Hunter Education Classes in 2014
Individuals interested in taking a hunter education
class in 2014 should know that most courses are
offered early in the calendar year.
To register for a hunter education course, students need to sign up online at the Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. Many classes will be added over the next several weeks, and the rest will be added throughout the year as they are finalized.
To register, click on the online services tab, and “online course enrollment” under the hunter education heading. Classes are listed by city, and can also be sorted by start date. To register for a class, click on “enroll” next to the specific class, and follow the simple instructions. Personal information is required.
Those who do not have access to the Internet and want to sign up for a class can call the hunter education program in Bismarck at (701) 328-6615.
Individuals interested in receiving a notice by email when each hunter education class is added can click on the “subscribe to news, email and text alerts” link found below the news section on the department’s home page. Check the box labeled “hunter education class notification” under the education program updates.
State law requires anyone born after December 31, 1961 to pass a certified hunter education course to hunt in the state. Hunter education is mandatory for youth who are turning 12 years old, and children can take the class at age 11.
Tentative 2014 Season Opening Dates
To help North Dakota hunters prepare for hunting
seasons in 2014, the North Dakota Game and Fish
Department annually provides its best estimate for
opening dates for the coming year.
Dates become official when approved by governor’s proclamation. Tentative opening dates for 2014 include:
|Spring Crow||March 8|
|Spring Turkey||April 12|
|Fall Crow||August 9|
|Deer Bow, Mountain Lion||August 29|
|Sharptail, Hun, Ruffed Grouse, Squirrel||September 13|
|Youth Deer||September 19|
|Youth Waterfowl||September 20|
|Early Resident Waterfowl||September 27|
|Regular Waterfowl, Youth Pheasant||October 4|
|Pheasant, Fall Turkey||October 11|
|Mink, Muskrat, Weasel Trapping||October 25|
|Deer Gun||November 7|
|Deer Muzzleloader||November 28|
Mountain Lion Zone 1 Early Season Quota - 2 of 14
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
Firearms and archery equipment - 2013
Opens: Aug. 30
Closes: March. 31, 2014
Daily Limit: Season limit of 1 per hunter
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 11/27/2013) - 1 of 7
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, gf.nd.gov.
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
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 gf.nd.gov, 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, gf.nd.gov. 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, gf.nd.gov. 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.
Wetland Conditions Good for Duck Hunting
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual
fall wetland survey indicates good wetland
conditions for duck hunting throughout most of the
Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird biologist, said the northwest has a record number of wetlands, while the rest of the state has wetland numbers similar to the 2003-12 average.
“Most areas are wetter than last year, with poorest conditions in the southern half of the state,” Szymanski said.
Much of the state has received significant rainfall in the last few weeks, while other areas remain dry. Hunters should be cautious driving off-trail to avoid soft spots, and areas like tall vegetation that could be a fire hazard.
The quality of waterfowl hunting in North Dakota is predicated on weather conditions and patterns. Szymanski said strong reproduction for ducks in breeding areas both in and outside of North Dakota makes for good fall hunting potential.
“Hunters should always scout because of ever changing conditions and distribution of waterfowl,” Szymanski said.
The wetland survey is conducted in mid-September, just prior to the waterfowl hunting season, to provide an assessment of conditions duck hunters can expect.
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.
Fall Turkey Lottery Process Moved to August
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is moving
the 2013 fall turkey license application deadline,
originally set for July 3, to August this year to
allow for a better assessment of the fall turkey
population before determining license numbers.
The official date for the application deadline has not yet been determined.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor, said the change will allow more opportunities for hunters. “Our fall turkey numbers are a lot more precise when we can use data from late spring and early summer before we have to finalize the proclamation,” Kohn said. “Now we can thoroughly assess brood production, which has a direct influence on the fall population.”
For years, the fall turkey proclamation was finalized in late May, with applications out in early June and the deadline for applying early July. Game and Fish made the decision to change the fall turkey process this spring, after a tentative application deadline of July 3 was publicized in news releases, online, and in the North Dakota Outdoors magazine annual calendar.
Game and Fish licensing manager Randy Meissner said moving the application process into August will not cause any issues for applicants, as successful hunters will be notified well in advance of opening day. “Hunters should expect licenses in September, and the season doesn’t open until mid-October,” he said.
Prospective applicants should check the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov in August for more information on the fall turkey license application process.
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 gf.nd.gov.
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 www.capnd.org, 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, gf.nd.gov.
Paddlefish Snagging Season to Close
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced
today that the state's 2013 paddlefish snagging
season will close to any additional harvest at 10
p.m. Central Daylight Time, Friday, May 17, to
protect the population level of the fish. An
additional seven-day snag-and-release season will
begin Saturday, May 18 and run through Friday, May
“Once again, high effort and participation by paddlefish snaggers and relatively low water levels concentrating the paddlefish are responsible for the early closure,” said Greg Power, Game and Fish Department fisheries chief.
The 2012-14 fishing proclamation allows for the Game and Fish director to close the snagging season early if it appears more than 1,000 paddlefish will be harvested. If the season had remained open through the intended closing date of May 31, the harvest cap of 1,000 fish would have been exceeded substantially, putting additional pressure on the existing population, Power said. Only twice in the past 13 years has the season remained open through May.
Paddlefish snaggers with an unused paddlefish tag can continue snagging during the additional snag-and-release season, but must release all fish immediately. If a snagger has already used their tag on a harvested paddlefish, they are not allowed to participate in the additional snag-and-release period. For potential new snaggers, existing paddlefish tag vendors will still have tags available for sale during this additional snag-and-release season.
