North Dakota Hunters Educators Association
 
 
 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Welcome to NDHEA
 

The August 2013 NDHEA newsletter is now here!

Click here to download and view the newsletter

 

2014 Raffle Winners announced!!

 

Drawing held 6-29-2014 5:00 PM at Scheels All Sports – Bismarck ND

 

Winners of this year’s gift cards are as follows

Richard Brewster - Washburn, ND


Cory Hallen - Dickinson, ND


Sheri Ellingson - Grace City, ND


Curt Walen - Carrington, ND


Larry Kukla - Jamestown, ND


Gene Just - Jamestown, ND


Larry Kaul - LaMoure, ND


Scott Pedersen - Northwood, ND


Kerry Whipp - Courtenay, ND


Dale Kilwein - Dickinson, ND
 

THANK YOU! too everyone who help NDHEA this year buy purchasing tickets or helping to sell them. The money will be used to sponsor shooting events, mentored hunting events, promotion for safe hunting and to supply additional teaching aids across the state.

 

Have a great summer and safe hunting season!

 

 

NDG&F December 15th Newsletter

 

 

Coyote Catalog Available for Hunters, Landowners

The Coyote Catalog, a statewide effort connecting coyote hunters and trappers with landowners who want fewer coyotes in their areas, has been reopened by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
“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.”
This past season, 74 landowners signed up for the Coyote Catalog, a more than 50 percent increase over the previous year. Nearly 900 hunters and trappers also signed up.
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.
“This can be a good way for hunters and trappers to locate new places to go,” said Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand. “We’ve also had some positive feedback from landowners as well.”
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 www.nd.gov/ndda/coyote-catalog. Required information includes county and contact information.
Hunters and trappers can sign up at the NDGF website, gf.nd.gov.
Throughout the winter, hunters or trappers will receive information on participating landowners, and they can then contact landowners to make arrangements.
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, 2015.
For more information, contact Stephanie Tucker, NDGF, at 701-220-1871; satucker@nd.gov; or Jamie Good, NDDA, at 701-328-2233 or jgood@nd.gov.
 

 

Tentative 2015 Season Opening Dates

To help North Dakota hunters prepare for hunting seasons in 2015, 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 2015 include:
 

Spring Turkey April 11
Dove September 1
Deer and Pronghorn Bow, Mountain Lion September 4
Sharptail, Hun, Ruffed Grouse, Squirrel September 12
Youth Deer September 18
Youth Waterfowl September 19
Early Resident Waterfowl September 26
Pronghorn Gun October 2
Regular Waterfowl, Youth Pheasant October 3
Pheasant, Fall Turkey October 10
Mink, Muskrat, Weasel Trapping October 24
Deer Gun November 6
Deer Muzzleloader November 27

 

 

Hunter Education Classes in 2015

Students interested in taking a hunter education class in 2015 should visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov for a statewide list of courses. 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.
 

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

 

Renew Boat Registration Online

The State Game and Fish Department is urging boat owners who have yet to renew their registration for 2014, to use the agency’s online renewal system to speed up processing time.
Due to a high volume of registrations coming in as boat owners prepare for the new boating season, Game and Fish Department licensing manager Randy Meissner says the processing time currently is 10 to 14 days.
“For someone who wants to have their boat licensed for 2014 and ready to go by Memorial Day weekend, they might be cutting it a little close if they mail in their renewal,” Meissner said. “By renewing online at the Game and Fish website, it only takes a few days for us to get the new registration card and decals out in the mail.”
The Game and Fish website address is gf.nd.gov. Click on the “Boating” tab, and look for the watercraft registration section.
Once the renewal is accepted and the credit card approved, customers are instructed to print out the “Purchase Summary” screen which constitutes a 10-day temporary permit, allowing the boat to be used immediately while the renewal is being processed, Meissner said.
2014 is the first year of a three-year boat licensing period. More than 60,000 boat owners were mailed renewal notices in December. Anyone who has a boat and did not receive a renewal notice, should contact the department at 701-328-6300; or email ndgf@nd.gov.
Meissner added that the Game and Fish online system is for renewals only. If the registration is a transfer of ownership or new watercraft purchase, the only option is to mail it in, because Game and Fish needs the sales receipts and other documentation of the purchase
 

