Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Spring Turkey Application Deadline Feb. 13

Prospective spring turkey hunters are reminded the deadline for submitting an application for the 2019 season is Feb. 13.

Spring turkey applicants can apply online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Applications can also be submitted by calling 800-406-6409. Paper applications are not available.

First-time spring turkey hunters ages 15 or younger are eligible to receive one spring license valid for any open unit. To be eligible, the youth hunter must be 15 or younger on opening day of the spring turkey season, and have never received a spring turkey license in North Dakota.

Spring turkey licenses are available only to North Dakota residents.

The season opens April 13 and continues through May 19.

spring turkey lottery results from 2018

have you read?

The February  2019 North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

You’ll find ND Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand’s column Matters Of Opinioninside the cover: I’ve written more than once on this page how seriously many North Dakotans take their deer hunting. To repeat myself, the state’s deer gun season, or more so the opening weekend of the season, has a holiday feel to it. Sort of like Christmas.

 

Ron Wilson wrote:  Fishing Stories, Measuring Angler Success

Erica Sevigny has heard her share of fishing stories this winter.

As a winter creel clerk for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department on Lake Audubon, Sevigny knocks on ice house doors to ask ice anglers a few simple questions about their fishing trip.

Game Warden Corey Erck  takes you on a ride along with A Warden’s Story

I’m often asked what I like best about being a game warden. The answer is easy: No two days are the same and the job changes with the seasons.

Every time my phone rings, it’s only a guess if it’s a routine call about clarifying a hunting regulation or something you’d never expect. Maybe the best way to illustrate this is to relay the events of one day in November 2017.

cover

North Dakota Earth Day Patch Contest

The state Game and Fish Department’s annual Earth Day awareness campaign is accepting entries for design of a 2019 Earth Day patch. North Dakota students ages 6-18 are eligible to participate. The deadline to submit entries is March 15.

The Game and Fish Department will announce a winner in three age categories – 6-9, 10-13, and 14-18. Each winner will receive a pair of binoculars. The final patch design will be chosen from the three winners.

The winning design will be used on a patch given to members of Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H clubs and any school participating in Earth Day cleanup projects on state-owned or managed lands in North Dakota in April and May.

The patch should incorporate some aspect of Earth Day – celebrated April 22 – or keeping North Dakota clean. It must be round and three inches in diameter. There is a limit of five colors on the patch, and lettering must be printed. Name, address, age and phone number of the contestant must be clearly printed on the entry form. Only one entry per person is allowed.

Earth Day contest rules and entry forms are available on the Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. For more information, contact outreach biologist  Pat Lothspeich by email at ndgf@nd.gov, or call 701-328-6332.

have you read?

The January 2019 North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

You’ll find ND Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand’s column Matters Of Opinioninside the cover

When we talk about wildlife habitat in North Dakota, I think most people envision grasses and other cover that benefit upland game, deer and nesting waterfowl. But water for fish, and many species of birds, is also a critical part of that conversation.

For the most part, we’ve been water-blessed for a number of years, which has been a good thing for the state’s fisheries. Today, we have roughly 450 recreational fishing lakes, many of which were dry 30 years ago.


You can also see the results of the 2018 Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest:

The overall winning photograph in the 2018 contest, chosen from three categories – game, nongame and plants and insects – is a Western grebe taken by Dale Rehder of West Fargo.

And, Ron Wilson spends time Talking Furbearers with Stephanie Tucker

North Dakota OUTDOORS staff sat down with Stephanie Tucker, Game and Fish Department game management section leader, to talk about North Dakota’s furbearers, the focus of many hunters and trappers this time of year. Tucker is a furbearer biologist who, when time allows, actively hunts and traps those animals she helps manage.

Watchable Wildlife Tax Checkoff on State Tax Form

North Dakota citizens with an interest in supporting wildlife conservation programs are reminded to look for the Watchable Wildlife checkoff on the state tax form.

 

The state income tax form gives wildlife enthusiasts an opportunity to support nongame wildlife like songbirds and birds of prey, while at the same time contributing to programs that help everyone enjoy all wildlife.

 

The checkoff – whether you are receiving a refund or having to pay in – is an easy way to voluntarily contribute to sustain this long‑standing program. In addition, direct donations to the program are accepted any time of year.

 

To learn more about Watchable Wildlife program activities, visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov.

Hunting, Fishing Legislation

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will once again track hunting and fishing issues during the 2019 legislative session.

Interested outdoor enthusiasts can follow proposed outdoors-related bills by visiting the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.

A brief description of each bill will be included, along with the bill sponsor and hearing schedule. To view each bill in its entirety, click on the linked bill number.

Jerad Bluem Named Wildlife Officer of the Year

Jerad Bluem, North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden stationed in Steele, is the state’s 2018 Wildlife Officer of the Year. Bluem was honored recently by the Shikar-Safari Club International, a private conservation organization that annually recognizes outstanding wildlife officers in each state.

In a nomination letter sent to Shikar-Safari, chief warden Robert Timian said Bluem’s district has many lakes, wetlands and public use areas that draw hunters, anglers and water recreationists to the area.

“Warden Bluem’s communication efforts with landowners, hunters and anglers is outstanding,” Timian said. “He is often mentioned for assisting those in need – whether it is helping load an angler’s boat in less than ideal weather conditions, to providing a helping hand to a rancher in in search of escaped cattle. He has a caring attitude who consistently makes a positive impression on others.”

Report Feral Pig Sightings

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds hunters who might come across feral swine this fall that hunting and trapping them is illegal.

 

Casey Anderson, assistant chief of wildlife for Game and Fish, said while it is uncommon to come across feral swine in North Dakota, it can happen.

 

“Feral swine have been documented a number of times in the state over the last decade,” Anderson said. “It is possible for a hunter to come across one, and it is important to know you can’t hunt or trap them. Instead, the State Board of Animal Health must be contacted immediately.”

 

A landowner may eliminate feral swine on his or her land if they pose an immediate threat, however it is preferable if all feral swine are removed by the state/federal feral swine task force so that samples can be collected for disease surveillance purposes. If a landowner must remove feral swine because of an immediate threat, the BOAH must be contacted within 24 hours, and the landowner should follow any instructions given by the board regarding the handling, preservation and disposal of the carcass.

 

Anyone who observes or suspects the presence of feral swine should call the BOAH at 701-328-2655, Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300, or USDA Wildlife Services at 701-355-3300.

 

Feral pigs cause millions of dollars of damages to property, crops and wildlife habitat across the nation each year. They also can spread a number of diseases and parasites. It is very hard to eradicate feral pigs once they’ve become established in an area. Two separate bands were removed from North Dakota in 2007. Since then, there have been occasional reports of feral pigs in several areas of the state. While it is illegal to shoot or trap these pigs, if you happen to observe one when you’re out hunting, please report the sighting to one of the agencies below as soon as possible.

 

Note: Landowners may eliminate feral pigs on their land if the pigs pose an immediate threat to livestock or property. See https://www.nd.gov/ndda/animal-health/feral-swine for more information.

 

Report sightings to:

- State Board of Animal Health at 701-328-2655

- Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300

- USDA Wildlife Services at 701-355-3300.