Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

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.

Deer Season Questions and Answers

Every year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives questions from deer hunters who want to clarify rules and regulations. Some common questions are listed below. Hunters with further questions are encouraged to call the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays, or access big game, white-tailed and mule deer, under the hunting and trapping link at the department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

 

What licenses do I need for deer gun season? A general game and habitat stamp or a combination license, and the deer license. Gratis license holders need only the gratis license. The deer license is mailed after the general game and habitat license is purchased.

 

Can I use my gratis license to take a mule deer doe? Not in unit 4A.

 

I shot a deer in Unit 3F2. What field dressing restrictions must I follow? Hunters cannot transport the whole carcass containing the head and spinal column outside of the unit. Exceptions: meat that has been boned out; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially or privately; hides with no heads attached; clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached; antlers with no meat or tissue attached; upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories; and finished taxidermy heads.

 

I received a lottery license, and I own land in another unit. Can I hunt on my land in the other unit with my lottery license? A person who holds a valid license to hunt deer may hunt the same species and sex of deer on land in an adjoining unit for which that person would be eligible for a gratis deer license.

 

I can’t find my deer license. What should I do? You must obtain an application for a duplicate license from the Game and Fish Department – by calling 701-328-6300 or printing it off the website at gf.nd.gov. Fill out the form, have it notarized and return it to the Department along with a fee. You may not hunt without the deer license in your possession. If you find the original license after receiving a replacement, you must return the original to a local game warden or Game and Fish office.

 

Can hunters age 14 or 15 (and qualifying 13-year-olds) with a youth season license who did not harvest a deer during the youth season, hunt the regular deer gun season with this license? Yes, but you are subject to the restrictions listed on the license.

 

I was unsuccessful in filling my mule deer buck license in a restricted unit during the youth season. Can I hunt the remainder of the state during the regular gun season? No. You are restricted to the same unit as during the youth season.

 

I shot a deer, but it is rotten. What can I do? You must take possession of the animal by tagging it. A license only allows you the opportunity to hunt. It is not a guarantee to harvest a deer, or to the quality of the animal.

 

What should I do if I find a wounded deer? Contact a game warden. Do not shoot the deer unless you want to tag it or are instructed by the warden to do so.

 

Is camouflage blaze orange acceptable for the deer gun season? No. You must wear both a hat and outer garment above the waistline totaling at least 400 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange.

 

I hunt with a bow. When do I have to wear orange? Only during the regular deer gun season.

 

Can I hunt road rights-of-way? Do not hunt on road rights-of-way unless you are certain they are open to public use. Most road rights-of-way are easements under control of the adjacent landowner and are closed to hunting when the adjacent land is posted closed to hunting.

 

Can I hunt on a section line if it is posted on both sides? No. If the land is posted on both sides, the section line is closed to hunting, but is still open for travel.

 

Can I retrieve a wounded deer from posted land? If the deer was shot on land where you had a legal right to be and it ran onto posted land, you may retrieve it. However, you may not take a firearm or bow with you. The department suggests contacting the landowner as a courtesy prior to entering.

 

What if the landowner says I cannot retrieve a deer from posted land that was shot on land where I had a right to be? Contact a game warden.

 

Can I drive off a trail on private land to retrieve a deer? Unless prohibited by a landowner or operator, you may drive off-trail on private land once a deer has been killed and properly tagged. You must proceed to the carcass by the shortest accessible route and return to the road or trail by the same route. However, off-trail driving is prohibited in all circumstances on state wildlife management areas, Bureau of Land Management lands, national wildlife refuges, national grasslands, federal waterfowl production areas and state school land.

 

Do I need to pay attention to the fire danger index in November? In a year with a lack of moisture it can be of concern. When these conditions are present, hunters should keep track of the daily fire danger index, which restricts off-trail vehicle use and recreational fires when the index is in the Very High, Extreme and Red Flag Warning categories. Some counties may also still have localized restrictions in place.

 

Can I transport someone else’s deer? Yes, but you will need a transportation permit from a game warden. The license holder, person transporting the animal, and the carcass must be presented to the game warden before the permit is issued.

 

What if I am going to take my deer head to a taxidermist and meat to a butcher shop? How do I keep the tag with it all? The tag should remain with the head and the carcass tag should remain with the meat.

