparently reconsidering a 2004 request to transfer all Corps land above 1,854 feet mean sea level within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, to be held in trust for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.
The Game and Fish Department leases from the Corps and manages for wildlife approximately 7,000 acres within the proposed area, including Van Hook and Deepwater Creek wildlife management areas. In addition, more than 29,000 acres of Corps land that is currently open to public hunting and fishing could also be transferred.
“Our major concern about this development,” Steinwand said, “is the loss of public land for hunters and anglers, which is currently managed by the Game and Fish Department and the Corps of Engineers.”
Over several decades since Game and Fish began leasing Corps land around Lake Sakakawea for wildlife management purposes, Steinwand said the agency has invested more than a million dollars in sportsmen’s money in portions of those areas that would be included in a land transfer. While Game and Fish would retain leases and public access on land below 1,854 msl, Steinwand added that access to those remaining areas could become more difficult.
“This is a critical issue for hunters and anglers in the state,” Steinwand said. “It’s important that the Corps considers further public input before making a decision on any potential land transfer.”

 

 

 

NDG&F Information

Limited Pronghorn Season to Open

North Dakota will have a limited pronghorn hunting season this fall for the first time since 2009.
Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said the season is open only in unit 4-A, the far southwestern corner of the state. A total of 250 any-pronghorn licenses are available, and the season is split into an early “bow-only” portion, and a later gun/bow season.
The bow-only portion of the season is from Aug. 29 (noon) – Sept. 28. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow, only in Unit 4-A, during this period.
From Oct. 3 (noon) – Oct.19, hunters who still have a valid license can use legal firearms or bow equipment.
“We are opening the hunting season in unit 4-A to take advantage of a surplus number of bucks in that area, and to provide hunting opportunity while still encouraging population growth,” Kreil said. “While we aren’t issuing any statewide pronghorn archery licenses this year as we did in the past, hunters who do draw a license can use a rifle, bow or both, depending on their preferences.”
Game and Fish biologists surveyed more than 11,000 square miles, 100 percent of the 21 survey units in the state, in early July. Statistics indicate a statewide population estimate of 5,700 pronghorn, with 1,650 in the area open to hunting.
“The number of pronghorn observed in Unit 4-A falls within our regional population objective of having a limited season, while all other units do not,” Kreil said.
In addition, unit 4-A has a high buck-to-doe ratio, Kreil said, which is typical of a population that has not been hunted. The fawn-to-doe ratio is also the highest since 2007.
“While some people may have expected more units to be open, we need to proceed conservatively with this valuable wildlife resource and let pronghorns rebound to a level that can sustain harvest. The good news is that we are poised to see additional units open next year, providing Mother Nature cooperates with a moderate winter,” Kreil said.
Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply for a 2014 pronghorn license. Kreil said people who have accumulated preference points and choose not to apply this year will not lose their points.
In addition, state law allows youth who turn age 12 on or before December 31, 2014 to apply for a license.
Online applications for regular and gratis licenses will be available the week of July 21 at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will also be available from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors, or by calling 800-406-6409.
The pronghorn license fee is $30, and the deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 6.
 

Current Status of North Dakota Pronghorn

Management Region

2014 Estimate

Population Objective

Harvest Strategy
Western Bowman

1,656

1,500-2,500

Limited harvest, encourage population growth.
Southern Badlands

1,268

1,500-2,500

No Season.
Northern Badlands

(955)

1,500-2,500

No Season.
Slope (southern, central, and northern)

(1,786)

3,000-4,000

No Season.


 

North Dakota Spring Pheasant Count Tops Last Year

North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is up slightly from last year, according to the State Game and Fish Department’s 2014 spring crowing count survey.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was up about 6 percent statewide from 2013, with increases ranging from about 2 to 9 percent depending on the region.
While the spring number is a positive indicator, Kohn said it does not predict what North Dakota’s fall population will look like. Brood surveys, which begin in mid-July and are completed by September, provide a much better estimate of summer pheasant production and what hunters might expect for a fall pheasant population.
Last year, the fall population was down from 2012 because of rather poor production, but Kohn said low winter pheasant mortality, particularly in the southern one-third of the state, helped boost this year’s spring count.
Another positive is that abundant moisture has provided for good habitat conditions heading into the prime nesting period. However, Kohn noted that since 2008, North Dakota has lost more than 2 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands, much of it in the pheasant range. That means total nesting habitat in the state is significantly reduced from where it was when the spring crowing count index peaked in 2008.
The 2014 index is down about one-third from that peak. “Loss of CRP acres continue to reduce the amount of nesting and brood-rearing habitat on the landscape,” Kohn emphasized. “This and other grassland conversion is going to negatively affect our pheasant population in the future.”
Pheasant crowing counts are conducted each spring throughout North Dakota. Observers drive specified 20-mile routes, stopping at predetermined intervals, and counting the number of pheasant roosters heard crowing over a two-minute period during the stop.
The number of pheasant crows heard is compared to previous years’ data, providing a trend summary.
 

