Data recently tallied from July and August roadside counts indicate sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge populations are down significantly from last year.
As of Aug. 28, brood results suggest sharp-tailed grouse numbers are down 51 percent statewide from last year, with the number of broods observed down 50 percent. The average brood size is about the same as in 2012, and the age ratio is up 19 percent.
The statewide Hungarian partridge population is down 34 percent from last year, and the number of broods observed is down 31 percent.
North Dakota’s two-day youth waterfowl season is Sept. 14-15. Legally licensed resident and nonresident youth waterfowl hunters age 15 and younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers statewide.
The daily bag limit and species restrictions for the youth season are the same as for regular duck and goose seasons.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department game wardens seized 136 walleye during a recent two-day operation targeting over-limits of fish on Devils Lake.
Chief game warden Robert Timian said the main emphasis of the Aug. 23-24 operation was to identify and apprehend anglers taking more than a daily limit of walleye. “Fishing has been good, and we were hearing complaints of some people double-dipping,” Timian said.
North Dakota’s sandhill crane season opens Sept. 14 and continues through Nov. 10.
Limits are three daily and nine in possession in unit 1 (west of U.S. Highway 281), and two daily and six in possession in unit 2 (east of U.S. Highway 281). Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 2. Beginning Nov. 3, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.
Hunters are urged to use caution and identify birds to prevent shooting at whooping cranes as they begin their fall migration.
North Dakota’s 2013 waterfowl season has been set, with noteworthy changes including an increase in the daily limit of Canada and snow geese, and the possession limit for most migratory birds.
Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 21 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Sept. 28. The season for swans opens Sept. 28 for both residents and nonresidents.
Wildlife biologists believe recent reports of white-tailed deer deaths in western North Dakota could indicate the presence of epizootic hemorrhagic disease.
Dr. Dan Grove, State Game and Fish Department wildlife veterinarian, said the reports have characteristics similar to previous EHD events, and initial necropsy results on a freshly dead deer from Burleigh County indicate the potential presence of EHD.
Officials at the State Game and Fish Department are concerned that a potential transfer of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land around Lake Sakakawea would include thousands of acres of public land managed for fish, wildlife and recreation, and would jeopardize free access to numerous boat ramps within the middle third of the reservoir.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has decided to wait at least a year before developing a lottery to issue tags for the paddlefish snagging season.
While legislation passed in 2013 allows the Department to use a lottery system to issue paddlefish tags if and when needed, Game and Fish Department fisheries chief Greg Power said that after full review of the 2013 paddlefish season, and considering ongoing research on the paddlefish population, biologists have determined that a lottery is not necessary in 2014.
“Ask Before You Enter” and “Walking Hunters Welcome” signs are available to North Dakota landowners who encourage hunting on their land during upcoming fall hunting seasons. Landowners can order quantities of four, eight or 12.
North Dakota’s dove season opens statewide Sept. 1, and hunters are reminded to register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting.
The daily limit is 15 and possession limit is 45. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. The season is open through Oct. 30.
All dove hunters must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and a general game and habitat license, regardless of age. In addition, hunters ages 16 and older need a small game license.
North Dakota’s deer archery season opens Friday, Aug. 30 at noon, and bowhunters are reminded that deer bow licenses and accompanying tags are only available through electronic purchase this year.
Bowhunters can buy a license online at the State Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov; by calling (800) 406-6409; or at license vendors in counties that are linked to the Game and Fish Department’s online licensing system.
Hunters are reminded that hunting big game over bait is prohibited on all state owned or managed wildlife management areas, all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas, U.S. Forest Service national grasslands, and all North Dakota state school, state park and state forest service lands.
The governor’s proclamation relating to chronic wasting disease also includes a provision that prohibits hunting big game over bait on both public and private land in deer units 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2 and 3C west of the Missouri River.