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.
Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways, especially this time of year, because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges.
October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents. Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways. Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is taking orders for its North Dakota OUTDOORS calendar, the source for all hunting season and application dates for 2016. Along with outstanding color photographs of North Dakota wildlife and scenery, it also includes sunrise-sunset times and moon phases.
To order, send $3 for each, plus $1 postage, to: Calendar, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095. Be sure to include a three-line return address with your order, or the post office may not deliver our return mailing.
Three adult zebra mussels found last week on Sorlie Bridge in Grand Forks serve as a reminder for local entities and water recreationists to thoroughly check for new aquatic nuisance species infestations when pulling and storing fishing piers, boat docks and lifts prior to ice up.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Fred Ryckman said the adult mussels were found on Red River sampling equipment by staff from the U.S. Geological Survey.
The Estenson Boat Landing on Devils Lake will close Monday, Oct. 5 for approximately 3-4 weeks for ramp reconstruction.
Although this work may cause a temporary inconvenience for anglers, the new ramp will be a major improvement over the existing facilities.
The boat landing is located 15 miles south of Devils Lake on N.D. Highway 20.
Waterfowl hunters are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species into or within North Dakota.
Waterfowl hunters must remove plants and plant fragments from decoys, strings and anchors; remove plants seeds and plant fragments from waders and other equipment before leaving hunting areas; remove all water from decoys, boats, motors, trailers and other watercraft; and remove all aquatic plants from boats and trailers before leaving a marsh or lake. In addition, hunters are encouraged to brush their hunting dogs free of mud and seeds.
Out-of-state hunters are reminded that state law does not allow nonresidents to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department owned or managed lands during the first week of pheasant season.
Private Land Open to Sportsmen acreage and state wildlife management areas are open to hunting by resident hunters only from Oct. 10-16. Nonresidents, however, can still hunt those days on other state-owned and federal lands, or private land.
Waterfowlers hunting from boats are encouraged to wear properly-fitted life jackets while on the water.
Hunting jackets with life jackets already built in are light and comfortable to wear. In addition, wearing a life jacket will not only keep the overboard hunter afloat, but also slow the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.
Capsizing and falling overboard from small boats are the most common types of fatal boating accidents for hunters.
The 2015 fall wild turkey lottery has been held and 990 licenses remain in eight units. Unsuccessful applicants who applied online will have a refund issued directly to their credit card.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates good but declining wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout much of the state.
Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird supervisor, said once again the northwest region has the highest number of wetlands holding water, but virtually all areas of the state are drier than last year, with the poorest conditions and most extreme declines in the southern half of the state.
North Dakota’s two-day youth pheasant season is Oct. 3-4. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger may hunt roosters statewide.
Resident youth hunters, regardless of age, must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. Nonresident youth hunters from states that provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents qualify for North Dakota resident licenses. Otherwise, nonresident youth hunters must purchase a nonresident small game license.