Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

have you read? June Outdoors Magazine FREE!

 

 

The 2017 June   North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

 

North Dakota Outdoors Editor Ron Wilson writes  Fishing For Options  In a walleye-mad state, where this is the fish of choice for 80-plus percent of the anglers, maybe news of the best bluegill fishing in decades doesn’t raise many eyebrows.

 

Then again, perhaps it should.

 

 

Ron also wrote  Milkweeds and Monarchs

 

Greg Link, North Dakota Game and Fish Department conservation and communications chief, said the monarch butterfly population has fallen from an estimated high of almost 1 billion in 1996 to a low of 35 million in 2013. Wintering ground population estimates in Mexico in 2015-16 showed that the population rebounded some, but the concern remains.

 

 

Forgotten Fish of Western North Dakota’s Small Streams

 

Western North Dakota streams flow through either badlands or rolling prairies. Badland streams drain the Little Missouri River basin within the river’s historic floodplain. The hillslopes have eroded over time and have little vegetation protecting them from further erosion. Many badlands streams have wide, shallow channels and many become dry, except for pools during low flow periods of late summer.

 

 

 

The 2017 June   North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

North Dakota Outdoors Editor Ron Wilson writes  Fishing For Options  In a walleye-mad state, where this is the fish of choice for 80-plus percent of the anglers, maybe news of the best bluegill fishing in decades doesn’t raise many eyebrows.

Then again, perhaps it should.

Ron also wrote  Milkweeds and Monarchs

Greg Link, North Dakota Game and Fish Department conservation and communications chief, said the monarch butterfly population has fallen from an estimated high of almost 1 billion in 1996 to a low of 35 million in 2013. Wintering ground population estimates in Mexico in 2015-16 showed that the population rebounded some, but the concern remains.

Forgotten Fish of Western North Dakota’s Small Streams

Western North Dakota streams flow through either badlands or rolling prairies. Badland streams drain the Little Missouri River basin within the river’s historic floodplain. The hillslopes have eroded over time and have little vegetation protecting them from further erosion. Many badlands streams have wide, shallow channels and many become dry, except for pools during low flow periods of late summer.

 

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Have You Read? May ND Outdoors Magazine!

​The 2017 May North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

Outdoors editor Ron Wilson and Game and Fish communications supervisor Craig Bihrle have a great  read Sage Grouse Recovery Effort Underway with some great photographs.

In April, North Dakota Game and Fish personnel moved 60 sage grouse – 40 females and 20 males – from southern Wyoming to Bowman County. To keep tabs on the birds, all were marked with either GPS or VHF radio devices.The big upland birds have a fundamental link to the aromatic plant, big sage. Sagebrush is critical to sage grouse, as they rely on the plant for food for much of the year, cover from weather and predators, and nesting and brood habitat.

The reality, however, is about half of the big sage habitat in North Dakota has vanished from the landscape in the last half-century, but has remained stable for the last decade or more.

North Dakota Outdoors editor Ron Wilson wrote North Dakota’s Shorebird Connection

Of the 50 or so shorebird species that migrate through North America in spring, roughly 36 have ties to North Dakota. The link to this neck of the Northern Plains for the majority is brief, yet vital, as birds touch down to rest and refuel, before pointing their bills north and continuing on.

Have You Read? March-April ND Outdoors magazine

have you read?

The 2017 March-April   North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand leads off the issue with some insight on our fisheries division, The Game and Fish Department’s fisheries crew is top notch. While their numbers don’t stack up to other larger agencies around the country, they make up for it with passion and work ethic, much like other North Dakotans.

I’ve been asked a few times what Department fisheries people do during winter when they aren’t surveying lakes, or stocking fish. If they’re not compiling and analyzing data collected during the open water season, they’re out in what can be some nasty weather, collecting winter oxygen levels to inform anglers of potential winterkills and to develop plans to improve fisheries in coming years.

 

The full story is here: Matters of Opinion.