 

May I carry a pistol when I am hunting with a deer rifle? Yes, but the handgun must meet minimum requirements listed in the deer hunting regulations to be legal for taking deer.

 

Can I use a bow to fill my regular deer gun license? Yes. You may use any legal firearm or bow during the regular deer gun season.

 

Can I carry both bow and gun afield during deer gun season if I have both licenses? Yes, but only if you are going to fill your gun license. No firearms, except handguns, may be in the hunter’s possession while hunting with a deer bow license. However, handguns may not be used in any manner to assist in the harvest of a deer with an archery license.

CWD Surveillance Continues

 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2018 hunting season, by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis from 17 units in the western portion of the state. In addition, all moose and elk harvested in the state are eligible for testing.

 

Samples from hunter-harvested deer will be tested from units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3, 3B1, 3B2, 3D1, 3D2, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F.

 

Every head sampled must have either the deer tag attached, or a new tag can be filled out with the license number, deer hunting unit and date harvested.

 

Hunters are encouraged to drop off deer heads at the following locations:

  • Beach – Interstate Cenex
  • Belfield – Superpumper
  • Bismarck – Game and Fish Department headquarters, West Dakota Meats, 3Be Meats
  • Bowman – Frontier Travel Center
  • Carson – Hertz Hardware
  • Crosby – Crosby Water Plant, Jason’s Super Foods
  • Devils Lake – Game and Fish district office
  • Dickinson – Game and Fish district office
  • Dunn Center – Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge
  • Elgin – Gunny’s Bait and Tackle, Melvin’s Taxidermy
  • Glen Ullin – Kuntz’s Butcher Shop
  • Grenora – Farmer’s Union
  • Harvey – Lonetree Game and Fish district office
  • Hazen – Hazen Meats
  • Hettinger – Dakota Packing
  • Jamestown – Game and Fish district office
  • Kenmare – Des Lacs NWR, Lostwood NWR
  • Killdeer – Grab N Go, Hettich Salvage
  • Mandan – Butcher Block Meats
  • Minot – Johnson’s Taxidermy
  • Mohall – Engebretson Processing, Farmer’s Union
  • New Leipzig – Hertz Hardware
  • Parshall – Myers Custom Meats
  • Portal – Gastrak
  • Ray – Horizon Cenex
  • Riverdale – Game and Fish district office
  • Roseglen – Giffey Taxidermy
  • Scranton – Wolf’s Processing
  • Selfridge – Cenex
  • Stanley – Ace Hardware
  • Washburn – Enerbase
  • Williston – Williston Game and Fish district office, Mertin Kirschbaum, Scenic Sports, Bickler Taxidermy, Zerr’s Taxidermy
  • Wilton – Cenex.

Moose and elk heads should be taken to a Game and Fish office.

 

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal.

 

Deer Gun, Fall Turkey Licenses Available

Interested deer and turkey hunters still have time to purchase a license for the 2018 hunting seasons.

 

As of Oct. 15, more than 100 antlerless deer licenses remain in units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F. These licenses are available only to individuals who have not already received a lottery or landowner license, and are valid only during the regular deer gun season, Nov. 9-25.

 

More than 50 fall turkey licenses remain in Unit 25, which includes McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties. Hunters are allowed a maximum of five turkey licenses for the fall season.

 

The fall turkey season opened Oct. 13 and continues through Jan. 6, 2019.

have you read? The 2018 October  North Dakota Outdoors

have you read?

The 2018 October  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 Opinion inside the cover

You’ve heard us here at the Game and Fish Department talk time and again about the importance of having quality wildlife habitat on the landscape.
Without adequate habitat on the landscape, for example, animals struggle to battle the harsh winter conditions that are often familiar in North Dakota. Without good habitat, animals take much longer to rebound after months of snow and cold.

 

Ron Wilson wrote:  Program Improves Deer Habitat

In 2015, following back-to-back deer gun seasons when fewer than 50,000 licenses were made available to hunters – something not seen in North Dakota in about 35 years – lawmakers made it possible for hunters to help improve wildlife habitat that would favor the state’s deer population.

In a bill that unanimously passed in both the House and Senate during the 2015 legislative season, unsuccessful applicants in North Dakota’s deer gun lottery could for the first time in 2016 donate their refunds to the Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen program.