Snag-and-release is legal only in that area of the Missouri River starting on the north shore from the Confluence boat ramp then east (downstream) one-half mile, and that area of the Missouri River starting on the south shore from the Confluence with the Yellowstone River then east (downstream) one-half mile (both areas will have boundary signs).
Paddlefish snagging is allowed only from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CDT) during each day of the additional seven-day season. The use or possession of a gaff on snag-and-release days is illegal.
Deer Season Set, Online Apps Available May 13
North Dakota’s 2013 deer season is set, with 59,500
licenses available to hunters this fall, 5,800 fewer
than last year and the lowest since 1983.
Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said after a significant reduction in gun licenses in 2012, harvest and survey data revealed deer populations are still below management objectives in most units.
“The statewide hunter success rate in 2012 was 63 percent, which is higher than in 2011 (52 percent), but is still lower than our goal of 70 percent,” Kreil said. “The decrease of licenses in 2013 is necessary to allow deer populations to increase toward management goals.”
Winter aerial surveys showed deer numbers were down from 2011 levels in the northern and eastern portions of the state, specifically units 1, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2K1, 2K2, and 3A1. Kreil said although deer are still below management objectives in 2A, 2F1 and 2F2, aerial surveys showed numbers were slightly above levels recorded in 2011 or 2012.
“The winter of 2012-13 was severe in the northern and eastern portions of the state, which will impede population recovery in those areas,” Kreil said. “Furthermore, high quality deer habitat continues to be lost statewide and will limit the potential for population recovery.”
Currently, all hunting units in the state are below management objectives except in 3E2, 3F1, 3F2 and 4F.
Out west, mule deer licenses in the badlands will decrease slightly this year. As was the case last year, no antlerless mule deer licenses are available in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. This restriction applies to regular gun, resident and nonresident any-deer bow, gratis and youth licenses.
According to Kreil, the spring mule deer survey did show positive trends, with numbers up 15 percent over last year. “This modest increase indicates the mild winter of 2011 and no doe harvest in 2012 might be having a positive effect on the mule deer herd,” he added. “With the no-doe-harvest regulation remaining in place for 2013, there may be some reason for optimism concerning mule deer.”
Hunters are able to draw one license for the deer gun season and one for the muzzleloader season, and purchase an archery license. Like last year, there is no concurrent season and a hunter cannot receive more than one license for the deer gun season.
The number of licenses available for 2013 is 1,150 antlered mule deer, a decrease of 50 mule deer licenses from last year; 1,166 for muzzleloader, down 116 from last year; and 115 restricted youth antlered mule deer, a decrease of five from last year.
North Dakota’s 2013 deer gun season opens Nov. 8 at noon and continues through Nov. 24. Online applications for the regular deer gun, youth, muzzleloader, and resident gratis and nonresident landowner seasons will be available May 13 through the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov. Also, paper applications will be at vendors throughout the state the week of May 13. The deadline for applying is June 5.
Bow hunters should note that both resident and nonresident archery licenses this year are available only through the department’s Bismarck office or website, or by calling (800) 406-6409. Archery tags will not be sold over the counter at license vendor locations in 2013.
Gratis and nonresident landowner applicants will want to take note of a new law passed recently by the state legislature. House Bill 1131 reduces the number of acres required to qualify from 160 to 150. In addition, gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline (June 5) will be issued any-legal-deer license. Applications received after the deadline will be issued based on licenses remaining after the lottery – generally only antlerless licenses remain.
HB 1131 also allows residents who turn age 12 in 2013 to receive an antlerless white-tailed deer license, and allows an individual who turns 14 this year to receive one deer license valid for the youth deer season. Previously, a young hunter had to turn the appropriate age prior to the end of the respective big game season.
Total deer licenses are determined by harvest rates, aerial surveys, deer-vehicle collision reports, depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.
MacLean, Wilton Shooting Ranges Closed
The MacLean shooting range located near the MacLean
boat ramp south of Bismarck is closed until further
notice due to a wildfire on April 26. The area
remains a concern with hot, dry conditions expected
through the weekend.
In addition, the shooting range at the Wilton Mine Wildlife Management Area remains closed due to wet, muddy conditions.
The public range at Schmidt Bottoms is open.
Schmidt Bottoms is located 13.4 miles south of Mandan on ND Highway 1806
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 http://www.blm.gov 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:
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.
Keith Domke Receives Hunter Safety Educator of the Year
(click on pictures to see a larger view)
Picture on left "Keith Domke"
Center picture "Wayne Beyer & Keith Domke"
Picture on Right "Richard McCabe on left, Keith Domke center and Don Baasch on right
Keith Domke of Jamestown
received the North Dakota
Wildlife Federation’s Hunter
Safety Educator of the Year
award during its 76th annual
convention, Jan. 28-29 in
Bismarck. He was nominated by
Stutsman County Wildlife
Keith has been involved with the Hunter Education and Safety program for 23 years, serving as a certified gun and bow instructor and an active director for the North Dakota Hunter Education Association.
Keith is active in assisting other instructors with youth hunts and range shooting events. He has trained hunting dogs, using them to add another dimension for the youth he takes on hunts.
Keith's volunteerism began in the Eagle Scout program and continues today. He serves as a scout leader, lends assistance to the local 4H program, and has served as a civic leader in Jamestown.
“Keith Domke has been a mentor to youth and adults alike, introducing them to hunting and sport shooting,” says Rodney O’Clair, President, NDHEA. “He is the type of individual every community wants. Any community with a person like this is a lucky one.”