NDDOCR to Offer Archery Hunt

An experimental antlerless deer archery season will open this fall on the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation land south of Bismarck.
Interested hunters must apply for an access permit from NDDOCR at www.nd.gov/docr (under the Archery Hunt header) before receiving a license. The deadline for applying is July 1 at 4 p.m. Only 25 access permits will be issued.
A maximum of 75 antlerless deer licenses will be available from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office. Each access permit holder can purchase up to three antlerless white-tailed deer licenses.
Other details, including areas open to hunting, is determined by the NDDOCR. For more information, refer to the NDDOCR website.
 

Oahe WMA Ban on Open Fires Lifted

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has removed the open fire ban on the Oahe Wildlife Management Area effective immediately. However, the area still falls under any burn restrictions implemented by Morton and Burleigh counties.
Open fires, including campfires, were prohibited this spring on Game and Fish managed property south of Bismarck and Mandan along both sides of the Missouri River.
Oahe WMA covers more than 16,000 acres along Lake Oahe south of Bismarck-Mandan, in portions of Burleigh, Emmons and Morton counties.
 

Schmidt Bottoms Shooting Range Closed Friday

The Schmidt Bottoms shooting range south of Mandan will be closed Friday, June 13. The range will reopen Saturday.
Schmidt Bottoms is located 13.4 miles south of Mandan on ND Highway 1806.
 

Renew Boat Registration Online

The State Game and Fish Department is urging boat owners who have yet to renew their registration for 2014, to use the agency’s online renewal system to speed up processing time.
Due to a high volume of registrations coming in as boat owners prepare for the new boating season, Game and Fish Department licensing manager Randy Meissner says the processing time currently is 10 to 14 days.
“For someone who wants to have their boat licensed for 2014 and ready to go by Memorial Day weekend, they might be cutting it a little close if they mail in their renewal,” Meissner said. “By renewing online at the Game and Fish website, it only takes a few days for us to get the new registration card and decals out in the mail.”
The Game and Fish website address is gf.nd.gov. Click on the “Boating” tab, and look for the watercraft registration section.
Once the renewal is accepted and the credit card approved, customers are instructed to print out the “Purchase Summary” screen which constitutes a 10-day temporary permit, allowing the boat to be used immediately while the renewal is being processed, Meissner said.
2014 is the first year of a three-year boat licensing period. More than 60,000 boat owners were mailed renewal notices in December. Anyone who has a boat and did not receive a renewal notice, should contact the department at 701-328-6300; or email ndgf@nd.gov.
Meissner added that the Game and Fish online system is for renewals only. If the registration is a transfer of ownership or new watercraft purchase, the only option is to mail it in, because Game and Fish needs the sales receipts and other documentation of the purchase
 

Game and Fish Waives Tuesday-Wednesday Camping Restrictions for Memorial Day Week

The State Game and Fish Department is lifting the Tuesday-Wednesday camping restriction on many wildlife management areas in the western and central part of the state for the week of Memorial Day, May 26-30.
This same waiver will allow camping on those WMAs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during all state-recognized holiday weeks throughout the year, including 4th of July week (June 30-July 4), and Labor Day (Sept. 1-5).
All other public use regulations for state wildlife management areas still apply.
This waiver applies to the following WMAs in western North Dakota and along Lake Sakakawea: North Lemmon Lake in Adams County; Bull Creek in Billings County; Alkali Creek and Spring Creek in Bowman County; Smishek Lake and Short Creek Dam in Burke County; Harris M. Baukol in Divide County; Killdeer Mountains in Dunn County; Camels Hump Lake in Golden Valley County; Audubon, Custer Mine, Deepwater Creek, deTrobriand, Douglas Creek and Wolf Creek in McLean County; Beaver Creek and Hille in Mercer County; Storm Creek in Morton County; Cedar Lake and Speck Davis Pond in Slope County; and McGregor Dam in Williams County.
However, regardless of the holiday, camping is still prohibited every day of the week at the following WMAs: Antelope Creek, Lewis and Clark, Big Oxbow, Ochs Point, Neu’s Point, Overlook, Sullivan and Tobacco Garden in McKenzie County; Van Hook in Mountrail County; and Hofflund and Trenton in Williams County.
 