Swan Hunt Application Available Online

The online application for North Dakota’s 2014 tundra swan license lottery is available on the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline for applying is Aug. 13.
Paper applications will be available from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors. Hunters can also apply by calling 800-406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made by phone.
North Dakota residents and nonresidents are eligible to apply.
Applicants may notice an increase in license fees, which were established and set by the 2013 state legislature. The resident swan license increased to $10, while nonresident swan increased to $30.
The statewide tundra swan hunting season is Oct. 4 – Jan. 4, 2015. A total of 2,200 licenses are available. Successful applicants will receive a tag to take one swan during the season. Since swans are classified as waterfowl, nonresidents may hunt them only during the period their nonresident waterfowl license is valid.

 

BIG GAME HUNTING APPLICATION DEADLINES

 

North Dakota:

  • Big Game applications anticipated May-June 2014

  • Deer: Non-resident archery March 1st

Montana:

  • 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

Colorado:

  • Big Game: April 1st

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

Wyoming:

  • 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

Minnesota:

  • Deer: September 15

  • Bear: May 2

  • Elk: June 13

  • Camp Ripley Archery: August 15

Idaho:

  • Bighorn Sheep-Mountain Goats-Moose: April 30

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

 

NDHEA QUARTERLY MEETINGS

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

 

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 www.nd.gov/ndda/coyote-catalog. Required information includes county and contact information.
Hunters and trappers can sign up at the NDGF website at www.gf.nd.gov.
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, 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

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

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)

Unit

Type

Available

Unit

Type

Available

2K2

B

57

3E2

D

331

2L

B

125

3F1

B

276

3B3

D

148

3F1

D

501

3C

D

248

3F2

B

349

3E1

D

239

3F2

D

661

3E2

B

33

4F

D

311

 

Deer Season Set, Online Apps Available May 5

North Dakota’s 2014 deer season is set, with 48,000 licenses available to hunters this fall, 11,500 fewer than last year, and the lowest number since 1980.
Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said even after five years of reducing gun licenses, deer populations are still below management objectives in most units. Currently, only units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F meet or exceed management goals.
“Harvest and survey data indicate deer numbers are still declining, especially in the eastern part of the state,” Kreil said.
The statewide hunter success rate in 2013 was 55 percent, which is lower than in 2012 (63 percent), and well below the department’s goal of 70 percent.
Adequate snow cover needed for winter aerial surveys occurred only in the northeast. Results showed deer numbers were down 21 percent in unit 2C and 29 percent in unit 2D.
Statewide, Kreil said high quality deer habitat continues to be lost and will limit the potential for population recovery.
Out west, the number of antlered mule deer licenses in the badlands was increased modestly. However, as was the case the past two years, 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.
Hunters are able to draw one license for the deer gun season and one for the muzzleloader season, and purchase an archery license. 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 2014 includes 1,350 for antlered mule deer, an increase of 200 from last year; 932 for muzzleloader, down 270 from last year; and 134 restricted youth antlered mule deer, an increase of 19 from last year.
North Dakota’s 2014 deer gun season opens Nov. 7 at noon and continues through Nov. 23. Online applications for the regular deer gun, youth, muzzleloader, and resident gratis and nonresident landowner seasons will be available May 5 through the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov. Also, paper applications will be at vendors throughout the state by mid-May. The deadline for applying is June 4.
A new state law requires residents age 18 or older to prove residency on the application by submitting a valid North Dakota driver’s license number or a North Dakota nondriver photo identification number. Applications will not be processed without this information.
Gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline (June 4) will be issued any-legal-deer license. As per state law, applications received after the deadline will be issued based on licenses remaining after the lottery – generally only antlerless licenses remain.
Total deer licenses are determined by harvest rates, aerial surveys, depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

 

