Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.
North Dakota’s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August suggests much improved production this spring, meaning more young birds added to the population and a better fall population in all areas of the state.
Governor Jack Dalrymple has appointed Tom Rost of Devils Lake and Dwight Hecker of Fairfield to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s advisory board.
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.
Rost, an avid hunter and angler, replaces Tracy Gardner, Devils Lake, in District 3. Hecker, a farmer-rancher, replaces Wayne Gerbig of Amidon in District 8. Gerbig and Gardner’s terms expired on June 30.
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.
Photographers are reminded that the deadline for submitting photos to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest is Sept. 28.
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.
North Dakota's deer gun lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the State Game and Fish Department's website, gf.nd.gov.
More than 2,200 antlerless deer gun licenses remain.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s May and July waterfowl surveys indicate hunters can expect another large fall flight. Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 22 for ducks, coots, mergansers and geese. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Sept. 29.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is still accepting registrations for Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops in 2012.
While many of the state’s western big game populations remain at low population levels, bighorn sheep numbers are strong, according to Brett Wiedmann, big game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Dickinson.
A July-August survey in western North Dakota showed a minimum 299 bighorn sheep, a slight increase from last year and just 17 below 2008’s record summer survey. “Our bighorn sheep population remained stable following three epic winters, so we’re pleased to see an increase subsequent to last winter’s mild conditions,” Wiedmann said.
Antlerless Deer Gun Licenses Available Sept. 19
Contact: Randy Meissner, licensing supervisor, (701) 328-6300
More than 2,000 licenses for antlerless deer are still available after the North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently completed its second lottery drawing.
These remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Sept. 19. These licenses are only available to individuals who have not already received a lottery or landowner license, and are valid only during the regular deer gun season, Nov. 9-25.
Daily Fire Danger Index link … http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bis/?n=fireweather
The North Dakota Fire Danger Index provides an indication of rural fire potential for grasslands, including its ability to spread. The index contains five ratings: Low, Medium, High, Very High, and Extreme.
North Dakota’s sandhill crane season opens Sept. 15. Hunters are urged to use caution and identify birds to prevent shooting at whooping cranes as they begin their fall migration.
The sandhill crane season is open through Nov. 11 in unit 1 (west of U.S. Highway 281), and through Oct. 21 in unit 2 (east of U.S. Highway 281). Limits are three daily and six in possession in unit 1, and two daily and four in possession in unit 2. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 3. Beginning Nov. 4, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.