Deer Season Set, Online Apps Available May 5

North Dakota’s 2014 deer season is set, with 48,000 licenses available to hunters this fall, 11,500 fewer than last year, and the lowest number since 1980.
Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said even after five years of reducing gun licenses, deer populations are still below management objectives in most units. Currently, only units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F meet or exceed management goals.
“Harvest and survey data indicate deer numbers are still declining, especially in the eastern part of the state,” Kreil said.
The statewide hunter success rate in 2013 was 55 percent, which is lower than in 2012 (63 percent), and well below the department’s goal of 70 percent.
Adequate snow cover needed for winter aerial surveys occurred only in the northeast. Results showed deer numbers were down 21 percent in unit 2C and 29 percent in unit 2D.
Statewide, Kreil said high quality deer habitat continues to be lost and will limit the potential for population recovery.
Out west, the number of antlered mule deer licenses in the badlands was increased modestly. However, as was the case the past two years, no antlerless mule deer licenses are available in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. This restriction applies to regular gun, resident and nonresident any-deer bow, gratis and youth licenses.
Hunters are able to draw one license for the deer gun season and one for the muzzleloader season, and purchase an archery license. There is no concurrent season, and a hunter cannot receive more than one license for the deer gun season.
The number of licenses available for 2014 includes 1,350 for antlered mule deer, an increase of 200 from last year; 932 for muzzleloader, down 270 from last year; and 134 restricted youth antlered mule deer, an increase of 19 from last year.
North Dakota’s 2014 deer gun season opens Nov. 7 at noon and continues through Nov. 23. Online applications for the regular deer gun, youth, muzzleloader, and resident gratis and nonresident landowner seasons will be available May 5 through the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov. Also, paper applications will be at vendors throughout the state by mid-May. The deadline for applying is June 4.
A new state law requires residents age 18 or older to prove residency on the application by submitting a valid North Dakota driver’s license number or a North Dakota nondriver photo identification number. Applications will not be processed without this information.
Gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline (June 4) will be issued any-legal-deer license. As per state law, applications received after the deadline will be issued based on licenses remaining after the lottery – generally only antlerless licenses remain.
Total deer licenses are determined by harvest rates, aerial surveys, depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.
 

Anglers, Hunters Cautioned of Ground Conditions

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.
 

NDHEA QUARTERLY MEETINGS

All meetings are to be held at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department building in Bismarck at 1:00 PM Central Time;

  • First quarter-April 26th
  • Second Quarter-July 12th
  • Third Quarter-October 18th
  • Fourth Quarter-Jan 10th or 26th

 

Important NDHEA info regarding Mentored Hunts and Family Shooting events

NDHEA is pleased to be offering assistance with funding for Mentored Hunts and Family Shooting Events!

Family Fun Shoot/Mentored Hunt policies

click here to download a copy of the policies

Request for Participation (RFP) to conduct an event

click here to download the RFP form

 

Game and Fish Volunteers Recognized

Volunteer instructors for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department were recognized Jan. 4 at the annual banquet in Bismarck.
Skip Balzer, Bismarck, received the volunteer of the year award. Balzer was mentioned for volunteering thousands of hours at rifle ranges and wildlife management areas, Family Fishing Days, Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, state fair and fish camps.
Bismarck resident Clair Huwe was named instructor of the year. Huwe was recognized for his work with the Hooked on Fishing program, including Family Fishing Days, fish camps and the state fair.
Richard Peterson, Bismarck, received the special projects award. Peterson was instrumental in securing a new trailer for the Hooked on Fishing program, including writing the grant, purchasing the trailer, outfitting the inside and designing the wrap.
Honored for 35 years of service were Karl Broeren, Northwood; Melvin Bruhn, Elgin; John Buresh, Towner; Richard Cheatley, Riverdale; Ken Fischer, Park River; Marlowe Grindler, Rogers; Chris Hansen, Napoleon; Colin Hoffert, Harvey; Ron Hunsberger, Larimore; Ronald Koenig, Elgin; Noel Podoll, Velva; Mike Voglewede, Northwood; Kurt Wagner, Wimbledon.
Thirty-year service awards were presented to Dale Brewster, Stanley; Donald Brewster, Bowbells; Clyde Grosz, Beulah; James Hastings, Courtenay; Don Meyer, Devils Lake; Mark Montgomery, Center; David Rensch, Garrison; Rick Suckut, Bowdon.
Recognized for 25 years of service were James Boley, Minot; Dick Brewster, Washburn; Douglas Crosby, Williston; Ralph Danuser, Marion; Keith Domke, Jamestown; Myron Hanson, Souris; Rick Jorgenson, Devils Lake; Mike McEnroe, Bismarck; Todd Parkman, Hope; Kenneth Schwandt, Cavalier; Rod Stark, Kennedy; Gary Stefanovsky, Bismarck; Gary Symanowski, Scranton.
Honored for 20 years of service were Ottmar Barth, Mandan; Mary Barth, Mandan; Kevin Bishop, Kathryn; Patsy Crooke, Mandan; Roger Dienert, Hankinson; Darwin Gebhardt, Oakes; Terry Gray, Cooperstown; Garry Hillier, Thompson; Eddy Larsen, Larimore; Francis Miller, Mandan; Gregory Odden, Rugby; Rick Olson, Underwood; Rodney Parrill, Bottineau; Gene Paupst, Larimore; Duane Reinisch, Valley City; Allen Schirado, Bismarck; John Schlieman, Grand Forks; Melvin Sivertson, Bowman; Mark Vickerman, Minot.
Fifteen-year service awards were presented to Adnan Aldayel, New Rockford; William Bahm, Almont; Jack Carlson, Mandan; Randy Christensen, Hettinger; Stan Cox, Jamestown; Mark Engen, Anamoose; Mark Entzi, Watford City; Gary Grosz, Kulm; Gary Hagness, Fordville; Matthew Herman, Ashley; Leon Hiltner, Wales; Morris Hummel, Coleharbor; Lynn Kieper, Bismarck; Steven Kilwein, Hettinger; Bruce Krabseth, Alamo; Jeffrey Lemer, Anamoose; Richard Liesner, Ray; Barry McCleary, Napoleon; Curt Miller, Tioga; Marvin Neumiller, Washburn; Loran Palmer, Wahpeton; Randy Palmer, Bismarck; Richard Petersen, Bismarck; Mark Pfeifer, Lidgerwood; Joel Puffe, Bismarck; Scott Rehak, Williston; Craig Roe, Kindred; Claude Sheldon, Park River; Trever Speidel, West Fargo; Shawn Tennyson, Fargo; Doug Thingstad, Jamestown; Clayton Thompson, West Fargo; Cindie Van Tassel, Breckenridge, Minn.; Brian Vose, Devils Lake.
Ten-year active instructors recognized were Craig Bjur, Fargo; Karl Blake, Park River; Benjilee Boll, Wahpeton; Robert Concannon Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.; Troy Enga, Berthold; Nathan Fitzgerald, Cooperstown; Gregory Gerou, Wahpeton; Judy Haglund, Garrison; Tim Hendrickson, Bisbee; Terry Kassian, Wilton; Steven Kukowski, Minot; Arlen Kurtti, Hazen; Kimberly Murphy, Williston; Dustin Neva, Hatton; Charles Oien, Elgin; John Paulson, Bismarck; Kent Reierson, Williston; Myron Schaff, Hebron; Scott Thorson, Towner; Daniel Vollmer, Rolla.
Recognized for five years of service were Andrew Banta, Williston; Glen Bahm, Selfridge; Mark Berg, Bismarck; Jamie Bradley, Beulah; Leona Coutts, Bismarck; Jennifer Ekberg, Manvel; Kevin Fire, Grand Forks; Jerry Goldsberry, Grassy Butte; Jason Heinz, Rolette; Lindsay Hiedorn, Hope; Clair Huwe, Bismarck; Kellen Leier, Bismarck; Catherine Logosz, Dickinson; Andrew Majeres, Garrison; Frank Odell, Belfield; Kim Oien, Elgin; Kent Paulson, Mayville; Benjamin Sand, Menoken; Tom Sauvage, Linton; Jeffrey Solseth, Cando; Jeremy St. Aubin, Ashley; Corey Wysocki, Grafton.
 

