Hunters are reminded that several North Dakota national wildlife refuges open to late-season upland game bird hunting the day after the deer gun season closes.
Arrowwood, Audubon, Des Lacs, J. Clark Salyer, Lake Alice, Lake Zahl, Long Lake, Lostwood, Tewaukon (pheasants only), and Upper Souris NWRs open Nov. 23.
Organizers planning fishing tournaments, including ice fishing contests this winter, are reminded to submit an application along with fishing tournament regulations to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department at least 30 days prior to the start of the event.
The 30-day advance notice allows for review by agency staff to ensure the proposed tournament will not have negative consequences or conflicts with other proposed tournaments for the same location and/or time.
Tournaments may not occur without first obtaining a valid permit from the department.
Trappers using cable devices must register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department prior to trapping this year.
Registration is available through the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or through any Game and Fish office. Upon completion, a registration number will be provided. The number must be written on the back of the furbearer or combination license.
Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department fall advisory board meeting in their area.
These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel.
The governor appoints eight Game and Fish Department advisors, each representing a multi-county section of the state, to serve as a liaison between the department and public.
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.”
North Dakota Game and Fish Department enforcement personnel are issuing a reminder that a permit is required before taking possession, or any part, of a dead deer found near a road or in a field, such as a road kill, including the skull with antlers. Only shed antlers can be possessed without a permit.
Permits to possess are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement offices.
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;
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.