 

You’ll also want to be sure to check out a feature by fisheries division chief Greg Power called Changes and Innovations in the Fish Underworld  

Fish and wildlife talk 50 years ago centered on such matters as winter impacts on wildlife, winterkill in state lakes, poaching, land use and the need for more fish hatcheries. Today, these themes haven’t changed much and are still part of the fundamentals that dictate fish and wildlife populations on the prairie.

 

The 2017 Fishing Waters Report

North Dakota now has more than 420 fishing waters that have public access and some degree of management by state Game and Fish Department biologists.

What follows are driving directions and infrastructure information for these managed waters, plus additional fish population remarks for many of them.mar

have you read? February ND Outdoors Magazine FREE

The 2017 February “North Dakota Outdoors” magazine is available FREE online right now here.

Cover February 2017 NDO

The 2016 Enforcement Year in Review is featured, written by chief game warden Robert Timian.

 

Violations handled by North Dakota Game and Fish Department wardens were down in 2016 (2,286 violations) compared to 2015 (2,428 violations).

The full story is here: 2016 Enforcement Year in Review.

 

You’ll also want to be sure to check out a feature compiled by fisheries division chief Greg Power and biologists Paul Bailey, Randy Hiltner and Todd Caspers on management of Big Water Walleyes.

 

You may have questions or heard discussions on the 2016 Deer Drawing.  Editor Ron Wilson has information, statistics and facts to help deer hunters understand the difficulties in drawing a preferred license in many units.

Have You Seen? November North Dakota Outdoors magazine FREE!

 

 

 

The 2016 November  issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

 

 

One of my favorite stories takes you into some of my Game and Fish coworkers lives with first person accounts of “First Deer, Trophy Memories” The state’s first modern deer season was 1931. That was the first year a specific deer license was required to hunt.

 

If we start there, that means we’ve been hunting deer in North Dakota for 85 years. That’s a long time.

 

Deer hunting, from the Red River Valley to the badlands, is a big deal here. For so many, no matter their ages, the November season is long anticipated and its arrival applauded.

 

The full story is here: “First Deer, Trophy Memories”.

 

 

 

You’ll also want to be sure to check out a feature by Greg Freeman on the Game and Fish Considering River Otter Season  Stephanie Tucker, Department game management section leader and furbearer biologist, said the subject is up for discussion in late November and early December as a topic at fall district advisory board meetings, and again next spring when Department officials hold another round of advisory board meetings across the state.

 

 

 

With ice fishing season on the way fisheries biologist Paul Bailey has a great primer on Targeting Big Pike in Winter

 

 

If there is such a thing as an embarrassment of riches, North Dakota’s anglers have experienced it in recent years.

 

Our “big three” walleye fisheries – Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake and the Missouri River/Lake Oahe – continue to validate their nationally renowned reputations as destination fisheries. Other new lakes created from the abundant snowfall during the winters of 2008-09 to 2010-11 have now developed into outstanding fisheries.

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Have You Seen? August-September Outdoors Magazine

The 2016 August/September issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

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Wildlife chief Jeb Williams provides his perspective in the 2016 North Dakota Hunting season outlook. His thoughts include highlighting unique partnerships which are working for hunters, landowners and wildlife as he relates:  My job takes me to all parts of the state and I’m fortunate to meet and visit with many people about today’s outdoor issues. Often, after mentioning my western North Dakota upbringing, people would tell stories about hunting on the Short ranch. I laughed during one of these conversations and sarcastically asked a gentleman if there is a hunter in the state who hasn’t hunted on the ranch?

 

You’ll also want to be sure to check out a feature on the 2016 North Dakota PLOTS program with a Q&A from Kevin Kading, Game and Fish Department private land section leader, regarding the program’s status.

Q: In 2015 there were about 730,000 PLOTS acres. What is the acreage forecast for 2016?

A: It looks like we’ll be very similar to last year. We didn’t make any huge acreage gains this year, but we were able to maintain stable acreage in the program. This is the first time in several years this has happened. There is more interest in conservation programs right now so hopefully we’ll see an increase in acres if the trend continues.

