The green space at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Conservation and Outdoor Skills Park at the state fairgrounds in Minot turned brown last summer following the Mouse River flood.
Like the rest of the fairgrounds, though, it’s coming back nicely this summer and will once again welcome visitors at the state’s biggest outdoor gathering July 20-28 at the North Dakota State Fair.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is still accepting registrations for Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops in 2012.
The annual summer workshop is Aug. 10-12 at Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau. Participants may take several programs including archery, canoeing, introduction to firearms, fly-fishing, kayaking, navigating outdoors, global positioning system, plant identification, introduction to photography, and tracking and trapping. Workshop fees of $135 cover instruction, program materials, use of equipment, all meals and lodging.
The deadline for submitting photos to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest is Sept. 30.
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.
The next guide and outfitter written examination is Aug. 4 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office in Bismarck. The test is given periodically to anyone interested in becoming a hunting guide or outfitter in the state.
In addition to passing a written exam, qualifications for becoming a guide include a background check for criminal and game and fish violations; certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid; and employment by or contract with a licensed hunting outfitter.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds outdoor recreationists who celebrate the Fourth of July along the Missouri River or any other heavily-used recreational area to keep it clean by packing out all trash, including fireworks.
Nancy Boldt, water safety coordinator, said litter is already accumulating along the shorelines of the Missouri River. “People are excited to be able to enjoy the river again after not being able to use it last year due to the flood, but it is really disappointing to see shorelines littered with bottles, cans and wrappers,” Boldt said.
Outdoor recreationists can camp Tuesday and Wednesday, July 3-4 on some wildlife management areas in western North Dakota along Lake Sakakawea because those days fall on a holiday.
Earlier this spring, the State Game and Fish Department implemented no overnight camping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, except holidays, on the following WMAs: Audubon, Custer Mine, Deepwater Creek, deTrobriand, Douglas Creek and Wolf Creek in McLean County; and Beaver Creek and Hille in Mercer County.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds citizens that possession or use of fireworks on state wildlife management areas is prohibited.
The primary objective of a wildlife management area is to enhance wildlife production, provide hunting and fishing opportunities, and offer other outdoor recreational and educational uses. Only activities that would not disrupt the intentions of how these areas are managed are encouraged, and a fireworks display is not compatible.
Applications for this fall’s turkey season must be in the mail and postmarked before midnight July 5. Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply in the first lottery.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Encouraging Tomorrow’s Hunters program is a primary sponsor for an outdoor learning event in the Bismarck area on Saturday, July 14.
Put on by the Mule Deer Foundation, the MULEY Day Camp runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Moffit Gun Range. It includes rifle and archery target shooting, hunting and safety information and demonstrations.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of 4.8 million birds, up 16 percent from last year and 112 percent above the long-term average (1948-2011). The 2012 index is the third highest on record.
All species were well above the long-term average. Wigeon (+88 percent) and green-winged teal (+221 percent) were at record highs. Mallards, gadwall, blue-winged teal, shovelers, redheads and ruddy ducks exceeded the long-term average by more than 100 percent.
Charlie Vang’s catch on June 10 is the latest entry added to the list of North Dakota state record fish. The Brooklyn Park, Minn. angler reeled in a 4-pound, 10-ounce white bass from Devils Lake.
The 19-inch fish broke the old record of 4 pounds, 8 ounces taken at Devils Lake in 2000.
Failure to wear a personal flotation device is the main reason people lose their lives in boating accidents.
The National Safe Boating Council warns boaters that most drowning victims had a life jacket available, but were not wearing it when they entered the water. “It is difficult to put a life jacket on once you are already in the water,” said Nancy Boldt, boat and water safety coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. “The single most important part of safety on the water is wearing a personal flotation device.”