2013 Small Game and Furbearer Regulations Set
North Dakota’s 2013 small game and furbearer regulations are set and most season structures are similar to last year.
Continued expansion of fishers in eastern North Dakota has allowed the Game and Fish Department to change from a quota system to a limited number of days with no quota. The season will run from Nov. 25 – Dec. 1. Fishers can only be taken by traps and cable devices. A limit of one fisher per person is allowed during this season.
Wildlife populations were flourishing in 2006-07 when Conservation Reserve Program acres peaked at more than 3.25 million in North Dakota. Since then, as CRP acres have steadily declined, so has the overall harvest of game species.
This is never more evident than with pheasant. According to statistics released by the State Game and Fish Department, while the number of pheasant hunters increased by 4 percent from 2011 to 2012, overall harvest fell 10 percent.
The online application for North Dakota’s 2013 tundra swan license lottery will be available July 25 on the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline for applying is Aug. 14.
Paper applications will be available the end of July from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors. Hunters can also apply by calling (800) 406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made by phone.
The North Dakota Cooperative Fur Harvester Education Program is sponsoring a fur harvester education class in Bismarck, Jamestown and Dickinson for anyone interested in trapping or hunting furbearers.
The free 16-hour course in Bismarck and Jamestwon is Aug. 13, 15 and 17. The course in Dickinson is Sept. 7 and 14.
Students will learn about traps, trapping and snaring techniques, furbearer biology and fur care. A field day allows students to make a variety of land, water and snare sets.
North Dakota boaters are reminded that children ages 12-15 who want to operate a boat or personal watercraft must take the state’s boating basics course.
State law requires youngsters ages 12-15 to pass the course before they operate a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor. In addition, major insurance companies give adult boat owners who pass the course a premium discount on boat insurance.
Years of rising water, a record number of fishing lakes and aggressive fish management in North Dakota have helped produce record fishing license sales.
State Game and Fish Department fisheries chief Greg Power said in 2012-13 virtually every license category established a record high, or at the least had a substantial increase. “Even more impressive is this was spread throughout the state, and not just in the rapidly growing counties of western North Dakota,” Power said.
North Dakota’s pronghorn population is finally growing after five years of steady decline. However, Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor for the State Game and Fish Department, said numbers are still below population objectives and not high enough to warrant a hunting season. Therefore, the Game and Fish Department is recommending the pronghorn hunting season remain closed in 2013.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is proposing to chemically eradicate existing fish populations in Danzig Dam and the Storm Creek watershed in Morton County.
Aquatic habitat supervisor Scott Elstad said Danzig Dam was recently drawn down to install a water control structure and complete shore enhancement projects. The lake has a history of fish kills and the water control structure should help prevent significant winter kills.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has completed a draft revision of a 2005 plan that addresses conservation of sage grouse within the state. The Department is accepting public comments on the revised plan through Aug. 1.
The sage grouse plan is available on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov; or by mail by contacting Game and Fish at (701) 328-6300.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently cooperated with Burleigh County to complete major gravel road repairs on the Oahe Wildlife Management Area south of Bismarck.
The project included reshaping and graveling nearly 8 miles of access roads at MacLean Bottoms and Apple Creek, which were severely damaged from the 2011 flood.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will host thousands of visitors to its Conservation and Outdoors Skills Park July 19-27 at the State Fair in Minot.
Visitors will be treated to an array of activities, exhibits and useful information as the park will be staffed from 1-7 p.m. daily. Pathways to Hunting, Fishing and Trapping are major attractions where fishing, shooting, archery and furtaking are taught to interested kids and adults. Of course, the opportunity to catch a fish brings excitement to the littlest angler.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program still has openings for the annual summer workshop Aug. 9-11 at Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau.
Enrollment is limited to participants age 18 or older. Workshop fees of $135 cover instruction, program materials, use of equipment, all meals and lodging.
Participants can choose from more than 30 programs, including archery, canoeing, introduction to firearms, fly-fishing, kayaking, global positioning system, plant identification, and tracking and trapping.