2014 Small Game and Furbearer Regulations Set

North Dakota’s 2014 small game and furbearer regulations are set and most season structures are similar to last year.
One change for this year is that trappers using cable devices (snares) must now register with the State Game and Fish Department prior to trapping.
Prairie chicken and sage grouse seasons will remain closed due to low populations.
Only North Dakota residents are permitted to hunt waterfowl from Sept. 27 – Oct. 3. Nonresidents are allowed to hunt waterfowl in North Dakota beginning Oct. 4. 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. 11-17.
Hunters may notice an increase in license fees, which were established and set by the 2013 state legislature. The general game and habitat license is $20, the resident small game license – required for ages 16 and older – is $10, the resident furbearer license – required for ages 16 and older – is $15, and the resident combination license, which includes general game and habitat, small game, furbearer and fishing, is $50.
In addition, the nonresident small game license, and the nonresident zoned waterfowl license, increased to $100. The nonresident statewide waterfowl license is $150.
Hunters should refer to the North Dakota 2014-15 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. 9 Oct. 26 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. 29 Nov. 23 (or when zone quota is reached) Season limit of 1 per hunter  
Mountain lion zone 1 late

(zone quota 7)

 

Nov. 24 March 31 (or when zone quota is reached) Season limit of 1 per hunter  
Mountain lion zone 2

 

Aug. 29 March 31 Season limit of 1 per hunter  
Doves

 

Sept. 1 Nov. 9 15 45
Hungarian partridge

 

Sept. 13 Jan. 4 3 12
Sharp-tailed grouse

 

Sept. 13 Jan. 4 3 12
Ruffed grouse

 

Sept. 13 Jan. 4 3 12
Tree squirrels Sept. 13 Jan. 4 4 12

 

Sandhill crane unit 1

 

Sept. 20 Nov. 16 3 9
Sandhill crane unit 2

 

Sept. 20 Nov. 16 2 6
Snipe

 

Sept. 20 Dec. 7 8 24
Woodcock

 

Sept. 27 Nov. 10 3 9
Tundra swan

 

Oct. 4 Jan. 4 Season limit of 1 per hunter

 

 
Pheasants

 

Oct. 11 Jan. 4 3 12
Weasel trapping

 

Oct. 25 March 15    
Mink, Muskrat trapping Oct. 25 April 30

 

   
Fisher trapping

 

Nov. 24 Nov. 30 Season limit of 1 per trapper  

 

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, gf.nd.gov.
More than 2,300 antlerless deer gun licenses remain. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the first lottery can apply for remaining licenses.
The first lottery application process – deer gun, muzzleloader, youth and landowner – had more than 94,000 applicants, and 46,000 were unsuccessful.
An option for unsuccessful applicants to apply online for remaining licenses will be available Aug. 6. Paper applications for remaining licenses will be mailed to individuals Aug. 11. The deadline for applying is Sept. 3.

Remaining Deer Gun Licenses

(B = Any Antlerless D = Antlerless Whitetail)

Unit

Type

Available

3D1

D

34

3E1

D

175

3E2

B

64

3E2

D

361

3F1

B

120

3F1

D

320

3F2

B

380

3F2

D

687

4F

D

176

 

 

 

 

NDG&F Information

Game Warden Exam is Dec. 29

Individuals interested in taking the game warden exam scheduled for Dec. 29 are reminded to register by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website.
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have a bachelor’s degree. Other requirements are a current North Dakota peace officer license, or eligibility for a license, and a valid driver’s license. Candidates must have excellent interpersonal skills in communications and writing, and must not have a record of any felony convictions.
Game wardens enforce game and fish laws and related regulations in an assigned district and other locations as determined by the department. Wardens normally work alone under varied conditions, at all hours of the day, night and weekends. In addition to law enforcement duties, wardens assist in the areas of public relations, education programs, and hunter and boat safety education.
Selection procedures following the test may include an evaluation of the application, a structured oral interview, background and reference checks, and psychological and medical examinations.
The salary for beginning game wardens through training is $3,500 per month. Upon successful completion of training, the salary is $4,016 - $6,693 per month. Wardens also receive the state benefits package, including travel allowance. Uniforms and other equipment are provided.
 

