North Dakota spring light goose hunters can track general locations of geese as birds make their way through the state.
Hunters are able to call (701) 328-3697 to hear recorded information 24 hours a day. Migration reports are also posted on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Updates will be provided periodically during the week as migration events occur, until the season ends or geese have left the state.
The 2013 spring wild turkey lottery has been held and hopeful hunters can check individual results by accessing the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov.
More than 300 licenses remain in eight units. The governor’s proclamation allows a maximum of two licenses, and hunters who did not apply in the first drawing are also eligible.
Fishing and hunting in North Dakota contributed an estimated $1.4 billion in annual input to the state’s economy, according to a report by the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University.
The report, commissioned by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, tracked hunter and angler expenditures for the 2011-12 hunting and fishing seasons, and is similar to other studies conducted periodically since the late 1970s.
Undergraduate students with a major in wildlife management and/or fisheries biology are eligible to apply for a $795 scholarship through the Ronald D. Liudahl Endowment.
Students must be a resident of North Dakota, have completed at least 30 semester credits in a fisheries and wildlife management program, indicate career objectives in wildlife resource protection and management in a brief essay or statement, and have a grade point average and extracurricular/volunteer activities commensurate with good academic standing and citizenship. The deadline for applying is April 1.
State law requires permanent fish houses to be removed from North Dakota waters by midnight March 15.
Nancy Boldt, water safety coordinator for the State Game and Fish Department, said anglers should exercise caution because mild weather conditions can quickly result in unstable ice conditions.
“It is always important to check ice thickness, as warm temperatures with a high sun will rapidly deteriorate ice conditions this time of the year,” Boldt said.
Anglers are reminded that North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season closes March 15.
Individuals who would still like to get out for the first time this year must register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Registration is available through the department’s website, gf.nd.gov, or through any Game and Fish Department office.
March 15 is also the deadline for anglers to remove permanent fish houses from state waters.
Chris Rick’s catch on Jan. 19 tied a state record for crappie that’s been on the books for nearly 15 years.
The Jamestown angler reeled in a 3-pound, 4-ounce crappie from the Jamestown Reservoir.
The record was established in 1998 by Don Newcomb, a Mandan angler who was fishing Lake Oahe.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds winter anglers to clean up the ice after fishing. This not only applies to trash, but fish as well.
It is not only unsightly, but it is illegal to leave fish behind on the ice. According to the fishing proclamation, when a fish is caught anglers must either immediately release the fish back into the water unharmed, or reduce them to their daily possession.
Adults and children looking to take a hunter education class in 2013 are reminded to enroll now as the majority of all classes are held by the end of May.
Zach Peterson, hunter education coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said classes held early in the year fill up quickly because of the deer application deadline. “There is a major demand for classes held before June because they will qualify students for submitting a deer application,” Peterson said.
Volunteer instructors for North Dakota’s hunter education program were recognized Feb. 9 for their contributions of teaching students the importance of hunter safety and ethics.
Instructor of the year and years of service awards were presented at the annual hunter education workshop and awards banquet held in Bismarck.
Joe Lautenschlager of Berthold and Rod Hubbard from Fargo were named instructors of the year.
Honored for 40 years of service was Lorne Sterner of Casselton.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel continue to update or add new fishing waters to the list of available contour maps on the department’s website.
Jerry Weigel, fisheries production and development section leader, said each year data is collected on a few new waters or existing waters that have experienced significant change. Contour fishing maps are developed from this data to show the layout of the lake, public access and local facilities.
Harvest statistics released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show overall hunter success during the 2012 season for bighorn sheep was 100 percent, 93 percent for moose and 62 percent for elk.
The department issued three bighorn sheep lottery licenses and one auction license. All four hunters harvested a bighorn ram.
The department issued 143 moose licenses last year. Of that total, 139 hunters harvested 129 animals – 80 bulls and 49 cows/calves. Harvest for each unit follows: