Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Report Bald Eagle Nest Sightings

The state Game and Fish Department is asking for help in locating active bald eagle nests in North Dakota.

Game and Fish conservation biologist Sandra Johnson said the department is looking for locations of nests with eagles present, not individual eagle sightings.

Eagles are incubating eggs in April, and it’s easy to distinguish an eagle nest because of its enormous size. Johnson estimates the state has around 240 active bald eagle nests, possibly more.

Eagle nests are observed in more than three-quarters of the counties in the state, mostly near streams and mid- to large-sized lakes. However, they are also found in unique areas such as shelterbelts surrounded by cropland or pasture.

Nest observations should be reported online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, observations can be submitted by email to ndgf@nd.gov, or call 701-328-6300.

Observers are asked to not disturb the nest, and to stay away at a safe distance. Johnson said foot traffic may disturb the bird, likely causing the eagle to leave her eggs or young unattended.

Deer Gratis Applications Online

North Dakota landowners who are interested in applying for a 2018 deer gratis license can fill out their application online starting April 2 by visiting the state Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. The general deer lottery and muzzleloader applications will be online in early May. The deadline for applying is June 6.

Chief of administrative services Kim Kary said the Game and Fish Department decided to open the deer gratis application period a month earlier than in past years, to provide additional time for landowners to get accustomed to the new online-only licensing system.

“Online applications is part of the plan that was initiated by the state legislature in 2015, which required Game and Fish to develop an all-electronic licensing system that went into effect two years ago,” Kary said. “When you factor in that more than 90 percent of regular lottery applications, and nearly 75 percent gratis, were already submitted online, it was the right time to eliminate paper applications and go completely online.”

Gratis applicants who have previously applied online or by paper will already have their land description entered into the system. Kary said applicants will be able to copy the land description from the previous year into this year’s application. “Landowners will still need to bring up their land description and add the number of acres for each tract,” Kary added. “In addition, any changes to the land description from the previous year will have to be made.”

Kary suggest landowners who do not have access to a computer should contact a friend, relative or neighbor who does, or find a public service location such as a public library, or stop at a Game and Fish office. “We will have a computer set up to use,” Kary said, while mentioning that the electronic system at vendors is not set up to handle lottery/gratis applications.

Spring turkey, moose, elk and bighorn sheep applications were all submitted online in 2018, and Kary said the process worked extremely well. “We will continue to require all electronic applications as we move forward, which includes pronghorn, swan and fall turkey,” she said.