North Dakota Hunters Educators Association




Welcome to NDHEA

The August 2013 NDHEA newsletter is now here!

Click here to download and view the newsletter


NDG&F April 21st Newsletter


Anglers Asked to Report Winterkill

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are asking anglers for help in documenting lakes that may have experienced winter fish mortality.
Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said some winterkill is expected every year, with the severity depending on winter weather conditions.
“We had a colder than average winter, but we had normal to below-normal snow cover,” Gangl said. “Therefore, we don’t anticipate major widespread winterkill, which is good news given the record number of fishing waters in the state. However, some of the smaller lakes where we periodically see winterkill will likely experience some die-offs.”
Gangl said this is the one of the busiest times of the year for fisheries crews, therefore Game and Fish staff might not get to every lake right at ice out. “That’s why it’s important for anglers to report fish die-offs so our crews can follow up on it,” he added.
Biologists will begin sampling suspected winterkill lakes later this spring once fish spawning operations are completed to document the severity of any die-offs.
Anglers can report fish mortality to a local Game and Fish Department district office.

Camping Restrictions on Some WMAs

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue to implement camping restrictions on some wildlife management areas in western North Dakota and along Lake Sakakawea.
Overnight camping is prohibited on the following WMAs: Antelope Creek, Lewis and Clark, Big Oxbow, Ochs Point, Neu’s Point (except campers accessing by boat, and only at the point area), Overlook, Sullivan and Tobacco Garden in McKenzie County; Van Hook in Mountrail County; and Hofflund and Trenton in Williams County.
Lewis and Clark WMA is closed from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise unless users are legally engaged in fishing, hunting or trapping. However, camping is allowed for paddlefish snaggers at the pumphouse area and at Neu’s at the point by boat access. Glass bottles are prohibited.
In addition, the following WMAs are closed to camping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but open to camping Thursday-Monday: North Lemmon Lake in Adams County; Bull Creek in Billings County; Alkali Creek and Spring Creek in Bowman County; Smishek Lake and Short Creek Dam in Burke County; Harris M. Baukol in Divide County; Killdeer Mountains in Dunn County; Camels Hump Lake in Golden Valley County; Indian Creek in Hettinger County; Audubon, Custer Mine, Deepwater Creek, deTrobriand, Douglas Creek and Wolf Creek in McLean County; Beaver Creek and Hille in Mercer County; Storm Creek in Morton County; Cedar Lake and Speck Davis Pond in Slope County; and McGregor Dam in Williams County.
On those WMAs where camping is allowed Thursday through Monday, all equipment must be removed on Tuesday and Wednesdays when camping is not allowed.
The rules ensure these areas are available for hunters and anglers. Camping restrictions at all WMAs are posted at entry points.

NASP State Tournament Results

More than 500 archers registered to compete in the North Dakota National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament April 11-12 in Bismarck.
Jeff Long, NASP coordinator for the State Game and Fish Department, said: “This program continues to grow every year, and all three winning teams committed to go to the national tournament, along with at least three of the top individuals,” Long said, while noting 517 registered this year, up more than 20 percent from last year.
The national tournament is May 9-10 in Louisville, Ky. The Game and Fish Department and North Dakota Bowhunters Association contribute a total of $3,000 in travel assistance to the first place team in each division, and $1,000 to the overall male and female individual winner.
The high school (grades 9-12) state championship team was from Hankinson, the middle school (grades 7-8) champs were from Wahpeton and taking top honors in the elementary school (grades 4-6) division was Wilton.
Overall male and female winners were Kyle Andres of Medina and Lisa Buckhaus of Hankinson. Top elementary winners were Austin Bladow of Hankinson and Grace Neameyer of Mt. Pleasant.

The top five place winners in each division were:

High school boys – 1) Andres; 2) Spencer Brockman, North Sargent; 3) James Nadeau, Dunseith; 4) Isaac Poitra, Dunseith; 5) Dominic Bendickson, Griggs County Central.

High school girls – 1) Buckhaus, Hankinson; 2) Hunter Schroeder, Dunseith; 3) Deena Monson, Griggs County Central; 4) Ashlynn Stirling, Hankinson; 5) Danielle Schuler, Wilton; 5) Theresia Thompson, Hankinson.

Middle school boys – 1) Dawson McKeever, North Sargent; 2) Race Kath, Hankinson; 3) Michael McKenna, North Sargent; 4) Eric Salvesen, Griggs County Central; 5) Dylan Pearson, Wahpeton.

Middle school girls – 1) Alicia Biewer, Hankinson; 2) Kate Loewen, Hankinson; 3) Olivia Waswick, North Sargent; 4) Kailee Klein, Wahpeton; 5) Mary Goroski, Wahpeton.

Elementary boys – 1) Bladow; 2) Ryan Kath, Hankinson; 3) Gage Schuh, Wilton; 4) Tavon Stadler, Griggs County Central; 5) Malachi Appel, Twin Buttes; 5) Brayden Wehseler, North Sargent.

Elementary girls – 1) Neameyer; 2) Kinley Hetletved, Wilton; 3) Taryn Schurhamer, Wilton; 4) Melonie Lee, Barnes County North; 5) Lauryn Hibl, Wahpeton.



Open Fires Banned on Oahe WMA


The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is prohibiting open burning this spring on property managed south of Bismarck and Mandan, as a means to reduce potential for wildfires on a heavily wooded recreation area along the Missouri River.
Bill Haase, wildlife resource management supervisor, said all open burning, including campfires, is banned until further notice on the Oahe Wildlife Management Area along both sides of the Missouri River. Haase said these woodlands are prone to wildfires prior to spring green-up.
"The combination of mild temperatures and a high fuel load in the river bottoms is of concern," Haase said. "In addition, it is an area of high use by anglers, campers and other outdoor recreationists."
Oahe WMA covers more than 16,000 acres along Lake Oahe south of Bismarck-Mandan, in portions of Burleigh, Emmons, and Morton counties. Burning restriction signs are posted at all entrances to the WMA.


Oahe WMA Map 1 - printable version     Oahe WMA Map 2 - printable version


Fire Danger Index





North Dakota:

  • Big Game applications anticipated May-June 2014

  • Deer: Non-resident archery March 1st


  • Elk: March 15th

  • Deer: March 15th

  • Antelope: June 2

  • Bear: April 14th

  • Moose: May 1st

  • Bighorn Sheep: May 1st

  • Mountain Goats: May 1st

  • Bison: May 1st


  • Big Game: April 1st

  • Elk-Deer-Bear-Moose-Antelope-Bighorn Sheep-Mountain Goats


  • Moose, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat and Bison Applications: February 28

  • Elk: drawing is past

New Mexico:

  • Deer, Elk, Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, Oryx, Ibex, Javelina: March 19


  • Deer: September 15

  • Bear: May 2

  • Elk: June 13

  • Camp Ripley Archery: August 15


  • Bighorn Sheep-Mountain Goats-Moose: April 30

  • Elk-Deer-Fall Bear-Antelope-Fall Turkey: June 5


Mountain Lion Zone 1 Early Season Quota - 2 of 14

(updated 12/17/2013)

Mountain lion hunting during the late season in zone 1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season quota of seven was filled after five cats were taken this weekend.
Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.
The mountain lion season in zone 2, which is the rest of the state outside zone 1, has no quota and is open through March 31, 2014.

Zone 1: Early season (firearms and archery equipment) - 2013
Opens: Aug. 30
Closes: Nov. 24 (or when zone quota is reached)
*Zone Quota: 14
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter

Zone 2: Firearms and archery equipment - 2013
Opens: Aug. 30
Closes: March. 31, 2014
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter


Zone 1: Late season (firearms, archery equipment, or pursuit with dogs) - 2013
Opens: Nov. 25
Closes: March 31, 2014 (or when zone quota is reached)
Zone Quota: 7
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter
*Animals taken to date (updated 12/15/2013) - 7 of 7

Coyote Catalog Available for Hunters, Landowners

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department have reopened the Coyote Catalog to connect coyote hunters and trappers with landowners who want fewer coyotes in their areas.
The Coyote Catalog is an online database similar to the one the Game and Fish Department uses to connect deer hunters with farmers and ranchers.
“We’ve had a lot of success matching deer hunters with landowners,” said NDGF Director Terry Steinwand. “We hope the Coyote Catalog works out just as well.”
NDDA officials estimate livestock producers in North Dakota lost more than $1 million last year to coyotes. At the same time, coyotes are a popular furbearer species for hunters and trappers.
“I encourage landowners, especially farmers and ranchers who have problems with coyote depredation, to sign up for the Coyote Catalog,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Hunting and trapping are valuable tools in managing these predators.”
Goehring and Steinwand said the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services should be the first contact for landowners experiencing coyote depredation of livestock.
Landowners can sign up on the NDDA website at Required information includes county and contact information.
Hunters and trappers can sign up at the NDGF website at
Periodically throughout the winter, hunters or trappers will receive information on participating landowners, and they can then contact landowners to make arrangements.
Although the Coyote Catalog does not guarantee a good match for every participating landowner or hunter, Goehring and Steinwand said it has great potential to focus hunting or trapping pressure in areas where farmers and ranchers are experiencing coyote depredation problems.
Anyone who registered for the Coyote Catalog in the past must register again to activate their names on the database.
The Coyote Catalog will remain active through March 31, and then start up again next winter.

Second Deer Lottery Held, Remaining License Sales Suspended

North Dakota’s second deer lottery has been held and individual results are available on the State Game and Fish Department website,
While slightly more than 1,000 antlerless deer licenses were still available after the second lottery, all of them are in units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F in the southwestern part of the state, where Game and Fish is receiving ongoing reports of white-tailed deer mortality caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease.
As such, Game and Fish administration has decided to not issue those remaining licenses. “The decision is based on previous years’ experience where moderate to significant white-tailed deer losses were documented in situations similar to this year,” said wildlife chief Randy Kreil.
In addition, Kreil said the likelihood of an extended fall, and possible continuation of EHD losses was also a factor in the decision. “While we first received reports of isolated deer deaths in August, loss of deer to this disease appears to have extended into September, and depending on the weather, may continue into October,” Kreil added, noting that the area of reported white-tailed deer deaths to EHD covers Bowman to Bismarck.
In 2011, deer deaths from EHD occurred well into October, and prompted Game and Fish to offer refunds to license holders in several southwestern units. Kreil said it’s too early to tell whether this year’s EHD episode is significant enough to warrant a similar action, and the agency will wait until after opening weekend of pheasant season to determine whether refunds would be an option. “In the past,” Kreil added, “it has been helpful to gauge the scope and intensity of an EHD situation when there are thousands of hunters in the field in EHD areas, who might observe dead deer along waterways.”
EHD, a naturally occurring virus that is spread by a biting midge, is almost always fatal to infected white-tailed deer, while mule deer do not usually die from the disease. Hunters do not have to worry about handling or consuming meat from infected deer because the virus that causes EHD is not known to cause disease in humans. In addition, the first hard freeze typically kills the midge that carries and transfers the EHD virus which will slow or halt the spread of the disease.

Deer Lottery Held, Antlerless Licenses Remain

North Dakota’s deer gun lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the State Game and Fish Department’s website,

More than 3,200 antlerless deer gun licenses remain. A total of 44,000 applicants were unsuccessful. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the first lottery can apply for remaining licenses.

An option to apply online will be available Aug. 7. Paper applications will be mailed to individuals Aug. 12. The deadline for applying is Sept. 4.

Remaining Deer Gun Licenses

(B = Any Antlerless D = Antlerless Whitetail)












































Hunters Advised to Check Water Conditions

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department advises hunters to be cautious with their dogs around water this time of year, due to potential health hazards associated with blue-green algae.
Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the Game and Fish Department, said late summer and early fall offer prime conditions for blue-green algae growth in many state waters. Ingestion by a hunting dog while perhaps retrieving a bird during the early goose season, or just practicing retrieving, can lead to severe illness and potential death.
“Conditions are right this year for stagnant water to become contaminated, especially with all of the rainfall that has occurred,” Grove said.
Potentially toxic algae blooms occur under conditions of hot, dry weather. Shallow, stagnant water with moderate to high nutrient content provides an optimum environment for algal growth. Water or wind movements often concentrate the algae, and eventually the bloom appears as a blue-green “scum” floating on the water’s surface. The threat disappears once the weather turns colder.
“Hunting dogs shouldn’t drink or swim in discolored water or where algal blooms are apparent,” Grove said. “If dogs retrieve in these conditions, they should be rinsed off immediately and shouldn’t be allowed to lick their coat.”
For additional information about the effects of blue-green algae blooms on hunting dogs, contact the Animal Health Division, North Dakota Department of Agriculture, at (701) 328-2655; or a local veterinarian.

2013 Waterfowl Regulations Set

North Dakota’s 2013 waterfowl season has been set, with noteworthy changes including an increase in the daily limit of Canada and snow geese, and the possession limit for most migratory birds.
Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 21 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Sept. 28. The season for swans opens Sept. 28 for both residents and nonresidents.
Hunters may take six ducks per day with the following restrictions: five mallards of which two may be hens, three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two pintails and two canvasbacks. The daily limit of five mergansers may include no more than two hooded mergansers. For ducks and mergansers, the possession limit is three times the daily limit.
The hunting season for Canada geese in the Missouri River zone will close Dec. 27, while the remainder of the state will close Dec. 21. The season for whitefronts closes Dec. 1, while the season on light geese is open through Dec. 29. Shooting hours for all geese are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 2. Beginning Nov. 3, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.
Extended shooting hours for all geese are permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on Saturdays and Wednesdays through Nov. 27, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from Nov. 30 through the end of each season.
The bag limit for Canada geese during the regular season is eight daily and 24 in possession, except in the Missouri River zone where the limit is five daily and 15 in possession.
The daily limit on whitefronts is two with six in possession, and light goose is 50 daily, with no possession limit.
The special youth waterfowl hunting season is Sept. 14-15. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents 15 years of age or younger can hunt ducks, coots, mergansers and geese statewide. Youth hunters must have a general game and habitat license and a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. A licensed adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter into the field.
Nonresidents have the option of buying either a statewide waterfowl license or one with zone restrictions. Nonresidents who designate zones 1 or 2 may hunt that zone for only one seven-day period during the season. Nonresident hunters who chose to hunt in zone 1 or 2 and wish to use the full 14 consecutive days allowed, must use the other seven days in zone 3. Hunters in zone 3 can hunt that zone the entire 14 days.
In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 12-18.
All migratory bird hunters, including waterfowl, must register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters purchasing a license from the Game and Fish Department can easily get a HIP number. Otherwise, hunters must call (888) 634-4798, or log on to the Game and Fish website at, provide the registration information, and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who HIP registered to hunt this spring’s light goose season or early fall Canada goose season do not have to register again, as it is required only once per year.
The waterfowl rest areas previously established in Barnes and Nelson counties have been eliminated.
Hunters should refer to the 2013 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide for further details on the waterfowl season. Paper copies will be at license vendors in early September.

NDGF Concerned about Possible Corps Land Transfer

Officials at the State Game and Fish Department are concerned that a potential transfer of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land around Lake Sakakawea would include thousands of acres of public land managed for fish, wildlife and recreation, and would jeopardize free access to numerous boat ramps within the middle third of the reservoir.
Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand says the Corps is apparently reconsidering a 2004 request to transfer all Corps land above 1,854 feet mean sea level within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, to be held in trust for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.
The Game and Fish Department leases from the Corps and manages for wildlife approximately 7,000 acres within the proposed area, including Van Hook and Deepwater Creek wildlife management areas. In addition, more than 29,000 acres of Corps land that is currently open to public hunting and fishing could also be transferred.
“Our major concern about this development,” Steinwand said, “is the loss of public land for hunters and anglers, which is currently managed by the Game and Fish Department and the Corps of Engineers.”
Over several decades since Game and Fish began leasing Corps land around Lake Sakakawea for wildlife management purposes, Steinwand said the agency has invested more than a million dollars in sportsmen’s money in portions of those areas that would be included in a land transfer. While Game and Fish would retain leases and public access on land below 1,854 msl, Steinwand added that access to those remaining areas could become more difficult.
“This is a critical issue for hunters and anglers in the state,” Steinwand said. “It’s important that the Corps considers further public input before making a decision on any potential land transfer.”

