The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is encouraging farmers and ranchers to plan ahead to protect hay, grain and winter feed supplies from wildlife, according to Kevin Kading, private lands section supervisor.
Even with today’s low deer populations, severe winter conditions can result in wildlife depredation to livestock feed supplies or stored grain, Kading said.
Landowners or hunters who happen to encounter feral pigs in North Dakota must notify the State Board of Animal Health immediately. Shooting of feral pigs is illegal in North Dakota unless a person is protecting property or livestock.
Casey Anderson, assistant chief of wildlife for the State Game and Fish Department, said state law requires reporting of feral pigs to help the BOAH eliminate these nuisance animals.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s fall mule deer survey indicated the population continues to recover in the badlands.
Biologists counted 2,157 (1,958 in 2014) mule deer in the aerial survey in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.42 (0.50 in 2014) is similar to the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.84 (0.95 in 2014) is slightly below the long-term average of 0.90 fawns per doe.
“The buck-to-doe ratio remains stable, and we had another year of good fawn production,” Stillings said. “Overall, the numbers are encouraging.”
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding deer hunters to keep in mind the Sportsmen Against Hunger program this fall.
While this year’s deer proclamation allows only one deer gun license per hunter, families with more than one license might want to consider donating a deer to this worthy cause. In addition, hunters with an archery and muzzleloader license can help as well.
The State Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2015 hunting season, by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis from 17 units in North Dakota. In addition, all moose and elk harvested in the state are eligible for testing.
Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken in the western portion of the state will be tested from units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3, 3B1, 3B2, 3D1, 3D2, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F.
Every year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives questions from deer hunters who want to clarify rules and regulations. Some common questions are listed below. Hunters with further questions are encouraged to call the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays, or access the department’s website, gf.nd.gov.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden Keenan Snyder is seeking information on several illegal-taking-of-wildlife incidents over the last month in the Williston and Watford City areas.
Anyone with information on the following incidents is asked to call the Report All Poachers telephone number at 800-472-2121, or contact Snyder at 701-770-1072. RAP is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any of these individuals.
· Sept. 10 – a headless whitetail buck was found at Demicks Lake;
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists have evaluated fish spawning and stocking success across the state.
Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said Lake Sakakawea produced good catches of walleye and yearling perch. “We had a good hatch on perch in 2014, and our guys were still seeing a lot of those in the nets this year,” Gangl said. “Our walleye catch was above average with a combination of stocking and natural reproduction. Smelt numbers aren’t compiled yet, but other forage fish remain fairly stable when compared to prior years.”
Fall turkey licenses remain in Unit 25 for hunters who do not have a license, or for those who want additional licenses. Hunters are allowed a maximum of 15 licenses for the fall season.
Unit 25 covers McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties.
Resident and nonresident hunters can apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
The fall turkey season is open through Jan. 3, 2016.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds deer hunters to find their license and check it for accuracy.
Every year the Game and Fish Department’s licensing section receives last-minute inquiries from hunters who can’t find their license. When that happens, it’s difficult to try to get a replacement license in time for the season opener.
Another reason to check the license now is to make sure the unit and species is what was intended.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s law enforcement division recently conducted check stations on boats coming into the state in an effort to ensure compliance with aquatic nuisance species laws and regulations.
Robert Timian, enforcement chief, said check stations on Interstate 94 and U.S. Highway 2 revealed the majority of hunters and anglers are keeping their equipment free of unwanted species.
“Our main focus was directed toward duck hunters trailering boats,” Timian said. “All total, there were less than a handful of individuals with minor violations.”
The number of pheasants taken last year in North Dakota was up from 2013, according to statistics compiled by the State Game and Fish Department.
Last year, more than 78,000 hunters (up 2 percent) harvested 587,000 roosters (up 31 percent). In 2013, 76,000 hunters took 447,000 roosters.