Late-Season Hunting Opportunities End Soon

North Dakota waterfowl hunters are reminded the statewide duck and white-fronted goose seasons close Dec. 7. However, duck hunting in the high plains unit reopens Dec. 13 and continues through Jan. 4, 2015.
In addition, the season for Canada geese closes Dec. 25, except for the Missouri River Zone, which closes Jan. 2, 2015. Light goose hunting closes statewide Jan. 4, 2015.
Archery deer, fall turkey, sharp-tailed and ruffed grouse, partridge, pheasant and tree squirrel hunting seasons continue through Jan. 4, 2015.
 

Ice Awareness for Hunters, Anglers

Winter anglers and late-season hunters are reminded to consider ice conditions before traveling onto and across North Dakota lakes, as most small and mid-sized waters currently give the appearance of safe foot travel.
State Game and Fish Department boat and water safety coordinator Nancy Boldt said ice thickness is never consistent, especially this time of the year, and can vary significantly within a few inches. “The edges become firm before the center,” Boldt said. “So, with your first step the ice might seem like it is strong enough, but it may not be anywhere near solid enough once you progress away from the shoreline.”
This was apparent last weekend as one hunter experienced this while trying to retrieve a duck that had landed on ice. “He went through up to his neck and his waders filled with water, and the freezing temperature instantly took his breath away,” Boldt said. “He was extremely fortunate to be able to pull himself out, as most people would not have been able to with the extra water weight.”
Boldt said some tips include:

  • Snow insulates ice, which in turn inhibits solid ice formation, and hides cracks, weak and open water areas.
  • Avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or darker areas that signal thinner ice. The same goes for ice that forms around partially submerged trees, brush, embankments or other structures.
  • Ice thickness is not consistent and can vary significantly even in a small area. Ice shouldn’t be judged by appearance alone. Anglers should drill test holes as they make their way out on the lake, and an ice chisel should be used to check ice thickness while moving around.
  • Daily temperature changes cause ice to expand and contract, affecting its strength.
  • The following minimums are recommended for travel on clear-blue lake ice formed under ideal conditions. However, early in the winter it’s a good idea to double these figures to be safe: 4 inches for a group walking single file; 6 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle; 8-12 inches for an automobile; and 12-15 inches for a pickup/truck.

These tips could help save a life:

  • Wear a personal flotation device and carry a cell phone.
  • Carry ice picks or a set of screwdrivers to pull yourself back on the ice if you fall through.
  • If someone breaks through the ice, call 911 immediately. Rescue attempts should employ a long pole, board, rope, blanket or snowmobile suit. If that’s not possible, throw the victim a life jacket, empty water jug or other buoyant object. Go to the victim as a last resort, but do this by forming a human chain where rescuers lie on the ice with each person holding the feet of the person in front.
  • To treat hypothermia, replace wet clothing with dry clothing and immediately transport victim to a hospital.

 