 

You’ll be sure to enjoy a feature by waterfowl biologist and hunter Mike Szymanski with his insight on A Changing Waterfowl Landscape As a waterfowl biologist, I often get asked about the prospects for upcoming hunting seasons for ducks or geese.

The answer really depends on the perspective and expectations of the person asking it. Even more complicating is that waterfowl hunting is never really the same on a year-to-year, area-to-area basis.

Have You Read? July North Dakota Outdoors Magazine

Have you read?

The 2016 July issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

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Ron Wilson  has an in depth look at the population of moose in North Dakota with a story on Moose May Warrant Future Protection In late March, resident hunters applied for a record 202 moose licenses in North Dakota. In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the subspecies of moose found in North Dakota and three other states could eventually warrant federal protection.Jeb Williams, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife division chief, said news of possible federal protection of North Dakota’s moose population is puzzling to people, considering the state has a stable to increasing population.

You’ll also want to be sure to check out a feature on the North Dakota grasslands, Focus on Grasslands in a Prairie State

Tallgrass prairie once covered much of the central United States and Canada and occupied roughly the eastern one-fourth of North Dakota. It is estimated only 3 percent of it remains unplowed, and North Dakota”s remaining tallgrass prairie is found almost exclusively in the Red River Valley.

The North Dakota State High School Clay Target League held its season-ending event, the 2016 Clay Target League state tournament June 18 at The Shooting Park in Horace.

Shooting Clays at State  by Ron Wilson explores the growing popularity and interest of the North Dakota High School Sporting Clays.  In 2016, more than 400 student athletes representing 23 high schools competed in the spring season. The state tournament attracted more than 360 participants vying for team and individual honors. Additionally, more than 1,000 spectators attended the event.

 

Have You Read? June North Dakota Outdoors magazine

The 2016 June issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

North Dakota Outdoors Magazine August-September 2012; NUMBER 2;

Amy McCann  celebrates the anniversary of an important component of the outdoors across the nation and in North Dakota  with 2016 National Park Service Centennial. The National Park System now includes 411 areas throughout the United States, including several areas in North Dakota that embrace the scenic, historic and wildlife values the park system is designed to preserve. The NPS is celebrating its centennial by connecting with the next generation of conservation stewards.

Ron Wilson takes you inside Young Minds Outdoors: The Envirothon is a problem-solving natural resource competition for high school students. On day one, teams walking designated outdoor trails with specific stops, are tested on their knowledge of soils, wildlife, aquatics and prairie. The competition ends with oral presentations.

Did you know the Game and Fish fisheries development program provides grants to fund up to 75 percent of local projects that develop fishing or boating opportunities?

Local entities are then required to provide the remaining 25 percent of the cost, maintain the project and carry liability insurance. Local partners range from park boards to wildlife clubs. Luann Dart show’s how these partnerships are working for anglers across the state in Anglers Benefit From Agency Partnerships.

Check these stories and more for free in the full June issue available right here or here http://gf.nd.gov/publications.

May North Dakota Outdoors magazine FREE!

The 2016 May issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now.

North Dakota Outdoors Magazine August-September 2012; NUMBER 2;

It’s a “catch” with a feature Walleye Tagging Study Delivers Answers  by editor Ron Wilson.  On a cold, windy April morning better suited for telling fishing stories indoors, North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists tagged and released 21 walleye caught in trap nets anchored in Lake Oahe’s Cattail Bay.

 

Ron also updated the continued fight involved in Blocking Zebra Mussel Movement and the monthly feature A Look Back revisits White Earth Bay spawning in 1989.

 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s hunter education program graduated it’s 200,000 student in 2015. Volunteers Continue to Fuel Hunter Education  looks at the decades of success of the Hunter Education program has had in creating safer hunting for all participants.

Check these stories and more for free in the full May issue available right here or here http://gf.nd.gov/publications