Remaining Fall Turkey Licenses Available Sept. 27

The 2013 fall wild turkey lottery has been held and more than 930 licenses remain in seven units. Unsuccessful applicants who applied online will have a refund issued directly to their credit card.
Beginning Sept. 27, all remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters are allowed a maximum of 15 licenses for the fall season.
Resident and nonresident hunters will be able to apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the Game and Fish Department website, Paper applications will also be available at license vendors.
The fall turkey season runs from Oct. 12 – Jan. 5, 2014.
Licenses remain for the following units: Unit 03, Benson and Ramsey counties and a portion of Pierce County, 40 licenses; Unit 13, Dunn County, 181; Unit 25, McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties, 335; Unit 30, a portion of Morton County, 92; Unit 31, Mountrail County, 35; Unit 45, Stark County, 97; and Unit 51, Burke County and portions of Renville, Bottineau and Ward counties, 153.

Fall Turkey Season Set

North Dakota’s fall turkey season is set, and online and paper applications will be available mid-August. The deadline for applying is Sept. 4.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the State Game and Fish Department, said 4,020 licenses are available to hunters, 125 fewer than last year. According to Kohn, the slight decline in licenses is a result of four years of poor production, and poor recruitment of young into the population because of wet, cool springs.
“The decrease in the number of licenses is consistent with our management strategy of reducing licenses when the population warrants protection or when turkey numbers have fallen below normal levels within a unit,” Kohn said. “If turkey production is exceptionally good this year, an additional 1,300 licenses may be used early this fall in specific hunting units.”
An experimental hunting season will continue for the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan. A maximum of 30 licenses will be available. These licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department once a person first obtains a permit from USDA-ARS.
An experimental turkey bow hunting season will continue within the city of Bismarck to help control a growing population of birds in residential areas. A maximum of 25 licenses will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to individuals who are licensed to bow hunt deer within the city. These licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department in Bismarck once a person has a valid city archery permit.
A maximum of 75 turkey licenses will be issued for a concurrent experimental bow season on the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation land south of Bismarck. Licenses will be available at the Game and Fish Department after a person receives an access permit from NDDOCR.
A maximum of 45 turkey licenses will be issued for a concurrent experimental bow season for the city of Fargo and specific surrounding areas. Licenses will be distributed to those licensed to bow hunt deer within the city limits of Fargo, and will be available at the Game and Fish headquarters in Bismarck after a person has received a valid city archery permit.
Hunting units 21 (Hettinger and Adams counties) and 53 (Divide and Williams counties) will remain closed to fall turkey hunting in 2013 because of low turkey numbers.
The fall wild turkey season extends from Oct. 12 through Jan. 5, 2014.
Prospective hunters, including gratis applicants, can apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the Game and Fish website, Paper applications will be available from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors.
Applications are also accepted at the department’s toll-free licensing line, (800) 406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made over the phone.
Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply in the first lottery. Nonresidents can apply for fall turkey licenses that are still available following the first lottery.

Night Use Restricted on Lewis and Clark, Trenton WMAs

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will close the Lewis and Clark and Trenton wildlife management areas to night use, except for those actively engaged in legal fishing and hunting activities. Effective once the signs are in place, the use restriction applies from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.
Robert Timian, enforcement chief, said these two public lands in McKenzie and Williams counties are meant to be used for outdoor recreation associated with hunting, fishing and trapping. But in the last few years, he said there have been a number of activities, especially at night, that negatively impact the principle uses of these areas.
“This restriction will give our enforcement staff an additional tool to help return the wildlife management areas to the uses for which they were established,” Timian said.
Lewis and Clark and Trenton wildlife management areas encompass nearly 15,000 acres of public land along the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea.
Signs announcing the new restriction will be posted at all entrances.


SAH Accepting Goose Meat

The North Dakota’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program is again accepting donations of goose meat taken during the early Canada goose season.
Much like the popular SAH deer donation program, hunters can bring in their goose meat to participating processors. However, hunters must remove the breast meat from the birds before processors can accept them.
Hunters can clean their geese at home prior to delivery to a processor, but breast meat brought from home without a wing or head attached to the meat, must be accompanied by written information that includes the hunter’s name, address, signature, hunting license number, date taken and species and number taken.
Hunters may also deliver geese directly from the field to a processor, but identification must remain attached to the bird until in possession of the processor.
Since no goose carcasses or feathers are allowed inside processing plants, hunters must be able to ensure proper disposal and clean-up of carcasses.
“We have a number of locations across the state that will handle goose donations,” said Ann Pollert, Executive Director of North Dakota’s Community Action Partnership, which sponsors SAH as part of its effort to serve low-income families across the state. “We found out last year that goose meat is very popular with our clients, so we’re hoping hunters will again be willing to share some of their birds.”
The list of participating processors is available on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at
Hunters interested in donating are encouraged to call processors before dropping off geese, to have a clear understanding of how goose breasts will be accepted and the processor’s hours of operation, Pollert said.
For more information, visit the CAPND website at, or contact Pollert at (701) 232-2452.


Status of Public Shooting Ranges


The MacLean shooting range located near the MacLean boat ramp south of Bismarck is now open after being closed earlier this spring due to a wildfire and ensuing high fire danger index.
Shooting is only allowed from the bench to the designated target stands. Tracer rounds and exploding targets are prohibited. Any illegal activity should be reported to Report All Poachers by calling (800) 472-2121.
Future plans for MacLean in either 2013 or 2014 include improvements and expansion slightly to the west of the existing area, with shotgun, handgun, and 100- and 200-yard rifle ranges.
MacLean Bottoms is two miles south of ND Highway 1804, approximately 15 miles southeast of Bismarck.
The Schmidt Bottoms shooting range south of Mandan is open and was upgraded just last year with 100-yard, 200-yard, shotgun and pistol ranges. Schmidt Bottoms is located approximately 13 miles south of Mandan on ND Highway 1806.
The public shooting range at the Wilton Mine Wildlife Management Area is currently closed due to wet conditions. Wilton Mine WMA is approximately two miles east of Wilton.
Interested users can check the status of all public shooting ranges by accessing the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website,


North Dakota Part of Sage Grouse Conservation Plan

While southwestern North Dakota is on the edge of the sage grouse’s native range, the state still has an important role in improving long-term prospects for this large upland bird.
North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley, along with North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand, attended a meeting in Cheyenne, Wyo., last week to participate in discussions about a region-wide comprehensive sage grouse plan.
“North Dakota will continue to do its part to protect the sage grouse population and to avoid the need for endangered species status and the accompanying land-use restrictions,” Wrigley said.
Because of a long-term population decline throughout their native range, in 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considered listing sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act. The service determined that listing was warranted, but other species had a higher priority for federal recovery efforts. The service is scheduled to revisit sage grouse listing in 2015.
“Sage grouse have had a rough time the past decade or more, not just here, but in all the Western states where they exist,” Steinwand said. “While we’re on the periphery of their range and we don’t have a lot of these birds in North Dakota, we need to be part of the long-term population recovery plan.”

Part of that long-term plan is a series of public scoping meetings scheduled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Visit the BLM website at for information on scoping meetings in North Dakota.

Listing under the ESA basically means that the federal government would assume primary management of sage grouse instead of the state, Steinwand said. “We’re committed to using whatever resources we can to help get those birds stabilized and headed in the other direction.”
In North Dakota, Steinwand added, a number of projects are already underway.
Highlights of Game and Fish involvement over the past several years include:

  • Game and Fish has funded research over the past six years to determine species demographics such as survival, nest success, bird movements and reproduction success.
  • Helped form a working group, in conjunction with a core group of local landowners, to provide information to agricultural producers about sage grouse conservation.
  • Worked closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Bureau of Land Management on extensive sagebrush plantings designed to connect fragmented areas and provide incentives to local landowners.
  • Provided funding and piggybacked with federal programs to provide incentives for private landowners to implement grazing practices that increase residual grass cover that benefits sage grouse.

“We’re going to continue our efforts, in cooperation with other agencies and private landowners, to work on projects to benefit sage grouse,” Steinwand said. “It’s in the best interest of all the states in sage grouse range to keep these birds off the endangered species list.”
On the Web: Learn more about the Game and Fish Department’s sage grouse population management efforts from the pages of North Dakota Outdoors magazine:

Safeguarding Sage Grouse
Tracking Sage Grouse Survival
Sage Grouse Season Could Close


Hunter Education Volunteers Recognized
Volunteer instructors for North Dakota’s hunter education program were recognized Feb. 11 for their contributions of teaching students the importance of hunter safety and ethics.
Instructor of the year and years of service awards were presented at the annual hunter education workshop and awards banquet held in Bismarck.
Larry Thompson of Dickinson and Dale Patrick from Bismarck were named instructors of the year.
Recognized for 35 years of service were John Jones, Wishek; Steven Seeger, Turtle Lake; Jim Shulind, Grand Forks; Ernest Trudeau, Jamestown.
Receiving 30-year service awards were Timothy Dewald, Streeter; Jim Gross, Mandan; Rodney O’Clair, Jamestown; Lori Schweigert, Beulah; Lyle Westbrook, Moffit.
Presented with 25-year service awards were Darwin Bucholz, Rolla; Terry Fasteen, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Allan Goerger, Barney; Juel Halstenson, West Fargo; Richard Harwood, Lemmon, S.D.; Susan Harwood, Lemmon S.D.; Robert Ingold, Manning; Thomas Kempf, Sawyer; Dennis Miller, Mandan; Lynda Miller, Mandan; Scott Mitchell, Rolla; Michael Peterson, Hazen; Robert Schwagler, New Salem; Joe Solseng, Grand Forks; Todd Thingelstad, Grand Forks; Lauren Throntveit, Crosby; Albert Ulmer, LaMoure; Curtis Wittmayer, Parshall.
Honored for 20 years of service were Douglas Bolte, Regent; James Borkowski, Bottineau; Dean Burwick, Dickinson; Dennis Ertelt, Fingal; Gary Ertmann, Devils Lake; Gerard Goldade, Hague; Craig Hoffart, Bottineau; Ruth Hubbard, Minot; James R. Johnson, New Rockford; Alan Klatt, Grand Forks; George Koenig, Gackle; Lynn Lawler, Rolla; Glenn Lemier, Oakes; Richard Leshovsky, Velva; David Meberg, Hebron; Karla Meikle, Bismarck; Brad Pierce, Hatton; Doyle Roeder, Bismarck; Lance Sateren, Bismarck; Daryl Simmons, Garrison; Patricia Stark, Cavalier; Curtis Walen, Carrington.
Recognized for 15 years of service were Darren Benneweis, Enderlin; Larry Brooks, Bottineau; Bob Campbell, Hannaford; Scott Fasteen, Bismarck; Sean Hagan, Walhalla; Marvin Ingman, Dickinson; Mary Beth Ingman, Dickinson; Doyle Johannes, Underwood; Brad Kilde, Glen Ullin; Joe Lautenschlager, Berthold; Marty Liesener, Ray; Zachary Lindemann, Bismarck; Mike Marquette, Britton, S.D.; Brad Olson, West Fargo; Dale Patrick, Bismarck; Mike Rieger, Minot; Glen Sargeant, Jamestown; Scott Sigette, Devils Lake; Paul Vasquez, Grand Forks.
Ten-year service awards were presented to Randy Anderson, Hettinger; Jerod Basol, Portland; Keith Brodie, Arvilla; Harold Capaci, Minot; Kenneth Clouston, Bismarck; Wesley Crosby, Williston; Walter Helfrich, West Fargo; Connie Jorgenson, Devils Lake; Kelly Keller, Center; Jackie Martin, Anamoose; Kevin Mattson, Kindred; Michael Melaas, Minot; Robert Miller, Oakes; Scot Schara, Gladstone; Joseph Schirado, Bismarck; Richard Simon Sr., Grand Forks; Ronald Swenson, Williston; Eric Tilton, Larimore; Sharon Titus, Lincoln; Lavern Vance, Ray.
Five-year active instructors recognized were Dorian Anderson, Drake; Jeff Ball, Des Lacs; Wayne Bauer, Wishek; Sean Benzmiller, Burlington; Kimberly Blake, Park River; David Blocker, Mohall; Steven Brush, Sabin; John Butz, Northwood; Mark Crosby, Bowbells; Brett Crotty, Pembina; Dennis Crotty, Pembina; Terrance Estvold, Devils Lake; Paul Goldade, Hague; Steve Goroski, Bismarck; Mike Graue, Devils Lake; Stephen Hunt, Reynolds; Amanda Johnson, Minnewaukan; Nadine Kassian, Wilton; Sherry Lillis, Lincoln; Martin Marchello, Bismarck; Casey Martin, Bismarck; Deb Michels, Elgin; Timothy Nelson, Harvey; Brent Nettleton, Burlington; Lyle Olson, Lisbon; Todd Olson, Mohall; David Phillips, Bismarck; John Pretzer, Scranton; Chad Symington, Manvel; Samual Theurer, Mandan; Torrie Vader, Williston.
Recognized for two years of service were Travis Anderson, Grand Forks; Josh Beaudoin, Minot; David Bjorndahl Jr., Grafton; Damon Bosche, Medina; Eric Crimmins, McClusky; Lori Deal, Carrington; Kendon Faul, McClusky; Antonie Fettig, New Town; Helen Gorman, Larimore; Brian Johnson, Sawyer; Darren Mehs, Hatton; Jacob Miedema, Jamestown; Kathy Needham, Gackle; Richard Nelson, Grand Forks; Steve Norton, Mandan; Tom Nowatzki, Bottineau; Jared Nygaard, Bismarck; Eric Odegaard, West Fargo; Daniel Olson, Medina; Adam Pachl, Grand Forks; John Perritt, Casselton; Larry Romyns, Glenburn; Wesley Sauer, Washburn; Steven Schiermeister, Lincoln; Brian Schock, Dickinson; Jeremy St. Aubin, Ashley; Tammy Weigum, Dickinson; Cherri Weyrauch, Watford City; Brady Woodard, West Fargo; Andrew Zickur.



NDG&F Information

Advisory Board Meetings Announced

Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department advisory board meeting in their area.
These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel.
The governor appoints eight Game and Fish Department advisors, each representing a multi-county section of the state, to serve as a liaison between the department and public.
Any person who requires an auxiliary aid or service must notify the contact person at least five days prior to the scheduled meeting date.

District 1 – Counties: Divide, McKenzie and Williams
Date: March 31 – 7 p.m.
Location: Montana Dakota Utilities, Williston
Host: Pheasants Forever
Contact: Peggy Lokken, 572-7825
Advisory board member: Jason Leiseth, Arnegard, 586-3714

District 7 – Counties: Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan and Sioux
Date: March 31 – 7 p.m.
Location: Wildlife Club House, Turtle Lake
Host: Turtle Lake Wildlife Club
Contact: Steve Seeger, 448-2448
Advisory board member: Vacant

District 2 – Counties: Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward
Date: April 1 – 7 p.m.
Location: Senior Citizens Center, Makoti
Host: Hiddenwood Sportsmen’s Club
Contact: Erik Rensch, 726-5660
Advisory board member: Robert Gjellstad, Voltaire, 338-2281

District 4 – Counties: Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina and Walsh
Date: April 1 – 7 p.m.
Location: American Legion Hall, Walhalla
Host: To be announced
Contact: Steve Gapp, 265-2448
Advisory board member: Ronald Houdek, Tolna, 262-4724

District 5 – Counties: Cass, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele and Traill
Date: April 7 – 7 p.m.
Location: Auditorium, Finley
Host: Finley Wildlife Club
Contact: Brian Tuite, 789-0930
Advisory board member: Duane Hanson, West Fargo, 367-4249

District 8 – Counties: Adams, Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope and Stark
Date: April 7 – 7 p.m.
Location: Eagles Club, Dickinson
Host: Southwest Anglers
Contact: Curt Decker, 225-6315
Advisory board member: Dwight Hecker, Fairfield, 575-4952

District 3 – Counties: Benson, Cavalier, Eddy, Ramsey, Rolette and Towner
Date: April 8 – 7 p.m.
Location: Chatque Room, Lake Region College, Devils Lake
Host: Lake Region Sportsman Club
Contact: Tom Rost
Advisory board member: Tom Rost, Devils Lake, 662-8620

District 6 – Counties: Barnes, Dickey, Foster, Griggs, Logan, LaMoure, McIntosh, Stutsman and Wells
Date: April 8 – 7 p.m.
Location: VFW, Valley City
Host: Dakota Valley Fowlers Club
Contact: Joshua Wert, 757-619-6117
Advisory board member: Joel Christoferson, Litchville, 973-4981

Anglers, Hunters Cautioned of Ground Conditions

Anglers and hunters are reminded to be wary of ground conditions when traveling to and from a favorite fishery or hunting location.
Greg Power, fisheries chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said with fishing good statewide, many anglers are taking advantage of late-season ice and early-season shore fishing.
“However, travel can be difficult this time of year with the soft conditions,” Power said. “We urge anglers to use common sense when conditions are likely to cause problems with township roads and access points.”
Wildlife chief Randy Kreil said spring snow goose and turkey hunters are encouraged to maintain positive landowner/hunter relations. “We ask hunters to be cognizant of these conditions,” Kreil said. “Driving on soft, muddy roads and trails is strongly discouraged.”
Hunters are advised to seek permission before attempting any off-road travel on private land.


March 29th, 2014-Riverside Holiday Inn, 2200 E. Burdick Expy., 11:00 AM


All meetings are to be held at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department building in Bismarck at 1:00 PM Central Time;

  • First quarter-April 26th
  • Second Quarter-July 12th
  • Third Quarter-October 18th
  • Fourth Quarter-Jan 10th or 26th


Important NDHEA info regarding Mentored Hunts and Family Shooting events

NDHEA is pleased to be offering assistance with funding for Mentored Hunts and Family Shooting Events!

Family Fun Shoot/Mentored Hunt policies

click here to download a copy of the policies

Request for Participation (RFP) to conduct an event

click here to download the RFP form

NDHEA 2013 Raffle Winners Announced!!!

Drawing held 7-14-2013 at 5:00 PM at Scheels Sports – Bismarck

Kenny Simmons
1617 Bison Drive
Williston, ND 58801

Tracy L. Horn
PO Box 68
Ryder, ND 58779

Kelly Peterson
PO Box 911
Watford City, ND 58854

Reggie Christian
8640 Wood Lane
Bismarck, ND 58503

Austin Mosser
811 Hiawatha Street
Minot, ND 58701

Brian Evans
10819 Violet Avenue NE
Dunseith, ND 58329

Joel Halstens
217 IA E
West Fargo, ND

John Streifel
1403 5th Ave NW
Reeder, ND 58649

Myron Hanson
10357 5th Ave
Souris, ND58783

Mark Walen
311 64th Ave. SE
Carrington, ND 58421

Game and Fish Volunteers Recognized

Volunteer instructors for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department were recognized Jan. 4 at the annual banquet in Bismarck.
Skip Balzer, Bismarck, received the volunteer of the year award. Balzer was mentioned for volunteering thousands of hours at rifle ranges and wildlife management areas, Family Fishing Days, Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, state fair and fish camps.
Bismarck resident Clair Huwe was named instructor of the year. Huwe was recognized for his work with the Hooked on Fishing program, including Family Fishing Days, fish camps and the state fair.
Richard Peterson, Bismarck, received the special projects award. Peterson was instrumental in securing a new trailer for the Hooked on Fishing program, including writing the grant, purchasing the trailer, outfitting the inside and designing the wrap.
Honored for 35 years of service were Karl Broeren, Northwood; Melvin Bruhn, Elgin; John Buresh, Towner; Richard Cheatley, Riverdale; Ken Fischer, Park River; Marlowe Grindler, Rogers; Chris Hansen, Napoleon; Colin Hoffert, Harvey; Ron Hunsberger, Larimore; Ronald Koenig, Elgin; Noel Podoll, Velva; Mike Voglewede, Northwood; Kurt Wagner, Wimbledon.
Thirty-year service awards were presented to Dale Brewster, Stanley; Donald Brewster, Bowbells; Clyde Grosz, Beulah; James Hastings, Courtenay; Don Meyer, Devils Lake; Mark Montgomery, Center; David Rensch, Garrison; Rick Suckut, Bowdon.
Recognized for 25 years of service were James Boley, Minot; Dick Brewster, Washburn; Douglas Crosby, Williston; Ralph Danuser, Marion; Keith Domke, Jamestown; Myron Hanson, Souris; Rick Jorgenson, Devils Lake; Mike McEnroe, Bismarck; Todd Parkman, Hope; Kenneth Schwandt, Cavalier; Rod Stark, Kennedy; Gary Stefanovsky, Bismarck; Gary Symanowski, Scranton.
Honored for 20 years of service were Ottmar Barth, Mandan; Mary Barth, Mandan; Kevin Bishop, Kathryn; Patsy Crooke, Mandan; Roger Dienert, Hankinson; Darwin Gebhardt, Oakes; Terry Gray, Cooperstown; Garry Hillier, Thompson; Eddy Larsen, Larimore; Francis Miller, Mandan; Gregory Odden, Rugby; Rick Olson, Underwood; Rodney Parrill, Bottineau; Gene Paupst, Larimore; Duane Reinisch, Valley City; Allen Schirado, Bismarck; John Schlieman, Grand Forks; Melvin Sivertson, Bowman; Mark Vickerman, Minot.
Fifteen-year service awards were presented to Adnan Aldayel, New Rockford; William Bahm, Almont; Jack Carlson, Mandan; Randy Christensen, Hettinger; Stan Cox, Jamestown; Mark Engen, Anamoose; Mark Entzi, Watford City; Gary Grosz, Kulm; Gary Hagness, Fordville; Matthew Herman, Ashley; Leon Hiltner, Wales; Morris Hummel, Coleharbor; Lynn Kieper, Bismarck; Steven Kilwein, Hettinger; Bruce Krabseth, Alamo; Jeffrey Lemer, Anamoose; Richard Liesner, Ray; Barry McCleary, Napoleon; Curt Miller, Tioga; Marvin Neumiller, Washburn; Loran Palmer, Wahpeton; Randy Palmer, Bismarck; Richard Petersen, Bismarck; Mark Pfeifer, Lidgerwood; Joel Puffe, Bismarck; Scott Rehak, Williston; Craig Roe, Kindred; Claude Sheldon, Park River; Trever Speidel, West Fargo; Shawn Tennyson, Fargo; Doug Thingstad, Jamestown; Clayton Thompson, West Fargo; Cindie Van Tassel, Breckenridge, Minn.; Brian Vose, Devils Lake.
Ten-year active instructors recognized were Craig Bjur, Fargo; Karl Blake, Park River; Benjilee Boll, Wahpeton; Robert Concannon Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.; Troy Enga, Berthold; Nathan Fitzgerald, Cooperstown; Gregory Gerou, Wahpeton; Judy Haglund, Garrison; Tim Hendrickson, Bisbee; Terry Kassian, Wilton; Steven Kukowski, Minot; Arlen Kurtti, Hazen; Kimberly Murphy, Williston; Dustin Neva, Hatton; Charles Oien, Elgin; John Paulson, Bismarck; Kent Reierson, Williston; Myron Schaff, Hebron; Scott Thorson, Towner; Daniel Vollmer, Rolla.
Recognized for five years of service were Andrew Banta, Williston; Glen Bahm, Selfridge; Mark Berg, Bismarck; Jamie Bradley, Beulah; Leona Coutts, Bismarck; Jennifer Ekberg, Manvel; Kevin Fire, Grand Forks; Jerry Goldsberry, Grassy Butte; Jason Heinz, Rolette; Lindsay Hiedorn, Hope; Clair Huwe, Bismarck; Kellen Leier, Bismarck; Catherine Logosz, Dickinson; Andrew Majeres, Garrison; Frank Odell, Belfield; Kim Oien, Elgin; Kent Paulson, Mayville; Benjamin Sand, Menoken; Tom Sauvage, Linton; Jeffrey Solseth, Cando; Jeremy St. Aubin, Ashley; Corey Wysocki, Grafton.

