Archive of Hunting Reports

July2012

Remaining Fall Turkey Licenses Available Aug. 15

Posted: July 30, 2012

The 2012 fall wild turkey lottery has been held and more than 1,300 licenses remain in 10 units. Unsuccessful applicants who applied online will have a refund issued directly to their credit card.

Beginning Aug. 15, all remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters are allowed a maximum of 15 licenses for the fall season.

Resident and nonresident hunters will be able to apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will also be available at license vendors.

The fall turkey season runs from Oct. 13 – Jan. 13, 2013.

Licenses remain for the following units: Unit 03, Benson and Ramsey counties and a portion of Pierce County, 105 licenses; Unit 13, Dunn County, 278; Unit 19, Grant and Sioux counties and a portion of Morton County, 33; Unit 25, McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties, 368; Unit 30, a portion of Morton County, 142; Unit 31, Mountrail County, 36; Unit 45, Stark County, 118; Unit 51, Burke County and portions of Renville, Bottineau and Ward counties, 205; Unit 98, Burleigh, Emmons and McLean counties, 22; and Unit 99, Mercer and Oliver counties, 79.

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Swan Hunt Application Available Online

Posted:

The online application for North Dakota’s 2012 tundra swan license lottery is available on the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline for applying is Aug. 15.

Paper applications will be available the first week in August from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors. Hunters can also apply by calling (800) 406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made by phone.

The statewide tundra swan hunting season is Sept. 29 – Dec. 30. A total of 2,200 licenses are available. Successful applicants will receive a tag to take one swan during the season. Since swans are classified as waterfowl, nonresidents may hunt them only during the period their nonresident waterfowl license is valid.

North Dakota residents and nonresidents are eligible to apply.

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2011 Pheasant Season Summarized

Posted: July 24, 2012

More hunting opportunities meant more pheasants taken during the 2011 season, as last fall’s pheasant harvest was 683,000, up from 552,000 in 2010.

Aaron Robinson, upland bird biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the overall landscape probably didn’t have more birds, but Mother Nature allowed for an increase in harvest due to mild weather conditions and minimal snow cover in November, December and early January.

“This is a prime example of how the harvest doesn’t necessarily reflect the overall population,” Robinson said. “We actually had lower production in 2011 than in 2010, but hunter effort made up the difference due to last winter’s exceptionally mild weather conditions.”

Statistics actually revealed the number of hunters declined 10 percent to 82,700. The number of resident hunters was down 5 percent to 58,200, while nonresident pheasant hunter numbers decreased 20 percent to 24,500.

“However, the determining factor is many hunters were able to enjoy good hunting conditions with mild weather through the last weekend of the season,” Robinson said.

Birds bagged per hunter increased from 6.0 to 8.3. Each hunter spent an average of six days afield.

Counties with the highest percentage of pheasants taken by resident hunters were Hettinger, 9.2; Burleigh, 6.4; Emmons, 6.0; McLean, 5.4; and Adams, 5.3.

Top counties for nonresident hunters were Hettinger, 24.9 percent; Bowman, 7.6; Emmons, 5.6; McIntosh, 5.2; and Divide, 4.5.

Annual pheasant season statistics are determined by a mail survey of resident and nonresident hunters.

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Deer Lottery Held, Antlerless Licenses Remain

Posted: July 17, 2012

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 5,800 antlerless deer gun licenses remain. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the first lottery can apply.
An option to apply online will be available July 23. Paper applications will be mailed to individuals in late July. The deadline for applying is Aug. 22.

Remaining Deer Gun Licenses
(B = Any Antlerless D = Antlerless Whitetail)

Unit Type Available Unit Type Available
2D B 381 3E1 D 273
2F1 B 215 3E2 B 75
2K2 B 883 3E2 D 276
2L B 507 3F1 B 342
3A2 B 421 3F1 D 523
3B3 D 205 3F2 B 423
3C D 290 3F2 D 662
3D1 D 22 4F D 331

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Increased Bag Considered for Early Canada Goose Season

Posted: July 13, 2012

The State Game and Fish Department is considering an option to increase the daily limit for the early Canada goose season from eight to 15, following recent action by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regulations Committee.

The service regulations committee is allowing an increase in the bag limit from last year in response to recommendations from North Dakota and South Dakota to allow greater harvest on resident Canada geese. “A daily limit of 15 would give hunters an opportunity to take more birds when they are available,” said Randy Kreil, wildlife division chief for the Game and Fish Department. “We are looking at every option we can to increase hunter harvest of our resident Canada goose population.”

Game and Fish first held an early Canada goose season in 1999. Since then, the open area and season length have expanded.

In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized states to expand their resident goose management seasons into August.  While the season could open as early as Aug. 1, most landowners and hunters are comfortable with starting a couple of weeks after that, to allow for small grain harvest to open up stubble fields for hunting. In addition, weather conditions are generally more favorable for hunting as the month progresses.

Until last year, the daily limit in the early season was five, and last year Game and Fish increased the limit to eight, which under federal regulations was the maximum allowed during the September portion of the early season.

“Our resident goose population is at record levels,” Kreil said. “We understand that nearly doubling the early season daily limit isn’t going to double the harvest, but it certainly would help increase the harvest.”

The small game proclamation that will set season dates and limits for the early goose season will not be finalized until late July. The season is tentatively set to open Aug. 15.

Last year the early Canada goose season opened Aug. 13 and ran through Sept. 15, except in a special Missouri River zone where the season closed Sept. 8. The seven fewer early season days in the Missouri River zone are added to the end of the regular goose season in December.

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Pheasant Crowing Counts Up

Posted: July 9, 2012

North Dakota’s spring pheasant crowing count survey revealed a 10 percent increase statewide compared to last year.

All four pheasant districts showed an increase compared to last year. The number of crows heard in the southeast increased by 12 percent, northwest by 8 percent, northeast by 6 percent and southwest by 4 percent.

Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the State Game and Fish Department, said birds did not experience excessive mortality last winter.

“Even with the nice winter last year, I anticipated fewer adult birds to be available this spring because poor production in spring of 2009-11 led to fewer young birds entering the fall population,” Kohn said. “However, I did expect to see higher crow count numbers in the southwest because good numbers of birds were observed last winter, but it didn’t pan out in the crow count numbers.”

Even with a somewhat smaller breeding class of birds, Kohn said hens were in better shape this spring because of less winter stress. In addition, he said nesting habitat looked to be in pretty good condition in all areas of the state, and nesting and brooding weather this spring has been almost ideal.

“I expect much better upland game production this summer,” Kohn added. “Pheasant hens are finding better quality nesting and brooding cover on the uplands this spring, and with the good weather, more hens were successful with first clutches, a positive sign of a good production year.”

However, Kohn noted, the loss of CRP is going to decrease nesting and brooding cover in the future, and will negatively affect the pheasant population.

Spring crowing count data is not always a good indicator of the fall population. It does not measure population density, but provides an index of the spring rooster population based on a trend of number of crows heard. Brood surveys, which begin in mid-July and are completed by September, are a better indicator of the summer’s pheasant production and provide insight into what to expect for a fall pheasant population.

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.

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Space Available for BOW

Posted: July 4, 2012

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is still accepting registrations for Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops in 2012.

The annual summer workshop is Aug. 10-12 at Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau. Participants may take several programs including archery, canoeing, introduction to firearms, fly-fishing, kayaking, navigating outdoors, global positioning system, plant identification, introduction to photography, and tracking and trapping. Workshop fees of $135 cover instruction, program materials, use of equipment, all meals and lodging.

Turtle River State Park will host a workshop Sept. 21-23. Classes include mountain biking, wild game cooking, stream fly-fishing, nature journaling and archery. Workshop fees of $135 include instruction in all sessions, program materials, use of equipment, and all meals and lodging.

Waterfowl hunting is scheduled Oct. 6-7 in Bismarck. Participants are instructed in firearm and waterfowl safety, shotgun shooting, waterfowl identification, water/field decoys and gear, and techniques for decoying and calling waterfowl. A mentored hunt will be featured Oct. 7. Participants must possess a hunter education certificate, current hunting licenses and provide their own hunting clothing, boots or waders. Workshop fees of $20 include instruction, program materials and use of equipment. No lodging is provided.

A bow hunting workshop for women with no or minimal archery experience is set for Oct. 24-28 at Lake Metigoshe State Park. Participants will achieve the necessary education, experience and confidence to archery hunt alone. Participants must have previously taken the beginning archery course or have demonstrated a minimum level of proficiency, and must provide their own archery equipment. More information on this event, including cost, will be available in midsummer.

BOW workshops are designed primarily for women with an interest in learning skills associated with hunting, fishing and outdoor endeavors. Although open to anyone age 18 or older, the workshops are tailored primarily to women who have never tried these activities or who are beginners hoping to improve their skills.

Women interested in attending a workshop can register online, or print an information brochure and registration form, at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. More information is available by contacting Nancy Boldt at (701) 328-6312, Brittany Fish at (701) 527-3075, or email ndgf@nd.gov.

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Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest

Posted: July 3, 2012

The deadline for submitting photos to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest is Sept. 30.

The contest has categories for nongame and game species, as well as plants/insects. An overall winning photograph will be chosen, with the number of place winners in each category determined by the number of qualified entries.

Contest entries are limited to digital files submitted on disk or via email. Contestants are limited to no more than five entries. Photos must have been taken in North Dakota.

By submitting an entry, photographers grant permission to Game and Fish to publish winning photographs in North Dakota OUTDOORS magazine, and as part of the magazine on the Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

Photo disks should be sent to Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest, C/O Patrick T. Isakson, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095.

Send emailed digital photos to photocontest@nd.gov. Digital submissions can be either original digital photographs, or scans made from prints or slides/transparencies. Photographers will need to supply the original image if needed for publication.

Photo disks will not be returned. All entries must be accompanied by the photographer’s name, address, phone number and email address if available. Other information such as photo site location and month taken are also useful.

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Hunting Guide and Outfitter Test

Posted: July 2, 2012

The next guide and outfitter written examination is Aug. 4 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office in Bismarck. The test is given periodically to anyone interested in becoming a hunting guide or outfitter in the state.

In addition to passing a written exam, qualifications for becoming a guide include a background check for criminal and game and fish violations; certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid; and employment by or contract with a licensed hunting outfitter.

Hunting outfitter eligibility requirements include the guide qualifications, as well as an individual must have held a hunting guide license for two years; and must have proof of liability insurance.

Interested individuals are required to preregister by calling the Game and Fish Department’s enforcement office at 328-6604.

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All Hunting Reports

2012
2011