The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is offering 5,815 wild turkey licenses for the spring hunting season, 65 fewer than last year.
Two of the 22 hunting units have slightly more spring licenses than in 2014, two have fewer and 17 remain the same. Unit 21 (most of Hettinger and Adams counties) is again closed in 2015 due to lack of turkeys in the unit.
North Dakota’s National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament is moving to a new venue to accommodate a growing number of participants.
NASP state coordinator Jeff Long said he expects more than 500 students to participate in this year’s state tournament, scheduled for March 21-22 at the All Seasons Arena in Minot.
“This event continues to grow each year,” Long said. “The All Seasons Arena in Minot is an ideal location to host the tourney.”
Individuals interested in taking a hunter education class in 2015 are reminded to register early as most classes are held the first few months of the calendar year.
To register for a hunter education course, students need to sign up online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. Many classes will be added over the next several weeks, and the rest will be added throughout the year as they are finalized.
North Dakota citizens with an interest in supporting wildlife conservation programs are reminded to look for the Watchable Wildlife checkoff on the state tax form.
The state income tax form gives wildlife enthusiasts an opportunity to support nongame wildlife like songbirds and birds of prey, while at the same time contributing to programs that help everyone enjoy all wildlife.
The state Game and Fish Department’s annual Earth Day awareness campaign is accepting entries for design of a 2015 Earth Day patch. North Dakota students ages 6-18 are eligible to participate. The deadline to submit entries is March 15.
The Game and Fish Department will announce a winner in three age categories – 6-9, 10-13, and 14-18. Each winner will receive a pair of 8x42 binoculars. The final patch design will be chosen from the three winners.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has initiated a winter creel survey in the south central part of the state to learn who is fishing and what they’re catching.
“Our guys will be hitting various small district lakes scattered throughout south central North Dakota, primarily in Logan and McIntosh counties and northern Kidder County, where you find clusters of lakes,” said Scott Gangl, department fisheries management section leader.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will once again track hunting and fishing issues during the 2015 legislative session.
Interested outdoor enthusiasts can follow proposed outdoors-related bills by logging onto the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
A brief description of each bill will be included, along with the bill sponsor and hearing schedule. To view each bill in its entirety, click on the hot-linked bill number.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will have 202 any-deer bow licenses available to nonresidents in 2015.
The deadline for applying is March 1. A lottery will be held if more applications are received than licenses available. Any remaining licenses after March 1 will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants can apply together as a party. A separate check is required for each application.
Mountain lion hunting during the late season in zone 1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season quota of seven was filled after three cats were taken yesterday.
Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.
Brian Hosek, IT section supervisor and GIS coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, received the agency’s Director’s Award for professional excellence during the Department’s annual meeting Dec. 11 in Bismarck.
Terry Steinwand, Game and Fish director, said Hosek produces high quality work on a consistent basis. “Brian’s expertise and creative thinking has led to many practical, efficient and effective advances with the department,” Steinwand said.
Alan Howard, North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden stationed in Minot, is the state’s 2014 Wildlife Officer of the Year. Howard was honored recently by the Shikar-Safari Club International, a private conservation organization that annually recognizes outstanding wildlife officers in each state.
In a nomination letter sent to Shikar-Safari, chief warden Robert Timian said Howard’s district has seen a population growth, which has led to increased pressure on wildlife.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand recently honored a number of employees with performance-based awards. Steinwand presented the following awards at the department’s annual staff meeting Dec. 11.