Whooping Cranes Observed, Moving Through

As snow geese begin to make their way into the state, hunters are advised to properly identify their target as whooping cranes could potentially be in the same areas.
Whooping cranes were observed this week north of Minot near Kenmare, and recent reports indicate most of the population is still north of the Canadian border and will soon migrate through North Dakota. With Kenmare’s annual Goose Fest in progress, hunters in the vicinity of the Upper Souris and Des Lacs national wildlife refuges should be aware of the potential for whooping cranes and snow geese in the same area.
Whoopers, an endangered species, stand about five feet tall and have a wingspan of about seven feet from tip to tip. Like snow geese, they are bright white with black wing tips, which are visible only when the wings are outspread. In flight they extend their long necks straight forward, while their long, slender legs extend out behind the tail. Whooping cranes typically migrate singly, or in groups of 2-3 birds, but are occasionally in slightly larger flocks.
Anyone sighting whoopers should not disturb them, but record the date, time, location, and the birds' activity. Observers should also look closely for and report colored bands which may occur on one or both legs. Whooping cranes have been marked with colored leg bands to help determine their identity.
Whooping crane sightings should be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office at Lostwood, (701) 848-2722, or Long Lake, (701) 387-4397, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's main office in Bismarck at (701) 328-6300, or to local game wardens across the state.

Permission Required to Hunt in Unharvested Crops

Wet conditions over the past two weeks have delayed the fall harvest of row crops.
With most hunting seasons open, North Dakota hunters are reminded that hunting in unharvested crops is not allowed without a landowner’s permission, including waterfowl hunters driving on land to set up decoys.
To maintain proper landowner-sportsmen relations, hunters are urged to stay off harvested fields in wet conditions.
Unharvested crops include sprouted winter wheat, which is typically planted in September as a no-till crop. A sign of a seeded winter wheat field is rows of green-colored sprouting wheat, or rows of tilled ground 6-12 inches apart indicating planting has taken place. Stubble from the previous crop will still be in the field.
Besides winter wheat, other unharvested crops that hunters need landowner permission to access include more recognizable standing crops like corn, soybeans and sunflowers, in addition to alfalfa, clover and other grasses grown for seed.
The notable exceptions are crops within North Dakota Game and Fish Department PLOTS tracts, which are open to walking hunting access unless they are posted with an orange rectangular sign that states that hunting in the standing crop portion of the tract is not allowed, and standing crops on state wildlife management areas.

Hunters: Be Mindful of Rural Road Contions in Southwest

The Oct. 4-5 snowstorm that covered southwestern North Dakota may present some challenging travel conditions for hunters when the 2013 pheasant season opens this Saturday.
State Game and Fish Department officials say that while most of the foot or more of snow that fell in some counties will likely be gone, the moisture left behind may still make travel difficult on some section line trails and other unimproved roads.
“We’ve been getting a lot of calls about how the storm affected the southwest, because it’s a popular area and part of our primary pheasant range,” said Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand. “Hunters should just be aware that there might be some impassable or very muddy roads to contend with, and they may want to call their local contacts to get an idea of how the storm may have affected their traditional hunting area.”
In addition, Steinwand said hunters should watch out for ranchers moving cattle or power company crews fixing lines, and make sure to not block roadways.
Many hunters have also inquired to Game and Fish about pheasant mortality from the storm, where the most snow fell south of Interstate 94, and east of U.S. Highway 85 and west of the Missouri River. Generally, more snow fell closer to the South Dakota border.
Game and Fish has had a few reports from landowners, but Steinwand said it’s still too early to assess whether there was any significant pheasant mortality.
“The pheasant opener is a longstanding tradition in North Dakota and many hunters make their plans months in advance,” Steinwand said. “We want hunters to enjoy the weekend, but we also want them to know this was an unprecedented snowstorm in some areas, and there is more rain in the forecast before the weekend, so we urge extra care in areas where road and field conditions are wet.”

Game and Fish Summarizes Pheasant Brood Data

North Dakota’s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August indicates total birds, number of broods and average brood size are all down statewide from 2012.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are down 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were down 29 percent, and the average brood size was down 10 percent. The final summary is based on 253 survey runs made along 101 brood routes across North Dakota.
“Poor production this spring resulted in fewer young birds added to the population and a lower fall population in all areas of the state,” Kohn said.
Noteworthy factors cited for the decrease in brood numbers, according to Kohn, were continued land use changes in the prime pheasant range, including removal of Conservation Reserve Program acres, grasslands converted to croplands and small grain fields converted to row crops; and continuous wet spring weather.
“Earlier this summer we thought it was possible that nesting season was delayed enough to avoid an influence from the cold, wet spring,” Kohn said, “but it now appears that wasn’t the case.”
Kohn said even though statistics reveal bird numbers are down statewide, there will still be local areas with good pheasant populations.
Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicate the number of birds observed was down 25 percent from 2012, and the number of broods was down 22 percent. Observers counted 15 broods and 126 birds per 100 survey miles. The average brood size was 5.8.
Results from the southeast show birds are down 43 percent from last year, and the number of broods down 42 percent. Observers counted five broods and 49 birds per 100 miles. The average brood size was 5.9.
Statistics from the northwest indicated pheasants are down 39 percent from last year, with broods down 32 percent. Observers recorded six broods and 48 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 5.5.
The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat with much of it lacking good winter cover, showed one brood and seven birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.7. Number of birds observed was down 35 percent, and the number of broods recorded was down 33 percent.
The 2013 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 12 and continues through Jan. 5, 2014. The two-day youth pheasant hunting weekend, when legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger can hunt statewide, is set for Oct. 5-6.

Deer Deaths Possible Indicator of EHD

Wildlife biologists believe recent reports of white-tailed deer deaths in western North Dakota could indicate the presence of epizootic hemorrhagic disease.
Dr. Dan Grove, State Game and Fish Department wildlife veterinarian, said the reports have characteristics similar to previous EHD events, and initial necropsy results on a freshly dead deer from Burleigh County indicate the potential presence of EHD.
“Deer losses to EHD occur periodically,” Grove said. “Sometimes the incidents are isolated and affect few animals, and in other cases the disease is spread over a large geographic region.”
As of Aug. 28, less than 20 dead deer have been reported to the department in three counties – Bowman, Grant and Burleigh. However, the typical range where EHD is found in North Dakota is southwest of the Missouri River, and in large outbreaks most counties in this region are affected.
Game and Fish is urging bow hunters and elk hunters in the field in early September to report any observations of dead deer, Grove said, and to report locations quickly so biologists can gauge distribution and severity. “To isolate the EHD virus, the animal cannot have been dead for more than 24 hours,” he added.
Information needed from each report is the species, age, sex and location. “It would be nice if we could get the legal description of the land, or a GPS coordinate, and a photograph if possible,” Grove said. “At the very least, we will need the number of miles and direction from the closest town.”
EHD primarily affects white-tailed deer, and is most noticeable in western North Dakota when high whitetail populations combine with a hot and humid late summer and early fall. Most deer that die from this are infected before the first hard frost, which kills the biting midges that spread the disease, Grove said.
The last time North Dakota had significant deer deaths from EHD was 2011.
EHD causes dehydration and a high body temperature, causing deer to seek water prior to death. Other clinical and behavior symptoms may include respiratory distress; swelling of head, neck, and tongue; lesions on tongue and roof of mouth; indifference to humans; and in later stages, hemorrhaging from body orifices.
EHD is not a danger to humans. However, hunters should not shoot or consume a deer if it appears sick.
Hunters should report any dead deer observations to the Game and Fish Department at, or (701) 328-6351.

