Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

OUTDOORS Calendar Available

 

The 2018 North Dakota OUTDOORS calendar is available for ordering online at the state Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.

calendar

The calendar features outstanding color photographs of North Dakota wildlife and scenery, and includes season opening and application deadline dates, sunrise-sunset times and moon phases.

Calendars are also available via mail order. Send $3 for each, plus $1 postage, to: Calendar, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095. Be sure to include a three-line return address with your order, or the post office may not deliver our return mailing.

The calendar is the North Dakota OUTDOORS magazine’s December issue, so current subscribers will automatically receive it in the mail.

Some Refuges Open to Late-Season Upland Game

Hunters are reminded that several North Dakota national wildlife refuges 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. 27.

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 2017-18 Small Game Guide apply. Seasons for pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge and ruffed grouse close statewide on Jan. 7, 2018.

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Donate Deer to Sportsmen Against Hunger

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding deer hunters to keep in mind the Sportsmen Against Hunger program this fall.

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While this year’s deer proclamation allows only one deer gun license per hunter, families with more than one license might want to consider donating a deer to this worthy cause. In addition, hunters with an archery and muzzleloader license can help as well.

The list of participating processors is available on the Community Action Partnership of North Dakota website, www.capnd.org.

Sportsmen Against Hunger is a charitable program that raises money for processing of donated goose and deer meat, and coordinates distribution of donated meat to food pantries in North Dakota. It is administered by CAPND, a nonprofit agency that serves low-income families across the state.

Special Allocation Lottery Apps due Jan. 1

Nonprofit organizations that are eligible to receive big game hunting licenses in 2018, must have the application submitted to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department no later than Jan. 1

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Deputy director Scott Peterson said as a result of a legislatively mandated study, Game and Fish worked closely with the 2017 state legislature on a strategy to allocate special big game licenses for fundraising purposes.

“House Bill 1025 was a result of that effort,” Peterson said.

The bill 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, which can then use them 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 in 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 raffle to a conservation-related project, such as hunting access, conservation education, habitat development and shooting range management.

 

 

Fall Mule Deer Survey Completed

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s fall mule deer survey indicated fawn production in 2017 was lower than in 2016.

photo by Craig Bihrle, ND    Game and Fish

Biologists counted 2,548 (3,003 in 2016) mule deer in the aerial survey in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.32 (0.48 in 2016) was lower than the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.76 (0.90 in 2016) was down from the long-term average of 0.91 fawns per doe.

Big game biologist Bruce Stillings said survey conditions were much warmer than normal, with nearly 50 percent leaf cover, which he said could explain the lower buck-to-doe ratio.

“And this year’s lower fawn production was expected based on the previous winter conditions, but it was still at a level able to support stable-to-increasing deer numbers, depending on the severity of the upcoming winter,” Stillings said.

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.

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.

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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.

CWD Surveillance Continues

The state Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2017 deer hunting season, by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis from 10 units in North Dakota. In addition, all moose and elk harvested in the state are eligible for testing.

CWD testing

Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken in the central portion of the state will be tested from units 2H, 2I, 2J1, 2J2, 2K1, 2K2, 3A4, 3B3 and 3C. In addition, deer will be tested from unit 3F2 in the southwest.

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:

  • Ashley – Ashley Super Valu Store
  • Bismarck – Game and Fish Department headquarters, Call of the Wild Taxidermy, 3Be Meats, West Dakota Meats
  • Bottineau – Mattern Family Meats
  • Carrington – Barton Meats
  • Devils Lake – Devils Lake Game and Fish district office
  • Dickinson – Dickinson Game and Fish district office
  • Ellendale – Oxenrider Motel
  • Granville – S&E Meats
  • Harvey – Lonetree Game and Fish district office
  • Heaton – Miller Game Processing
  • Jamestown – Jamestown Game and Fish district office
  • LaMoure – LaMoure Lockers
  • Linton – Bosch’s Meat Market, Scherr’s Meats
  • Mandan – Butcher Block Meats, Nevada’s Wildlife Designs
  • McClusky – Bentz Supply Store
  • Minot – Johnson Taxidermy
  • Moffit – Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge office
  • Parshall – Myers Meats and Specialties
  • Riverdale – Riverdale Game and Fish district office
  • Rolette – Meat Shack
  • Rugby – Cenex C Store
  • Sheyenne – Brenno Meats, Wild Things Taxidermy
  • Streeter – Reister Meats and Catering
  • Turtle Lake – Main Street Market
  • Upham – J. Clark Salyer NWR office
  • Washburn – Enerbase
  • Wilton – Cenex
  • Wing – Terry’s Sales and Service
  • Woodworth – Chase Lake NWR office.

Drop off locations for deer taken from unit 3F2:

  • Carson – Hertz Hardware
  • Elgin – Gunny’s Bait and Tackle, Melvin’s Taxidermy
  • Glen Ullin – Kuntz’s Butcher Shop
  • Hettinger – Dakota Packing
  • New Leipzig – Hertz Hardware

 

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. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.

Salmon Spawn Completed

Fisheries crews have completed their annual salmon spawning operation on the Missouri River System after collecting more than 2.5 million eggs.

Dave Fryda, North Dakota Game and Fish Department Missouri River System supervisor, said crews easily collected enough eggs to stock the 400,000 smolts planned for Lake Sakakawea in 2018.

The majority of eggs were collected from Lake Sakakawea, with help from the Missouri River below Garrison Dam. Average size of Lake Sakakawea female salmon was 6.2 pounds, about 1.2 pounds smaller than last year. Fryda said once again there was an abundance of young male salmon, which forecasts a good run the next couple years.

Additional surplus eggs were provided to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks to help with their Lake Oahe salmon program.

Chinook salmon begin their spawning run in October. Since salmon cannot naturally reproduce in North Dakota, Game and Fish Department and Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery personnel collect eggs and transport them to the hatchery.

Once the eggs hatch, young salmon spend several months in the hatchery before being stocked in Lake Sakakawea.