There were 54,500 deer tags available this year (10% more than last year). So how is this season looking for those lucky enough to draw a tag? Find out in this week’s webcast with wildlife division chief Jeb Williams.
Over eons, deer have evolved to increase their testosterone production based upon photoperiod. The shortening of days triggers chemical changes in the brain of male deer which in turn cause the production of testosterone. This helps prepare bucks for the mating season. The peak of rut in North Dakota is around November 6 for white-tailed deer and November 18 for mule deer. This timing allows fawns to be born in early June when food is most nutritious for their nursing mothers.
Many of you will be receiving hunting survey’s from the Department this fall. Information gathered from these surveys plays a critical role in determining harvest limits for the next year. Learn more in this week’s webcast.
Epizootic hemorrhagic disease and chronic wasting disease both impact deer populations here in North Dakota. EHD is caused by a virus transferred by midges, and CWD is caused by a prion. Both kill infected deer. CWD is very persistent in the environment and has been found in the south central part of the state. North Dakota has a voluntary CWD surveillance program. Hunters are asked to participate by dropping off deer heads at collection sites (https://gf.nd.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/surveillance).
Each year towards the end of summer fisheries personnel are out on our lakes and rivers conducting fish reproduction surveys. These surveys are designed to help evaluate stocking success and natural reproduction, information used in future management planning. So how are things looking in our waters this year? Find out in this week’s webcast with fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl.
Pheasant observations during this year’s roadside surveys were down 61% from last year. In this week’s webcast, wildlife division chief Jeb Williams discusses why pheasant numbers are down and what to expect during this fall’s hunting season.
With the May breeding survey showing the overall duck population in North Dakota to be down about 15 percent and with drought impacting the state this summer, how is the fall waterfowl season actually shaping up? Find out in this week’s webcast with waterfowl biologist Mike Szymanski.
Fall is a busy time for our fisheries staff. Crews are out doing reproduction surveys, collecting salmon eggs to raise at the Garrison hatchery, stocking a few more lakes and working on fisheries improvement projects. Learn more about what the fisheries division is working on in this week’s webcast.
What should you do if you witness a hunting or fishing violation? The Report All Poachers program provides numbers you can call (701-328-9921 or 1-800-472-2121) any time day or night to report hunting or fishing violations. You can remain anonymous if you choose. Learn more on this week’s webcast with chief game warden Bob Timian.
Find out how the rough start to winter last year and the drought this summer have impacted our upland game bird populations and our hunting season prospects in this week’s webcast with upland game biologist RJ Gross.