2013 Small Game Regulations Set

2013 Small Game and Furbearer Regulations Set
North Dakota’s 2013 small game and furbearer regulations are set and most season structures are similar to last year.
Continued expansion of fishers in eastern North Dakota has allowed the Game and Fish Department to change from a quota system to a limited number of days with no quota. The season will run from Nov. 25 – Dec. 1. Fishers can only be taken by traps and cable devices. A limit of one fisher per person is allowed during this season.
This year, states can offer a possession limit of three times the daily bag limit for most migratory birds.
Prairie chicken and sage grouse seasons will remain closed due to low populations.
Only North Dakota residents are permitted to hunt waterfowl from Sept. 21-27. Nonresidents are allowed to hunt waterfowl in North Dakota beginning Sept. 28. Other waterfowl season details will be finalized in mid-August in the waterfowl amendment to the small game and furbearer proclamation.
In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 12-18.
Hunters should refer to the North Dakota 2013-14 Small Game and Furbearer guides (available mid-August) for more details on small game and furbearer seasons. Waterfowl regulations will be available in early September.

Species Opens Closes Daily Limit Poss Limit
Crows (fall)


Aug. 10 Oct. 20 No limit No limit
Early Canada Goose


Aug. 15 Sept. 15 (Sept. 7 Missouri River Zone) 15 45
Mountain lion zone 1 early (zone quota 14)


Aug. 30 Nov. 24 (or when zone quota is reached) Season limit of 1 per hunter  
Mountain lion zone 1 late

(zone quota 7)


Nov. 25 March 31 (or when zone quota is reached) Season limit of 1 per hunter  
Mountain lion zone 2


Aug. 30 March 31 Season limit of 1 per hunter  


Sept. 1 Oct. 30 15 45
Hungarian partridge


Sept. 14 Jan. 5 3 12
Sharp-tailed grouse


Sept. 14 Jan. 5 3 12
Ruffed grouse


Sept. 14 Jan. 5 3 12
Tree squirrels Sept. 14 Jan. 5 4 12


Sandhill crane unit 1


Sept. 14 Nov. 10 3 9
Sandhill crane unit 2


Sept. 14 Nov. 10 2 6


Sept. 14 Dec. 1 8 24


Sept. 21 Nov. 4 3 9
Tundra swan


Sept. 28 Dec. 29 Season limit of 1 per hunter




Oct. 12 Jan. 5 3 12
Weasel trapping


Oct. 26 March 15    
Mink, Muskrat trapping Oct. 26 April 30


Fisher trapping


Nov. 25 December 1 Season limit of 1 per trapper  

2013 Legislation (updated 5/03/2013, click on House or Senate Bill number for more details)

2013 North Dakota State Legislature

House Energy and Natural Resources Committee - Meets Thursdays and Fridays in Pioneer Room
Chair Todd Porter, Vice Chair Chuck Damschen, Dick Anderson, Roger Brabandt, Glen Froseth, Curt Hofstad, Bob Hunskor, George J. Keiser, Scot Kelsh, Corey Mock, Mike Nathe, Jim Schmidt, Peter F. Silbernagel

Senate Natural Resources Committee - Meets Thursdays and Fridays in Fort Lincoln Room
Chair Stanley W. Lyson, Vice Chair Randall A. Burckhard, David Hogue, Lonnie J. Laffen, Philip M. Murphy, Connie Triplett, Jessica K. Unruh

HB 1017 - Introduced by Appropriations at the request of the Governor. Provides an appropriation of $68,091,737 to the Game and Fish Department for the biennium beginning July 1, 2013 and ending June 30, 2015. Referred to Appropriations Committee.


HB 1062 - Introduced by Energy and Natural Resources Committee at the request of the State Engineer. Removes a person's ability to appeal to a district court a decision made by the water resource board regarding removal or closing of a noncomplying dam, dike or other device. Referred to Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1123 - Introduced by Transportation Committee at the request of the Highway Patrol. Would not require the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident with a undomesticated animal, such as a deer, to notify law enforcement authorities. Passed house 84-6. Bill in senate.

HB 1130 - Introduced by Rep's Porter, Damschen, Hofstad; Sen's Burckhard, Carlisle, Lyson. Would increase the fee of a resident small game hunting license from $6 to $10, a nonresident small game hunting license from $85 to $94, resident big game hunting license from $20 to $25, a youth big game hunting license from $10 to $11, nonresident big game hunting license from $200 to $220, resident furbearer license from $7 to $10, resident wild turkey license from $8 to $10, nonresident waterfowl hunting license from $85 to $94, nonresident furbearer and nongame hunting license from $25 to $28, resident combination license from $32 to $38, nonresident swan license from $25 to $28, and a resident application fee for moose, elk and sheep from $3 to $5. In addition, the general game and habitat license would increase from $10 to $17, and $8 (instead of $5) of each general game and habitat license sold would be placed in the Game and Fish Department's private land habitat and access improvement fund. Referred to Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1131 - Introduced by Rep's Hofstad, Schmidt, Vigesaa; Sen's Carlisle, Lyson, Schaible. Would allow an individual who turns age 14 in the same year as the respective big game hunting season to apply for a license, an individual who turns age 12 in the same year as the youth deer season to receive an antleress white-tailed deer license for the youth deer season, and an individual who turns age 12 in the same year as the antelope season to apply for a license. In addition, this bill would clarify the language of big game gratis license eligibility. Referred to Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1161 - Introduced by Rep's Porter, Froseth, Hunskor; Sen's Armstrong, Lyson, Schneider. Clarifies who is eligible to receive a license as a resident. Referred to Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1195 - Introduced by Rep's Porter, Hawken, Louser, Rohr, Streyle, Weisz; Sen's Klein, Lyson. Would allow an individual to provide a copy of a hunting or fishing license by using an electronic device, such as a cell phone. Referred to House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1224 - Introduced by Rep's Kempenich, Brandenburg, Drovdal, Kasper, Ruby, Streyle, Thoreson, Weisz; Sen's Luick, Miller, Schaible. Carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle while hunting carries a class 2 noncriminal offense. Passed house 92-1. Passed senate 46-0. Signed by governor.

HB 1247 - Introduced by Rep's Schmidt, Belter, Damschen, Headland, D. Johnson; Sen's Dotzenrod, Wanzek. The agriculture commissioner would implement a program under which wetland credits may be established by an agricultural landowner who restores a wetland and made available for purchase by an agricultural landowner needing to replace wetlands. Game and Fish would provide all evaluations and monitoring necessary to ensure compliance with the program, as implemented, and with federal legislation. Referred to House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1264 - Introduced by Rep's Brandenburg, Krempenich; Sen's Erbele, Wanzek. Would prohibit the Game and Fish Director from taking any punitive or remedial action against an individual using a rifle to take a goose with a depredation kill permit. In addition, would allow nonresidents to hunt the entire state during the early Canada goose season without counting against the 14-day waterfowl hunting period. Currently, the 14-day restriction does not apply in only Richland, Sargent, Benson, Ramsey and Towner counties. Referred to House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1278 - Introduced by Rep's Porter, Carlson; Sen's Lyson, Wardner. Creates a North Dakota outdoor heritage fund which would provide access to private and public lands and develop fish and wildlife habitat. Referred to House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1282 - Introduced by Rep's Heilman, Anderson, Beadle, Dosch, Hatlestad, Porter, Vigesaa, Weisz; Senator Schaible. Would allow an individual in lawful possession of a device that will silence or deaden the sound when the firearm is discharged to hunt game for which the individual is licensed. Referred to House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1322 - Introduced by Rep's Hofstad, Damschen, D. Johnson; Sen's Miller, Oehlke. Would require pending land acquired by Game and Fish to be appraised prior to purchase. Before appraisal, the director must give notice to every landowner within one mile of the boundary, and to the board of county commissioners and publish a notice in the official county newspaper. House Agriculture Committee heard 1/31.

HB 1336 - Introduced by Rep's Wall, Anderson, J. Nelson, Williams; Sen's Luick, Dotzenrod. Would allow by governor's proclamation to issue paddlefish tags by lottery. House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to hear 2/1, 9 a.m.

