Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

have you read?

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

You’ll find a great piece by Editor Ron Wilson  Big Lake Walleye Spawn Fuels State Fisheries “Walleye spawning is driven by two things – water temperature and photoperiod (daylight),” said Dave Fryda, North Dakota Game and Fish Department Missouri River System fisheries supervisor. “Especially in Lake Sakakawea, which is a big body of water, there is warmer water in many of the bays, while the water is still cold out in the lake.”

Ron also shares thoughts from Greg Power, fisheries division chief, who revists the changes in fish spawning in 40 Years of Eggs and Change

“1979 – 40 years ago – was the first year I spawned fish at this location,” Power said. “At the time, there was a spawning shack here, but very few trees and there weren’t many anglers to speak of back in those days.”

 

Operation Dry Water takes a look at work by game wardens to keep boating safe this summer.

Boating under the influence is always a concern for law enforcement during North Dakota’s open-water season. With more than 64,000 registered watercraft in the state, it’s a certainty when the sun pops, weather warms and the wind dies, that not all water enthusiasts are playing it smart.

have you read? March-April ND Outdoors

The March/April  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: While you’ll read and hear about a number of lakes winterkilling across North Dakota’s landscape, the fallout of snow covering our waters for such a long period of time was anticipated. This is simply the nature of things on the Northern Plains where Mother Nature reminds us often who is in charge.

 

Greg Power, Fisheries Division Chief, revisits  A Fishing Report Card

In the past 15 years, North Dakota has experienced characteristic extreme shifts in weather, which influence short- and long-term fishing opportunities in the state. Periodically during that time, I’ve provided a North Dakota fishing report card to assess how well the state’s fisheries are doing.

 

I think you’ll enjoy and appreciate Ron Wilson Back Cast

I worked with a newspaper reporter years ago who proudly hung his hat and young career on a two-word headline that warned readers of an impending winter storm that promised inches of snow, strong winds and falling temperatures.

The “Brace Yourselves” headline ran on the front page above the fold in large type that barked at passing readers through the windows of the yellow newspaper boxes. His two-word alarm was simple, to the point and, most importantly, accurate. Lots of snow fell, the wind blew, and it was cold.

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.

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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.

The 2018 May North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now here.

 

Ron Wilson explains how the extended winter resulted in a Northern Pike Spawn Delayed

When North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists set trap nets in Lake Oahe in spring for the northern pike spawn, they were as late to the game as they’d been in years.

 

Ron also authored the story on Deer Gun Applications go Electronic  A law passed by the North Dakota Legislature requiring the Department to develop an all-electronic licensing system, and phase out the old paper license books, actually went into effect April 1, 2016.

 

The North Dakota State Water Commission explains the history and transition of lowhead dams and how State Agencies Work Together To Eliminate “Drowning Machines”

 

One of the unintentional consequences that materialized is that these lowhead dams created dangerous conditions that recreational river users may not be aware of or may underestimate.

 

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? October North Dakota Outdoors Magazine

 

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

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Ron Wilson provides writes on the status of one of our premier big game species the bighorn sheep population, “North Dakota Game and Fish Department officials cancelled the 2015 bighorn sheep hunting season in order to better understand the severity of a bacterial pneumonia outbreak on the population.

Up until that point, the state’s bighorn sheep hunting season in western North Dakota had run without pause for many years.

The full story is here: Assessment of Bighorn Population.

 

You’ll also want to be sure to check out a feature by Greg Freeman on the Avoiding Problems With Feral Pigs  “Casey Anderson, North Dakota Game and Fish Department assistant wildlife division chief, said seeing an apparent wild or feral pig is not as uncommon as you might think, as feral swine have been detected in North Dakota on numerous occasions since 2007. One of those occurred last fall.”

 

You’ll be sure to enjoy a look back in history In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, or Duck Stamp Act, in an effort to stop the destruction of wetlands vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. Under the act, all waterfowl hunters 16 and older must annually purchase and carry a stamp.

Since 1934, more than $800 million dollars has gone into that fund to protect millions of acres of habitat. Here’s the full story:  Migratory Bird Treaty Turns 100