Whooping Cranes Observed, Moving Through

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.
 

Permission Required to Hunt in Unharvested Crops

Wet conditions over the past two weeks have delayed the fall harvest of row crops.
With most hunting seasons open, North Dakota hunters are reminded that hunting in unharvested crops is not allowed without a landowner’s permission, including waterfowl hunters driving on land to set up decoys.
To maintain proper landowner-sportsmen relations, hunters are urged to stay off harvested fields in wet conditions.
Unharvested crops include sprouted winter wheat, which is typically planted in September as a no-till crop. A sign of a seeded winter wheat field is rows of green-colored sprouting wheat, or rows of tilled ground 6-12 inches apart indicating planting has taken place. Stubble from the previous crop will still be in the field.
Besides winter wheat, other unharvested crops that hunters need landowner permission to access include more recognizable standing crops like corn, soybeans and sunflowers, in addition to alfalfa, clover and other grasses grown for seed.
The notable exceptions are crops within North Dakota Game and Fish Department PLOTS tracts, which are open to walking hunting access unless they are posted with an orange rectangular sign that states that hunting in the standing crop portion of the tract is not allowed, and standing crops on state wildlife management areas.
 

Hunters: Be Mindful of Rural Road Contions in Southwest

The Oct. 4-5 snowstorm that covered southwestern North Dakota may present some challenging travel conditions for hunters when the 2013 pheasant season opens this Saturday.
State Game and Fish Department officials say that while most of the foot or more of snow that fell in some counties will likely be gone, the moisture left behind may still make travel difficult on some section line trails and other unimproved roads.
“We’ve been getting a lot of calls about how the storm affected the southwest, because it’s a popular area and part of our primary pheasant range,” said Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand. “Hunters should just be aware that there might be some impassable or very muddy roads to contend with, and they may want to call their local contacts to get an idea of how the storm may have affected their traditional hunting area.”
In addition, Steinwand said hunters should watch out for ranchers moving cattle or power company crews fixing lines, and make sure to not block roadways.
Many hunters have also inquired to Game and Fish about pheasant mortality from the storm, where the most snow fell south of Interstate 94, and east of U.S. Highway 85 and west of the Missouri River. Generally, more snow fell closer to the South Dakota border.
Game and Fish has had a few reports from landowners, but Steinwand said it’s still too early to assess whether there was any significant pheasant mortality.
“The pheasant opener is a longstanding tradition in North Dakota and many hunters make their plans months in advance,” Steinwand said. “We want hunters to enjoy the weekend, but we also want them to know this was an unprecedented snowstorm in some areas, and there is more rain in the forecast before the weekend, so we urge extra care in areas where road and field conditions are wet.”
 

Game and Fish Summarizes Pheasant Brood Data

North Dakota’s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August indicates total birds, number of broods and average brood size are all down statewide from 2012.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are down 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were down 29 percent, and the average brood size was down 10 percent. The final summary is based on 253 survey runs made along 101 brood routes across North Dakota.
“Poor production this spring resulted in fewer young birds added to the population and a lower fall population in all areas of the state,” Kohn said.
Noteworthy factors cited for the decrease in brood numbers, according to Kohn, were continued land use changes in the prime pheasant range, including removal of Conservation Reserve Program acres, grasslands converted to croplands and small grain fields converted to row crops; and continuous wet spring weather.
“Earlier this summer we thought it was possible that nesting season was delayed enough to avoid an influence from the cold, wet spring,” Kohn said, “but it now appears that wasn’t the case.”
Kohn said even though statistics reveal bird numbers are down statewide, there will still be local areas with good pheasant populations.
Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicate the number of birds observed was down 25 percent from 2012, and the number of broods was down 22 percent. Observers counted 15 broods and 126 birds per 100 survey miles. The average brood size was 5.8.
Results from the southeast show birds are down 43 percent from last year, and the number of broods down 42 percent. Observers counted five broods and 49 birds per 100 miles. The average brood size was 5.9.
Statistics from the northwest indicated pheasants are down 39 percent from last year, with broods down 32 percent. Observers recorded six broods and 48 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 5.5.
The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat with much of it lacking good winter cover, showed one brood and seven birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.7. Number of birds observed was down 35 percent, and the number of broods recorded was down 33 percent.
The 2013 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 12 and continues through Jan. 5, 2014. The two-day youth pheasant hunting weekend, when legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger can hunt statewide, is set for Oct. 5-6.