Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Coyote Catalog Available for Hunters, Landowners

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department and North Dakota Department of Agriculture are once again opening the Coyote Catalog, a statewide effort designed to connect coyote hunters and trappers with landowners who are dealing with coyotes in their areas.

 

Last winter, more than 20 landowners participated in the Coyote Catalog, along with 400 hunters and trappers.

Landowners can sign up on the Department of Agriculture website at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/livestock-development-division/coyote-catalog. County and contact information is required.

Hunters and trappers can sign up at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov/hunting/hunter-landowner-contact.

 

Anyone who registered for the Coyote Catalog in the past must register again to activate their names on the database.

 

Throughout the winter, hunters or trappers may receive information on participating landowners, and they should contact landowners to make arrangements.

Landowners who are experiencing coyote depredation of livestock should first contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services.

The Coyote Catalog will remain active through March 31, 2020.

For more information, contact Ryan Herigstad at Game and Fish, 701-595-4463 or rherigstad@nd.gov; or Jamie Good, at the Department of Agriculture, 701-328-2659 or jgood@nd.gov.

Tentative 2020 Season Opening Dates

To help North Dakota hunters prepare for hunting seasons in 2020, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department annually provides its best estimate for opening dates for the coming year.

Dates become official when approved by governor’s proclamation. Tentative opening dates for 2020 include:

 

Spring Turkey April 11
Dove September 1
Deer and Pronghorn Bow, Mountain Lion September 4
Sharptail, Hun, Ruffed Grouse, Squirrel September 12
Youth Deer September 18
Youth Waterfowl September 19
Early Resident Waterfowl September 26
Pronghorn Gun October 2
Waterfowl, Youth Pheasant October 3
Pheasant, Fall Turkey October 10
Mink, Muskrat, Weasel Trapping October 24
Deer Gun November 6
Deer Muzzleloader November 27

Late Season Hunting Opportunities End Soon

North Dakota waterfowl hunters are reminded the statewide duck and white-fronted goose seasons close Dec. 1. However, duck hunting in the high plains unit reopens Dec. 7 and continues through Dec. 29.

 

In addition, the season for Canada geese closes Dec. 16 in the eastern zone, Dec. 21 in the western zone and Dec. 27 in the Missouri River zone. Light goose hunting closes statewide Dec. 29.

 

Archery deer, fall turkey, sharp-tailed and ruffed grouse, partridge, pheasant and tree squirrel hunting seasons continue through Jan. 5, 2020.

​Mountain Lion Zone 1 Early Season Ends, Late Season Opens

North Dakota’s early mountain lion season in Zone 1 closed Sunday, Nov. 24, and the late season, when hunters can pursue lions with dogs, is now open.

During the early season, hunters took six cats from a harvest limit of eight. Under the season structure, a conditional season could open five days after the late season closes, for hunters to pursue the additional two mountain lions that were not taken.

The late season in Zone 1 opened Monday, Nov. 25 and is scheduled to run through March 31, 2020, or until the harvest limit is reached. The late season harvest limit is seven total lions or three female lions, whichever comes first.

Hunters are advised to check the status of the late season by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov .

Zone 1 includes land in western North Dakota south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea, then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.

The mountain lion season in Zone 2, which is the rest of the state outside Zone 1, has no harvest limit and is open through March 31, 2020.

The mountain lion season is open only to North Dakota residents. Hunters need a furbearer or combination license to participate.

​Fishing Tournaments Require 30-Day Notice

Fishing Tournaments Require 30-Day Notice

Organizers planning fishing tournaments, including ice fishing contests this winter, are reminded to submit an application along with fishing tournament regulations to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department at least 30 days prior to the start of the event.

The 30-day advance notice allows for review by agency staff to ensure the proposed tournament will not have negative biological consequences or conflicts with other proposed tournaments for the same location and/or time.

Fishing tournaments may not occur without first obtaining a valid permit from the department.

