Even with thousands of hunters in the field during the opening week of the pheasant season, the State Game and Fish Department received only a few reports from hunters who found dead deer in southwestern North Dakota.
Game and Fish personnel have been monitoring the deer population in the southwest since late August, when the first reports of dead deer, attributed to epizootic hemorrhagic disease, came in from Bowman, Grant and Burleigh counties.
North Dakota’s Sportsmen Against Hunger Program is again accepting donations of deer at select processors across the state. In addition, the program is also able to accept light goose breast meat (snow, blue and Ross’s geese) for the first time this fall.
Canada goose meat, while accepted during the early goose season, is not eligible for donation during the regular waterfowl season.
The State Game and Fish Department recently honored the Wahpeton Park Board for its ongoing efforts to develop and improve public boating and fishing facilities at numerous lakes, rivers and recreation sites in Richland County.
Each year the Department’s fisheries division presents a “Certificate of Appreciation” to an organization that has a history of accomplishments as a cooperating partner in local fisheries projects. Fisheries development supervisor Bob Frohlich said the park board is a perfect example of how a willing entity can make a difference for local fisheries.
Wet conditions over the past two weeks have delayed the fall harvest of row crops.
With most hunting seasons open, North Dakota hunters are reminded that hunting in unharvested crops is not allowed without a landowner’s permission, including waterfowl hunters driving on land to set up decoys.
To maintain proper landowner-sportsmen relations, hunters are urged to stay off harvested fields in wet conditions.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently stocked seven waters with catchable trout.
Jerry Weigel, fisheries development and production section leader, said these trout will provide exciting fall and winter fishing opportunities. “Shasta strain rainbow trout average more than one pound each, with some up to five pounds,” Weigel said. More than 800 were stocked in the Turtle River near Arvilla in Grand Forks County, while 115 went in the Owls Pond in Burleigh County.
Fisheries biologists who questioned how a late spring and delayed ice-off would influence fish reproduction in North Dakota waters finally have a few answers.
“It looks better than we expected,” said Scott Gangl, State Game and Fish Department fisheries management section leader. “Our biologists have been seeing some pretty good numbers of young-of-the-year yellow perch in lakes statewide, signaling some good reproduction this year. This was especially true in our larger lakes that traditionally provided a perch fishery.”
North Dakota’s waterfowl production areas will be open to hunting on the pheasant opener after all.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday afternoon rescinded its closure of WPAs to public access, including hunting and fishing, effective immediately.
That means the WPAs in North Dakota will be available to hunters for the state’s pheasant opener on Saturday, Oct. 12.
The Oct. 4-5 snowstorm that covered southwestern North Dakota may present some challenging travel conditions for hunters when the 2013 pheasant season opens this Saturday.
State Game and Fish Department officials say that while most of the foot or more of snow that fell in some counties will likely be gone, the moisture left behind may still make travel difficult on some section line trails and other unimproved roads.
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 deadline is months away, but now is the time to frame the perfect photograph for a contest that will determine the cover of the 2014 Private Land Open To Sportsmen guide.
From end-of-day hunting shots, to scenic action or landscape shots, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department wants to feature hunter photos on the 2014 PLOTS cover and elsewhere that showcase North Dakota’s strong hunting heritage.
North Dakota hunters are reminded to be cautious on roadways, as farmers and ranchers are currently busy with fall farm duties.
With most hunting seasons open and producers harvesting crops, moving cattle and hauling bales, road traffic is busy at times, even on rural gravel roads. With that in mind, hunters are asked to move to the side of the road to allow wide farm vehicles to pass, park their vehicles in a place that will not block a roadway, field approach or gate, pick up trash and empty shells, and not clean game in the road ditch or approach.
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 2014. 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.