Waterfowlers hunting from boats are encouraged to wear properly-fitted life jackets while on the water.
Hunting jackets with life jackets already built in are light and comfortable to wear. In addition, wearing a life jacket will not only keep the overboard hunter afloat, but also slow the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.
Capsizing and falling overboard from small boats are the most common types of fatal boating accidents for hunters.
Waterfowl hunters are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species into or within North Dakota.
Waterfowl hunters must remove plants and plant fragments from decoys, strings and anchors; remove plants seeds and plant fragments from waders and other equipment before leaving hunting areas; remove all water from decoys, boats, motors, trailers and other watercraft; and remove all aquatic plants from boats and trailers before leaving a marsh or lake. In addition, hunters are encouraged to brush their hunting dogs free of mud and seeds.
The 2015 fall wild turkey lottery has been held and 990 licenses remain in eight units. Unsuccessful applicants who applied online will have a refund issued directly to their credit card.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates good but declining wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout much of the state.
Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird supervisor, said once again the northwest region has the highest number of wetlands holding water, but virtually all areas of the state are drier than last year, with the poorest conditions and most extreme declines in the southern half of the state.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department and Ducks Unlimited co-sponsor a trailer full of waterfowl hunting gear that is available to families with young hunters.
Purchased by the Game and Fish Department’s Encouraging Tomorrow’s Hunters grant program, the trailer is designed for families who don’t have the appropriate gear for their young hunters to hunt waterfowl. The equipment is donated by Avery Outdoors.
Families looking for a fun afternoon filled with outdoor activities are invited to attend Teddy Roosevelt Family Day on Sunday, Sept. 27 at McDowell Dam just east of Bismarck.
The free event runs from 1-4 p.m. and families can come and go at any time. It features many hands-on activities including archery, BB gun shooting, fishing, animal identification, prizes and more.
The first 750 kids who attend also receive a free Teddy Roosevelt patch.
Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.
North Dakota’s two-day youth pheasant season is Oct. 3-4. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger may hunt roosters statewide.
Resident youth hunters, regardless of age, must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. Nonresident youth hunters from states that provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents qualify for North Dakota resident licenses. Otherwise, nonresident youth hunters must purchase a nonresident small game license.
The 43,275 deer gun licenses that were allocated by proclamation for the 2015 hunting season have all been issued, according to Randy Meissner, licensing manager for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Meissner said according to state law, the number of deer gun licenses issued, including those licenses issued as gratis, cannot exceed the number of licenses authorized by the governor’s proclamation.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reducing releases from the Garrison Dam, resulting in a lower river stage on the Missouri River from the dam down to the headwaters of Lake Oahe.
Access from boat ramps along the river, especially in the Bismarck/Mandan area, will become restricted or unusable for the remainder of the open water season. Ramps expected to be affected include Steckel Landing (Wilton), Hoge Island, Kneifel Landing, Grant Marsh Bridge and Fox Island.
Results from this summer’s bighorn sheep survey indicate North Dakota’s bighorn population has increased from last year, despite the ongoing presence of pneumonia.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department big game biologist Brett Wiedmann said the July-August survey showed a minimum of 304 bighorn sheep, an increase of 6 percent from 2014. Results revealed 87 rams, 159 ewes and 58 lambs. The department’s survey does not include approximately 30 bighorn sheep that live in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is currently working with landowners in 12 hunting units across the state who would like to host hunters with antlerless deer licenses in 2015.
Participating landowners are located in hunting units 2C, 2I, 2J2, 2K1, 2K2, 3A4, 3B3, 3C, 3D2, 3F1, 4B and 4E.
The program is not intended for buck hunters, but designed to direct hunters with antlerless licenses to specific areas to reduce deer populations.