Ron Wilson, Scott Gangl, Dave Fryda and Russ Kinzler collaborate to answer  Questions about Sakakawea’s Salmon Program  Chinook salmon were stocked in Lake Sakakawea in 1976, less than a decade after the reservoir filled, to inhabit the deep coldwater environment not used by other fish species. This nonnative species, like other fish in the Missouri River System, has ridden the ups and downs of low- and high-water years, times of abundant forage and times when prey was tougher to come by.

It hardly seems that back-to-back years are nearly the same. The same goes for fishing for salmon in the state’s biggest reservoir.

Equipment Registration Number Used for Identification

Hunters, trappers and anglers are reminded that an equipment registration number, or the individual’s name, address and telephone number, must be displayed on all equipment requiring identification.

 

Identification must be attached to cable devices that are set on either private or public land, and on fish houses left unattended on the ice.

 

While on wildlife management areas, identification is required on items such as ground blinds, tree stands, cameras and traps.

 

Owners can generate an equipment registration number by visiting My Account at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. One registration number will be issued that can be used on all equipment that requires identification.

 

The equipment registration number does not expire.

Permit Required to Possess Dead Deer

North Dakota Game and Fish Department enforcement personnel are issuing a reminder that a permit is required before taking possession of a dead deer, or any part of a dead deer such as a skull and antlers, found near a road or in a field. Only shed antlers can be possessed without a permit.

 

Permits to possess are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement offices.

 

In addition, hunters are reminded to properly dispose of dead deer. Deer carcasses cannot be left on the side of a roadway or in a ditch, and deer parts cannot be discarded in commercial dumpsters.

Fall Fish Survey Completed

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists have completed fall reproduction surveys and most waters fared as good as or better than expected.

 

Scott Gangl, Department fisheries management section leader, said Lake Sakakawea had the eighth highest catch of young-of-the-year walleye on record.

 

“There was good reproduction of most game species in the big lake, as we saw healthy numbers of pike, perch, smallmouth bass, white bass, crappies and walleye,” Gangl said. “And it’s the second year in a row of good walleye reproduction, which isn’t a surprise considering the high water is resulting in an abundance of food and habitat for the young fish.”

 

Lake Oahe showed good reproduction of walleye this year, which Gangl said is not necessarily a good thing. “This is the fourth good year class out of the last five years, leaving a lot of small fish out there right now,” he added. “Lake Oahe is lacking forage which causes fish to grow slower than they should.”

 

Gangl said while there was some indication of gizzard shad reproduction in Lake Oahe in 2017, there wasn’t much this year. “The cold winter didn’t allow for much survival with this forage fish,” he said.

 

Devils Lake saw fair to good numbers of walleye, with the catch close to average even though Game and Fish didn’t stock any walleye in the fishery this year. “The end result was all from natural reproduction,” Gangl said.

 

Sampling results on smaller lakes generally vary from lake to lake. The common theme mentioned this year from fisheries personnel across the state is that the young-of-the-year fish were larger than normal. “This is significant because bigger fish generally have a better chance of surviving through the first winter,” Gangl said, “and that’s an important step in getting to a catchable size in the future.”

 

Reproduction surveys evaluate natural reproduction, stocking success and forage abundance.

Motorists Warned to Watch for Deer

Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways this time of year because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges.

 

October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents. Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways. Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around.

 

Motorists should be aware of warning signs signaling deer are in the area. When you see one deer cross the road, look for a second or third deer to follow. Also, pay attention on roadways posted with Deer Crossing Area caution signs.

 

Deer-vehicle accidents are at times unavoidable. If an accident does happen, law enforcement authorities do not have to be notified if only the vehicle is damaged. However, if the accident involves personal injury or other property damage, then it must be reported.

 

In addition, a permit is still required to take parts or the whole carcass of a road-killed deer. Permits are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement offices.

 

A few precautions can minimize chances of injury or property damage in a deer-vehicle crash.

 

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Don’t swerve or take the ditch to avoid hitting a deer. Try to brake as much as possible and stay on the roadway. Don’t lose control of your vehicle or slam into something else to miss the deer. You risk less injury by hitting the deer.
  • If you spot deer ahead, slow down immediately and honk your horn.