In addition, the number of open-water tournaments on lakes Sakakawea and Oahe, the Missouri River and Devils Lake are capped each year, depending on the time of the week, month and location.


Some Refuges Open to Late-Season Upland Game

Hunters are reminded that several national wildlife refuges in North Dakota are open to late-season upland game bird hunting the day after the deer gun season closes.

Arrowwood, Audubon, Des Lacs, J. Clark Salyer, Lake Alice, Lake Zahl, Long Lake, Lostwood, Tewaukon (pheasants only), and Upper Souris NWRs open Nov. 25.

However, portions of each refuge are closed to hunting. Hunters should contact refuge headquarters for information on closed areas and other restrictions: Arrowwood 701-285-3341; Audubon 701-442-5474; Des Lacs 701-385-4046; J. Clark Salyer 701-768-2548; Lake Alice 701-662-8611; Lake Zahl 701-965-6488; Long Lake 701-387-4397; Lostwood 701-848-2722; Tewaukon 701-724-3598; and Upper Souris 701-468-5467; or visit www.fws.gov and click on “National Wildlife Refuges” for details on each individual refuge.

National wildlife refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunters are reminded that use of nontoxic shot is required on all USFWS lands. State regulations found in the North Dakota 2019-20 Hunting and Trapping Guide apply. Seasons for pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge and ruffed grouse close statewide on Jan. 5, 2020.


Special Allocation Lottery Apps Due Jan. 1

Nonprofit organizations that are eligible to receive big game hunting licenses in 2020, must have the application submitted to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department no later than Jan. 1.

North Dakota state law provides direction for the Game and Fish director to allocate big game hunting licenses to eligible organizations. Under this directive, up to two elk, moose and pronghorn licenses, and 10 white-tailed deer licenses, can be issued to organizations to use for fundraising.

Eligible organizations must be exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(c)(3), and must provide a copy of the letter from the Internal Revenue Service to that effect. In addition, organizations must be active and in good standing with the office of the North Dakota Secretary of State.

Successful lottery applicants must agree to donate at least 10 percent of the net proceeds of any license fundraiser to a conservation-related project, such as hunting access, conservation education, habitat development or shooting range management.

NDGF News: Advisory Board Meetings Announced

Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department fall advisory board meeting in their area.

These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel.

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.

Any person who requires an auxiliary aid or service must notify the contact person at least five days prior to the scheduled meeting date.

 

District 3 – Counties: Benson, Cavalier, Eddy, Ramsey, Rolette and Towner

Date: November 25 – 7 p.m.

Location: Fire Hall, 501 Main St., Munich

Host: The Ville Cafe

Contact: Heather Barker, 317-4390

Advisory board member: Tom Rost, Devils Lake

 

District 8 – Counties: Adams, Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope and Stark

Date: November 25 – 7 p.m.

Location: Choice Financial Bank, 201 Main St. N., Belfield

Host: Belfield Sportsman Club

Contact: Roger Decker, 575-8876

Advisory board member: Dwight Hecker, Dickinson

 

District 2 – Counties: Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward

Date: November 26 – 7 p.m.

Location: Wildlife Club, 1901 U.S. Highway 52, Velva

Host: North Dakota Fur Trappers and Harvesters Association

Contact: Rick Tischaefer, 460-1055

Advisory board member: Travis Leier, Velva

 

District 6 – Counties: Barnes, Dickey, Foster, Griggs, Logan, LaMoure, McIntosh, Stutsman and Wells

Date: November 26 – 7 p.m.

Location: Southeast Region Vo-Tech Center, 924 Seventh St. S., Oakes

Host: Ludden Sportsmen’s Club

Contact: Eric Larson, 210-0410

Advisory board member: Cody Sand, Ashley

 

District 1 – Counties: Divide, McKenzie and Williams

Date: December 2 – 7 p.m.