Game and Fish to Recommend One Deer License in 2015

A new plan under consideration by the State Game and Fish Department would allow North Dakota deer hunters only one license per year, starting with the 2015 season.
The preferred license distribution plan is the result of a declining deer population and continuing high license demand. “This year we had about 30,000 people who applied for a deer gun license and didn’t get one in the lottery,” said Game and Fish wildlife division chief Jeb Williams. “This new system will give more people an opportunity to hunt deer each year, compared to our current system.”
To gather input on possible changes, Game and Fish held a series of public deer management meetings across the state last winter. Hundreds of people attended these meetings, and many more interested hunters and landowners also provided written or verbal comments on how Game and Fish might manage deer license distribution, given the low population of both whitetail and mule deer in much of the state.
Following the deer management meetings, potential changes were also discussed at the spring round of public Game and Fish advisory board meetings held around the state.
“After evaluating all the input we received last winter,” Williams said, “the general feedback we heard is that hunters understand there is no longer enough licenses so that everyone can get one for the gun season, but at the same time, they don’t feel the current system is equitably distributing licenses, since some hunters can get two or even three licenses when thousands of hunters get none.”
To begin to address that inequity, Game and Fish’s preferred option for 2015 is to limit each hunter to one deer license per year. Williams said that still doesn’t guarantee that every gun hunter who applies in the lottery will get a deer license, but it will eliminate the possibility of someone getting multiple licenses.
If deer populations rebound substantially, Williams said the way licenses are allocated could return to the current system. “However, we are dealing with two dynamics that will make it difficult to do so anytime soon,” Williams added. “We have a deer herd that has been trending downward for several years, and we also have a growing population of people who possibly are interested in North Dakota’s hunting and fishing opportunities.”
In the preferred option, a hunter who is successful in the deer gun lottery would not be able to purchase a bow license or receive a muzzleloader license. However, as a way to provide additional bowhunting recreation, a hunter with a lottery gun license could also hunt with a bow any time during the open archery season, but only for the deer and unit specified on the license.
Resident hunters who apply in the deer gun lottery and do not receive a license, will still be able to purchase a bow license that is valid statewide for any deer.
“This is one of those things that we heard from people who like to hunt with both gun and bow,” Williams said. “They wanted to be able to apply for a gun license, and if they didn’t get one, they could still get a bow license. At the same time, if they did draw a gun license, they wanted a chance to hunt that deer with a bow during the archery season as well.
“We know it’s not the same as having both a gun and a bow license,” Williams added, “but we feel it’s a fair compromise while we work toward rebuilding our deer herd.”
Another part of the preferred option is that hunters would be able to apply simultaneously for the deer gun and muzzleloader lotteries. The application would allow choice of a preference, so if the hunter’s name is drawn and both muzzleloader and deer gun licenses are available at that time, the computer would issue the hunter’s preferred license.
In such cases, the computer would then remove the hunter’s name from the other lottery. Also in that case, Williams said a hunter would maintain the accumulated bonus points for the application that was removed from the lottery.
In addition, Williams said hunters will not lose any bonus points if they choose not to apply for a particular license.
Youth hunters under age 16 would be exempt under the preferred option, and could get a bow license as well as a deer gun or youth season license.
Gratis license holders could hunt in any open season on their own land, but may only get one license per year.
 

Fall Mule Deer Survey Completed

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s fall mule deer survey indicated production in 2014 bodes well for the future.
Biologists counted 1,969 (1,761 in 2013) mule deer in the aerial survey in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.50 (0.46 in 2013) was slightly above the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.95 (0.74 in 2013) was the highest since 1999, and above the long-term average of 0.90 fawns per doe.
“Overall, this year’s fawn production is very encouraging, and with average-to-good survival should result in another increase in the spring,” said Bruce Stillings, big game management supervisor, Dickinson.
While it is encouraging to see mule deer numbers increase for the short-term, Stillings said challenges remain for continued population growth, including changes in habitat quality due to fragmentation and disturbance, predators and weather.
The fall aerial survey, conducted specifically to study demographics, covers 24 study areas and 306.3 square miles in western North Dakota. Biologists survey the same study areas in the spring of each year to determine population abundance.
 

Information Sought in Illegal Taking of White-tailed Deer in Emmons County

North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden Erik Schmidt is searching for answers in the illegal shooting of four white-tailed deer in Emmons County during opening weekend of pheasant hunting season.
Schmidt said two mature bucks, one a 4x4 and the other a 5x5, were found in a bean field 1.5 miles east of Strasburg. A doe and fawn were found in a stubble field 5 miles southwest of Linton. It is believed all four were shot late evening Oct. 11, or early morning Oct. 12.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Report All Poachers telephone number at 800-472-2121, or contact Schmidt at 701-220-7160. RAP is offering a $1,000 reward.
The RAP line offers rewards for information that leads to conviction of fish and wildlife law violators. Reporting parties can remain anonymous.
 

Wetland Conditions Good for Duck Hunting

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates good to excellent wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout most of the state.
Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird biologist, said the northwest has a near-record number of wetlands, while the rest of the state has wetland numbers similar to, or above the 2003-13 average.
“Most areas have fairly similar conditions compared to last year, with improvements in the central part of the state,” Szymanski said. “Really, we seem to have pretty good numbers of wetlands holding water statewide. The western half of the state is the wettest, but other than a few smaller isolated areas, hunters across the state shouldn’t have issues finding wetlands holding water.”
The western half of the state received significant rainfall in August. 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.
 