HB 1338 - Introduced by Rep's Brandenburg, Froseth, Heller, Kasper, Kreidt, Kretschmar, Rohr, Schmidt, Onstad; Sen's Schaible, Unruh, Warner. Would return excess lands around Lake Sakakawea above 1,854 feet msl and excess lands around Lake Oahe above 1,617 feet msl from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to neighboring landowners. House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to hear 2/7, 9 a.m.

HB 1354 - Introduced by Rep's Oversen, Amerman, Klemin, Trottier, Vigesaa; Sen's Armstrong, Marcellais, Wardner. Would issue 10 (currently four) any deer licenses annually to the injured military wildlife project of North Dakota (currently known as wounded warrior project.) House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to hear 2/1, 9 a.m.

HB 1434 - Introduced by Rep's Schatz, Fehr, Heller, N. Johnson, Monson, Steiner, Thoreson; Sen's Laffen, Poolman, Schneider. Allows a resident disabled veteran with a 50 percent service related disability to qualify for a $3 fishing license. House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to hear 2/1, 9 a.m.

SB 2211 - Introduced by Sen's Flakoll, J. Lee, O'Connell; Rep's Anderson, Delmore, D. Johnson. Relates to the duties of the State Board of Animal Health and the treatment of animals. Senate Agriculture Committee to hear 1/24, 8:30 a.m.

SB 2231 - Introduced by Sen's Laffen, Burckhard, Murphy; Rep's Kreun, Porter, Ruby. Would increase the price of a resident small game license from $6 to $15, nonresident small game hunting license from $85 to $100, resident big game hunting license from $20 to $30, youth big game hunting license from $10 to $11, nonresident big game hunting license from $200 to $250, nonresident bow hunting license from $200 to $220, resident furbearer license from $7 to $15, resident fishing license from $10 to $16, resident age 65 and older or permanently disabled fishing license from $3 to $5, nonresident fishing license from $35 to $45, resident husband and wife fishing license from $14 to $22, resident wild turkey license from $8 to $12, motorboat under 16 feet in length and all canoes from $12 to $18, motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length from $24 to $36, motorboats at least 20 feet in lenth from $33 to $45, resident paddlefish tag from $3 to $10, nonresident paddlefish tag from $7 to $25, nonresident waterfowl hunting license from $85 to $100, nonresident husband and wife fishing license from $45 to $60, nonresident three-day fishing license from $15 to $20, nonresident furbearer and nongame license from $25 to $30, combination license from $32 to $40, resident swan license from $5 to $15, nonresident swan license from $25 to $30, crane license from $5 to $10, nonresident 10-day fishing license from $25 to $30, habitat restoration stamp required for the general game license from $10 to $17 and $8 (instead of $5) of each habitat stamp sold would be placed in the Game and Fish Department's private land habitat and access improvement fund, and a resident application fee for moose, elk and sheep from $3 to $5. In addition, would eliminate the nonresident seven-day fishing license for $20. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee.

SB 2242 - Introduced by Sen's Oehlke, Hogue, Lyson; Rep's Hofstad, D. Johnson, Hunskor. Would allow a disabled veteran with a 100 percent service related disability to hunt or fish without having to pay a license fee. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee.

SB 2279 - Introduced by Sen's Holmberg, Campbell, Cook; Rep's Owens, Sanford, Trottier. Relates to eligibility for forest stewardship tax. Referred to Senate Finance and Taxation Committee.

HCR 3010 - Introduced by Rep's Steiner, Delzer, Froseth, Hatlestad, Heller, Kreidt, Laning, Rohr, Schmidt, Onstad; Sen's Lyson, Unruh. A concurrent resolution urging Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to address access issues on Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe or to return to the state of North Dakota land controlled by the Corps which is not necessary to flood control.

HCR 3017 - Introduced by Rep's Brandenburg, Belter, Headland, Kempenich, Schmidt, Boe; Sen's Schaible, Wanzek, Dotzenrod, O'Connell. A concurrent resolution urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service to fairly administer water management laws and regulations in a manner that allows landowners and tenants certainty and cooperation in the management of these laws and regulations. Referred to House Agriculture Committee.


HB 1141 - Introduced by Representative Nathe and Senator Miller. Would allow an individual at least age 16 to windsurf or boardsail without wearing a life jacket; would prohibit an individual from towing another individual on water skis, surfboard or other similar device between one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise; and would allow a vessel equipped with a mirror with a wide field of vision to the rear to replace an observer while towing an individual on water skis, surfboard or similar device. House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to hear.


HB 1151 - Introduced by Rep's Frantsvog, Kreun, Maragos; Sen's Burckhard, Krebsbach. Would allow a member of the United States armed forces stationed in North Dakota and an individual in the member's family, if residing in the same household, to enter the lottery for deer and turkey licenses as a resident, even in the member or the individual in the member's family is a nonresident. Referred to Energy and Natural Resources Committee.


HB 1169 - Introduced by Rep's Keiser, Klemin; Senator Kilzer. Would allow the court to suspend hunting, fishing and trapping privileges as a sentencing alternative.


HB 1312 - Introduced by Rep's Wieland, Boehning, Kreidt, Nathe, Porter; Sen's Carlisle, G. Lee. Would require the Game and Fish Department to establish a boat landing on the former Missouri River correctional center property, after the center is relocated to the state penitentiary site and the land is transferred to the Parks and Recreation Department.


HB 1313 - Introduced by Rep's J. Kelsh, Amerman, D. Johnson; Sen's Luick, Dotzenrod. Establishes a nonresident early Canada goose license for $50. Would allow nonresidents to hunt during the early Canada goose season in Richland, Sargent and Dickey counties without counting against the 14-day waterfowl license. Currently, the 14-day restriction does not apply in only Richland, Sargent, Benson, Ramsey and Towner counties. Referred to House Energy and Natural Resources Committee


HB 1370 - Introduced by Rep's Kempenich, Beadle, Damschen, Hofstad, Porter; Sen's Armstrong, Carlisle. Would allow the director to raise hunting and fishing license fees by up to 20 percent per biennium. House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to hear 2/1, 9 a.m.


HB 1416 - Introduced by Representative Zaiser. Would prohibit a person from possessing a large capacity ammunition feeding device of more than 10 rounds. Referred to House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Withdrawn from consideration.


SB 2221 - Introduced by Sen's Erbele, Oehlke, Robinson; Rep's Brandenburg, Onstad. Would appropriate out of any moneys in the special road fund in the state treasury, not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $20,000,000, or so much of the sum as may be necessary, to the Department of Transportation for the purpose of providing grants to counties and townships for roadway improvements to scenic byway roads, scenic backways roads, and roads that provide access to recreational areas, for the biennium beginning July 1, 2013, and ending June 30, 2015. Senate Transportation Committee amended to allow the special road committee to distribute a maximum of $2,500,000 of grants for projects located within the boundaries of each Department of Transportation district in the state. Rereferred to Senate Appropriations, recommended do-pass 8-5.


SB 2248 - Introduced by Sen's Klein, Erbele, Hogue; Rep's Hofstad, Vigesaa, M. Nelson. Would allow a nonresident waterfowl hunter to purchase an additional seven-day waterfowl license for $125. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee.


SB 2365 - Introduced by Senator O'Connell; Rep's Hofstad, Hunskor, Wall. Would prohibit an individual from discharging a firearm on, over or within the right of way of a paved, gravel or loose surface highway, county road or township road at a big game animal. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee.


SCR 4027 - Introduced by Sen's Axness, Sinner, Triplett; Rep's Guggisberg, S. Kelsh, Oversen. A concurrent resolution that would create an outdoor heritage fund from 4 percent of the total revenues from oil and gas production and extraction taxes and allows the fund to be administered by the outdoor heritage commission for clean water, lands and outdoor heritage. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee.


SCR 4029 - Introduced by Sen's Dotzenrod, Armstrong, Poolman; Representative N. Johnson. A concurrent resolution directing the Legislative Management to study the economic activity surrounding the three units of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the North Dakota Badlands, including the Little Missouri River, to determine the best practices for sustaining and enhancing this unique and special part of North Dakota and the related tourism, recreation, oil and gas development, livestock and grassland-based agriculture, hunting, historical attractions, and quality of life. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee.