North Dakota’s 2013 pheasant crowing count survey indicates that rooster numbers were down about 11 percent statewide compared to last year, heading into the spring breeding season.
All four pheasant districts had lower counts than last year. The number of crows heard in the northeast declined by 18 percent, southeast and southwest by 11 percent, and the northwest by nearly 2 percent.
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.
Contest entries are limited to digital files submitted on disk or via email. Contestants are limited to no more than five entries. Photos must have been taken in North Dakota.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will conduct the 2013 deer gun lottery the last week in July.
Licensing manager Randy Meissner said several thousand paper applications need to be entered into the system before the lottery is held. “In the past we were able to run the lottery once all regular gun applications were entered, but with the new law it looks like the end of July will now become the normal time period for holding the deer lottery,” Meissner said.
In recognition of the Fourth of July celebration, outdoor recreationists can set up camp Tuesday and Wednesday, July 2-3 on some wildlife management areas that typically prohibit overnight camping those two days of the week.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will close the Lewis and Clark and Trenton wildlife management areas to night use, except for those actively engaged in legal fishing and hunting activities. Effective once the signs are in place, the use restriction applies from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.
The next guide and outfitter written examination is Aug. 10 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.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds outdoor recreationists who celebrate the Fourth of July along any heavily-used recreational area to keep it clean by packing out all trash, including fireworks.
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.
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 North Dakota Game and Fish Department is moving the 2013 fall turkey license application deadline, originally set for July 3, to August this year to allow for a better assessment of the fall turkey population before determining license numbers.
The official date for the application deadline has not yet been determined.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Encouraging Tomorrow’s Hunters program is a primary sponsor for an outdoor learning event in the Bismarck area on Saturday, July 13.
Put on by the Mule Deer Foundation, the MULEY Day Camp runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Moffit Gun Range. It includes rifle and archery target shooting, hunting and safety information and demonstrations.
North Dakota game wardens issued a record number of citations during the recent paddlefish snagging season.
From opening day May 1until the season closed May 19, wardens cited more than 170 individuals as part of an annual saturation effort in Williams and McKenzie counties. Last year the citation total for a similar timeframe was 82.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of 3.9 million birds, down 17 percent from last year but still 73 percent above the long-term average (1948-2012).
Mike Szymanski, waterfowl biologist, said blue-winged teal and gadwall saw the largest decline. “Blue-wings are coming off near-record highs, so it’s not unexpected to see the drop,” Szymanski said.