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.
Game wardens for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department were busy over the Fourth of July weekend, as many anglers and boaters celebrated the holiday at a favorite outdoor destination.
Chief of enforcement Robert Timian said lake activity was high across the state, especially at popular recreation areas such as the Missouri River, Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake, Lake Ashtabula, Lake Tschida and Lake Metigoshe, with much of the department’s law enforcement efforts focusing on these areas.
The next guide and outfitter written examination is Aug. 9 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.
Two separate cases involving citations issued to out-of-state anglers for exceeding the possession limit on walleyes are perfect examples of public participation in helping enforce game and fish laws.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department chief of enforcement Robert Timian said one anonymous caller reported a case through the department’s enforcement office in Bismarck, while the other contacted a local district game warden.
“Both cases were very similar, and resulted from tips where anglers were catching and keeping more fish than the daily limit allows,” Timian said.
The recent discovery of curly leaf pondweed in Raleigh Reservoir in Grant County serves as a reminder for anglers to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Fred Ryckman said a fisheries crew discovered the unwanted plant in late June.
“This does not come as a total surprise since curly leaf is found in the Missouri River,” Ryckman said, noting the close proximity of the Missouri River to Raleigh Reservoir.
The North Dakota Cooperative Fur Harvester Education Program is sponsoring fur harvester education classes for anyone interested in trapping or hunting furbearers.
Courses in Bismarck and Jamestown are set for Aug. 12, 14 and 16.
A course in Velva is scheduled for Aug. 19, 21 and 23. - Update 7/23: This class has been postponed.
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge is hosting a course Sept. 16, 18 and 20.
Courses are free and take 16 hours to complete over a three-day period.
Anglers are reminded that it is illegal to import all forms of live aquatic bait into North Dakota. This includes minnows, suckers, leeches, waterdogs (salamanders) and frogs.
Anglers should buy bait from a licensed North Dakota retail bait vendor. Bait vendors can properly identify species and have taken steps to ensure all bait is clean of any aquatic nuisance species.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will host thousands of visitors to its Conservation and Outdoors Skills Park July 18-26 at the State Fair in Minot.
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.
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.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual spring breeding duck survey conducted in May showed an index of 4.9 million birds, up 23 percent from last year and 110 percent above the long-term average (1948-2013).
An annual tradition for many outdoor enthusiasts is to enjoy Fourth of July with family and friends at a favorite area lake. With the popular holiday less than two weeks away, boat owners are reminded that children ages 12-15 who want to operate a boat or personal watercraft must take the state’s boating basics course.