Catfishing on the Red River

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program still has openings this Saturday in Grand Forks for Catfishing on the Red River.
Participants are instructed in catfish identification, tackle, gear, bait and techniques for catfish fishing on the Red River. A current fishing license is required. Cost for the workshop is $50.
No lodging is available for the catfishing workshop. All equipment will be provided.
For more information, including online registration, visit the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.
 

Sportsmen Against Hunger Accepting Goose Meat

North Dakota’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program can now accept donations of Canada geese taken during the regular waterfowl hunting season.
Previously, the program could accept snow, blue and Ross’s geese during the regular season, but Canada goose donations were only allowed during the early Canada goose season.
This new opportunity for hunters to donate goose meat is part of a two-year pilot program between the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“In the past couple of years we have heard from many hunters who would like to donate geese taken during the regular season,” said Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand. “We appreciate the Fish and Wildlife Service setting up this pilot program so we can see how well it works.”
North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger program coordinator Sarah Hasbargen said the additional donations accepted during this pilot project will be a much-needed increase to food pantries across the state. “We will accept as much as hunters are able to donate,” Hasbargen said, while mentioning donated goose meat must be received no later than the day after the close of the season.
Provisions for donating goose meat during the regular season are basically the same as for the early Canada goose season. In addition, hunters can also donate meat from geese that were taken during the early season.
Hunters can bring their geese home and clean them prior to delivering meat 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.
The list of participating processors is available on the Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov, and at the NDCAP website, www.capnd.org.
Hunters interested in donating are encouraged to call the processor before dropping off geese, to have a clear understanding of how processors will accept goose breasts, and their hours of operation.
The North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger is a charitable program that raises money for processing of donated goose and deer meat, and coordinates distribution of donated meat to food pantries in North Dakota. It is administered by the North Dakota Community Action Partnership, a nonprofit agency that serves low-income families across the state.
SFor more information, visit the NDCAP website, or contact Sarah Hasbargen at 701-232-2452.
 

MacLean Shooting Range Opens

The MacLean Bottoms public shooting range located 15 miles south of Bismarck is open following a major upgrade effort.
The renovated shooting range includes seven benches at the 200-yard rifle range, 15 benches at 100 yards, nine benches at 25 yards and a shotgun range. Each range includes handicap accessible parking and benches.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife resource management supervisor Bill Haase said while minor delays due to wet conditions prolonged completion of the project, the major improvements were worth the wait.
“The range is paid for by funds generated by hunters and recreational shooters, so we need cooperation in following the posted rules and in documenting and reporting any violations,” Haase said. “Failure to abide by range rules could result in additional restrictions in the future. However, we would rather not impose further restrictions.”
The range is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free. Anyone witnessing rules violations is asked to call the Game and Fish Department’s enforcement division at 328-6604.
 

Game and Fish Summarizes Pheasant Brood Data

North Dakota’s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August indicates total birds and number of broods are up statewide from 2013.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are up 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were up 37 percent, while the average brood size was down 4 percent. The final summary is based on 253 survey runs made along 106 brood routes across North Dakota.
“With the good spring weather for most of the nesting and early brooding period, I suspected a better production year and it looks like it did occur,” Kohn said.
Even though average brood size is down slightly in all districts, Kohn said the number of broods observed will in most cases offset the small decline.
“Late-summer roadside counts indicate pheasant hunters are going to find more pheasants in most parts of the state, with more young roosters showing up in the fall population,” Kohn said.
Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicate total pheasants were up 22 percent and broods observed up 23 percent from 2013. Observers counted 19 broods and 154 birds per 100 survey miles. The average brood size was 5.7.
Results from the southeast show birds are up 2 percent from last year, and the number of broods up 16 percent. Observers counted six broods and 50 birds per 100 miles. The average brood size was 5.4.
Statistics from the northwest indicated pheasants are up 21 percent from last year, with broods up 26 percent. Observers recorded seven broods and 57 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 5.1.
The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat, with much of it lacking good winter cover, showed two broods and 16 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.2. Number of birds observed was up 126 percent, and the number of broods recorded was up 166 percent.
The 2014 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 11 and continues through Jan. 4, 2015. The two-day youth pheasant hunting weekend, when legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger can hunt statewide, is set for Oct. 4-5.
 

