North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is up 10 percent from last year, according to the State Game and Fish Department’s 2015 spring crowing count survey.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was up statewide, with increases ranging from about 2 to 12 percent in the primary regions holding pheasants.
“A much improved production year for pheasants in spring 2014, coupled with the mild winter, produced a healthy breeding population this spring,” Kohn said.
Statistics from the 2015 spring sharp-tailed grouse census indicate a 22 percent increase in the number of male grouse counted compared to last year.
Statewide, 4,346 sharptails were observed on spring dancing grounds this year compared to 3,551 in 2014. Male grouse recorded per square mile increased from 3.4 to 4.2. More than 1,000 square miles were covered.
Individuals interested in taking the district game warden or warden pilot exams scheduled for July 17 are reminded to register no later than July 13, by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website.
The tests are scheduled for 10 a.m. at the department's main office in Bismarck.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently paid more than $533,500 in taxes to counties in which the department owns or leases land. The 2014 in-lieu-of-tax payments are the same as property taxes paid by private landowners.
The Game and Fish Department manages more than 200,000 acres for wildlife habitat and public hunting in 51 counties. The department does not own or manage any land in Traill or Renville counties.
Following is a list of counties and the tax payments they received.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds citizens that possession or use of fireworks on state wildlife management areas is prohibited.
The primary objective of a wildlife management area is to enhance wildlife production, provide hunting and fishing opportunities, and offer other outdoor recreational and educational uses. Only activities that would not disrupt the intentions of how these areas are managed are encouraged, and a fireworks display is not compatible.
The State Game and Fish Department will lift the Tuesday-Wednesday no camping restriction during the week of July 4 on those wildlife management areas in western North Dakota and along Lake Sakakawea that prohibit camping during those two days of the week.
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.
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.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel will stock a record number of walleye lakes in the coming weeks.
Fisheries production and development supervisor Jerry Weigel said 130 waters are scheduled to receive a share of 9 million fingerlings.
“We need every available pond at Garrison Dam and Valley City fish hatcheries to meet a 9 million walleye fingerling request,” Weigel said.
The growth of walleye lakes, according to Weigel, is directly correlated to the rapid increase in the number of public fishing waters in the state.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds outdoor recreationists, including those who will celebrate the Fourth of July along any heavily-used recreational area, to keep it clean this summer by packing out all trash.
All garbage, including used fireworks, should be placed in the proper trash receptacle. If trash cans aren’t available, or are full, take the trash and dispose of it at home.
Family fishing days return to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site.
The catch-and-release only fishery is stocked with trout, bluegill, largemouth bass and other species.
Family fishing days are Saturdays and Wednesdays through the end of August. Fishing equipment can be checked out at the OWLS Pond, located adjacent to the Department’s Bismarck office, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Fishing rods and basic tackle are available for use free of charge.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has scheduled an examination to select candidates for the position of game warden pilot. The test is scheduled for July 17 at 10 a.m., at the department's main office in Bismarck. In addition, an exam to select candidates for an additional district game warden position is scheduled at the same time.