Location: Missouri Fairgrounds, 519 53rd St. E., Williston

Host: Missouri Basin Bowmen

Contact: Steve Rehak, 770-3643

Advisory board member: Beau Wisness, Keene

 

District 5 – Counties: Cass, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele and Traill

Date: December 2 – 7 p.m.

Location: Community Center, 299 Fourth Ave., Cogswell

Host: Cogswell Gun Club

Contact: Mike Marquette, 680-0860

Advisory board member: Duane Hanson, West Fargo

 

District 4 – Counties: Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina and Walsh

Date: December 3 – 7 p.m.

Location: Cavalier Cinema, 104 Main St. W., Cavalier

Host: Shane Feltman

Contact and advisory board member: Bruce Ellertson, Lakota, 247-2915

 

District 7 – Counties: Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan and Sioux

Date: December 3 – 7 p.m.

Location: Game and Fish Main Office, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck

Host: Capital City Ladybirds Pheasants Forever Chapter

Contact: Lora Isakson, 426-9045

Advisory board member: Dave Nehring, Bismarck

Early Ice Awareness for Hunters, Anglers

Hunters and anglers are reminded to be cognizant of early ice conditions before traveling onto and across North Dakota waters.

Game and Fish Department education coordinator Brian Schaffer said there haven’t been enough days when the high temperature has remained below freezing to produce stable ice. “There are already small and mid-sized waters that show the appearance of safe ice, but looks can be deceiving,” Schaffer said.

And with deer season opening Friday, Nov. 8 at noon, an estimated 60,000 hunters will be in the field the next two weeks. Schaffer said even though deer might be able to make it across smaller waters, it doesn’t mean hunters can.

“Hunters walking the edges will not find the same ice thickness in the middle, as the edges firm up faster than farther out from shore,” Schaffer added, while urging hunters to be cautious of walking on frozen stock ponds, sloughs, creeks and rivers.

A few reminders include:

  • Snow insulates ice, which in turn inhibits solid ice formation, and hides cracks, weak and open water areas.
  • Ice can form overnight, causing unstable conditions. Ice thickness is not consistent, as it can vary significantly within a few inches.
  • Avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or darker areas that signal thinner ice. The same goes for ice that forms around partially submerged trees, brush, embankments or other structures.
  • Anglers should drill test holes as they make their way out on the lake, and an ice chisel should be used to check ice thickness while moving around.
  • Daily temperature changes cause ice to expand and contract, affecting its strength.
  • The following minimums are recommended for travel on clear-blue lake ice formed under ideal conditions. However, early in the winter it’s a good idea to double these figures to be safe: 4 inches for a group walking single file; 6 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle; 8-12 inches for an automobile; and 12-15 inches for a pickup/truck.

While heading onto North Dakota lakes this winter, Schaffer offers these life-saving safety tips:

  • Wear a personal flotation device and carry a cell phone.
  • Carry ice picks or a set of screwdrivers to pull yourself back on the ice if you fall through.
  • If someone breaks through the ice, call 911 immediately. Rescue attempts should employ a long pole, board, rope, blanket or snowmobile suit. If that’s not possible, throw the victim a life jacket, empty water jug or other buoyant object. Go to the victim as a last resort, but do this by forming a human chain where rescuers lie on the ice with each person holding the feet of the person in front.
  • To treat hypothermia, replace wet clothing with dry clothing and immediately transport victim to a hospital.

Fall Mule Deer Survey Completed

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s fall mule deer survey indicated another year of good fawn production.

 

Biologists counted 2,218 mule deer in the aerial survey in October. The ratios of 41 bucks per 100 does, and 84 fawns per 100 does, were similar to last year.

 

“Overall, there was good fawn production and stable buck-to-doe ratios at or near their long-term averages,” said Bruce Stillings, big game management supervisor, Dickinson.

 

The fall aerial survey, conducted specifically to study demographics, covers 24 study areas and 306.3 square miles in western North Dakota. Biologists also survey the same study areas in the spring of each year to determine deer abundance.