First-Come, First-Served Deer Gun Licenses Available Oct. 1

More than 700 licenses for antlerless deer are still available after the North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently completed its second lottery drawing. Individual results are available online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.
These remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Oct. 1. These licenses are only available to individuals who have not already received a lottery or landowner license, and are valid only during the regular deer gun season, Nov. 7-23.
Hunters can apply online starting Oct. 1, and paper applications received prior to that will also be processed Oct. 1. Residents and nonresidents are eligible to apply.
Paper applications will be available approximately Sept. 24 by visiting the department’s website, and later in the week at Game and Fish offices and county auditors. Paper applications will not be available at retail license vendor locations.
Applications hand-delivered to the department’s Bismarck office will not be processed while the applicant waits.
(B = Any Antlerless D = Antlerless Whitetail)
 

(B = Any Antlerless D = Antlerless Whitetail)

Unit

Type

Available

3F1

D

204

3F2

B

18

3F2

D

445

4F

D

61

 

Remaining Fall Turkey Licenses Available Sept. 30

The 2014 fall wild turkey lottery has been held and more than 1,000 licenses remain in eight units. Unsuccessful applicants who applied online will have a refund issued directly to their credit card.
Beginning Sept. 30, 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. 11 – Jan. 4, 2015.
Licenses remain for the following units: Unit 03, Benson and Ramsey counties and a portion of Pierce County, 34 licenses; Unit 13, Dunn County, 211; Unit 19, Grant County, Sioux County, and parts of Morton County, 24; Unit 25, McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties, 356; Unit 30, a portion of Morton County, 109; Unit 31, Mountrail County, 41; Unit 45, Stark County, 103; and Unit 51, Burke County and portions of Renville, Bottineau and Ward counties, 132.
 

Pronghorn Lottery Held

North Dakota’s pronghorn lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the State Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov
A total of 250 licenses were available in unit 4A, the extreme southwestern corner of the state. Nearly 6,000 applications, including 74 gratis, were received.
Unsuccessful applicants who submitted their application online or through the department’s 800 licensing telephone number will receive a refund back to their credit card. Individuals who submitted paper applications will receive a refund check.
 

2014 Waterfowl Regulations Set

North Dakota’s 2014 waterfowl season has been set, with noteworthy changes including a daily bag of one canvasback during the season, and an additional two blue-winged teal during the first 16 days of the season.
Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 27 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Oct. 4. The season for swans opens Oct. 4 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 one canvasback. An additional two blue-winged teal can be taken from Sept. 27 through Oct. 12. 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 Jan. 2, 2015, while the remainder of the state will close Dec. 25. The season for whitefronts closes Dec. 7, while the season on light geese is open through Jan. 4, 2015. Shooting hours for all geese are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 1. Beginning Nov. 2, 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. 26, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from Nov. 29 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. 20-21. 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 of 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. 11-17.
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.
Hunters should refer to the 2014 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide for further details on the waterfowl season. Paper copies will be at license vendors in early September.
 

PLOTS Guide Available Online

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide for 2014 is now available online at the Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, PLOTS Guides will be available at most license vendors throughout the state in early September.
The guide will feature about 735,000 PLOTS acres. Because the guide is printed in mid-August, some PLOTS tracts highlighted in the guide may have been removed from the program since the time of printing. There will also be some PLOTS tracts where the habitat and condition of the tract will have changed significantly. Conversely, Game and Fish may have added new tracts to the program after the guide went to press.
To minimize possible confusion, Game and Fish will update PLOTS map sheets weekly on its website.
The PLOTS Guide features maps highlighting these walk-in areas, identified in the field by inverted triangular yellow signs, as well as other public lands.
The guides are free, and will be available at county auditor offices and license vendors in the state; by walk-in at the Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office; and at district offices in Riverdale, Harvey (Lonetree), Williston, Dickinson, Jamestown and Devils Lake.
The guides are not available to mail, so hunters will have to pick one up at a local vendor, or print individual maps from the website.