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 September 8th Newsletter

 

Sandhill Crane Season Opens Sept. 20

North Dakota’s sandhill crane season opens Sept. 20 and continues through Nov. 16.
Limits are three daily and nine in possession in unit 1 (west of U.S. Highway 281), and two daily and six in possession in unit 2 (east of U.S. Highway 281). Shooting hours 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.
Hunters are urged to use caution and identify birds to prevent shooting at whooping cranes as they begin their fall migration.
In addition to other licenses required, resident hunters need a $10 crane permit, while nonresidents need a $30 permit. Hunters can apply online, or print out a resident or nonresident application for mailing, at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Harvest Information Program certification is required. To get HIP certified, access the department’s website, or call 888-634-4798.
 

Deer Season for Young Hunters Opens Sept. 19

Friday, Sept. 19 at noon signals the start of a nine-and-a-half-day deer hunting season for youth ages 12-15.
Licensed residents ages 12 and 13, and 11-year-olds who turn age 12 in 2014, are allowed to hunt statewide, but only for antlerless white-tailed deer. Resident deer gun hunters age 14 or 15, and 13-year-olds who turn age 14 in 2014, with a “youth season” license, can hunt statewide for any deer, except antlerless mule deer in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. In addition, a special license is required to hunt antlered mule deer in those same units.
After opening day, hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Solid daylight fluorescent orange vests or coats, and hats are required for all young hunters and their adult mentors.
Each youth deer hunter must be under direct supervision of an adult while in the field.
In addition to the deer license, hunters must possess a general game and habitat license and hunting certificate.
The youth deer season closes Sunday, Sept. 28.

Youth Waterfowl Weekend is Sept. 20-21

North Dakota’s two-day youth waterfowl season is Sept. 20-21. Legally licensed resident and nonresident youth waterfowl hunters age 15 and younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers statewide.
The daily bag limit and species restrictions for the youth season are the same as for regular duck and goose seasons. Exception: the additional two blue-winged teal allowed during the first 16 days of the regular season are not allowed during the youth season.
Resident and qualifying nonresident youth waterfowl hunters must possess a general game and habitat license and a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Nonresidents from states that do not provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents must purchase the entire nonresident waterfowl license package.
In addition, all youth hunters must be Harvest Information Program certified, and youth ages 12 and older need to have passed a certified hunter education course. Hunters age 15 and younger do not need a federal duck stamp.
Hunters who purchase a license through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department can easily get HIP certified. Otherwise, hunters must call 888-634-4798, or log on to the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov, and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate.
Shooting hours for the youth waterfowl season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. An adult of at least 18 years of age must accompany the resident youth hunter into the field, and a licensed adult is required to accompany a nonresident youth hunter. The two-day weekend hunt does not count against a nonresident adult hunter’s 14-day regular season waterfowl dates.
 

Youth Waterfowl Trailer Available

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department and Ducks Unlimited co-sponsor a trailer full of waterfowl hunting gear that is available to families with young hunters.
Purchased by the Game and Fish Department’s Encouraging Tomorrow’s Hunters Grant Program, the trailer is designed for families who don’t have the appropriate gear for their young hunters to hunt waterfowl. The equipment is donated by Avery Outdoors.
Use of the trailer is free, and it is equipped with goose and duck decoys for field hunting, and two bags of floating duck decoys and marsh seats for hunting a wetland.
For more information, or to reserve equipment, contact the Ducks Unlimited office in Bismarck at 701-355-3500.
 

 

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.

 

NDG&F Information

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.
 

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.
 

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

 

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  

 

Early Canada Goose Season Announced

North Dakota’s early Canada goose season is set, and bag limits and licensing requirements are the same as last year.
The season will open Aug. 15 and continue through Sept. 15, except in the Missouri River Zone where the season ends Sept. 7. The early Canada goose season has a limit of 15 daily and 45 in possession.
Limits and shooting hours for the early season are different from the regular season. Shooting hours during the early season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.
Residents need a $5 early Canada goose license and a general game and habitat license. Also, residents age 16 and older need a small game license. Nonresidents need only a $50 early Canada goose license, and the license is valid statewide without counting against the 14-day regular season license.
A federal duck stamp for hunters age 16 and older, and Harvest Information Program certification, is required beginning Sept. 1.
Hunters may notice an increase in license fees, which were established and set by the 2013 state legislature. The general game and habitat license increased to $20, the small game license is $10, and the combination license, which includes general game and habitat, small game, furbearer and fishing, increased to $50.
Hunters who purchase a license through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov, or instant licensing telephone number 800-406-6409, can easily get HIP certified. Otherwise, hunters can call 888-634-4798 and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who registered to hunt the spring light goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required only once per year.
Waterfowl rest areas, closed to hunting during the regular season, are open during the early season. Most land in these rest areas is private, so hunters may need permission to hunt.
The early hunting season is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers. Despite liberalized regulations the past several years, with longer seasons, large bag limits and expanded shooting hours the statewide population remains high, with numbers well above population goals.
For additional information and regulations, hunters should refer to the Game and Fish Department website.
 

Limited Pronghorn Season to Open

North Dakota will have a limited pronghorn hunting season this fall for the first time since 2009.
Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said the season is open only in unit 4-A, the far southwestern corner of the state. A total of 250 any-pronghorn licenses are available, and the season is split into an early “bow-only” portion, and a later gun/bow season.
The bow-only portion of the season is from Aug. 29 (noon) – Sept. 28. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow, only in Unit 4-A, during this period.
From Oct. 3 (noon) – Oct.19, hunters who still have a valid license can use legal firearms or bow equipment.
“We are opening the hunting season in unit 4-A to take advantage of a surplus number of bucks in that area, and to provide hunting opportunity while still encouraging population growth,” Kreil said. “While we aren’t issuing any statewide pronghorn archery licenses this year as we did in the past, hunters who do draw a license can use a rifle, bow or both, depending on their preferences.”
Game and Fish biologists surveyed more than 11,000 square miles, 100 percent of the 21 survey units in the state, in early July. Statistics indicate a statewide population estimate of 5,700 pronghorn, with 1,650 in the area open to hunting.
“The number of pronghorn observed in Unit 4-A falls within our regional population objective of having a limited season, while all other units do not,” Kreil said.
In addition, unit 4-A has a high buck-to-doe ratio, Kreil said, which is typical of a population that has not been hunted. The fawn-to-doe ratio is also the highest since 2007.
“While some people may have expected more units to be open, we need to proceed conservatively with this valuable wildlife resource and let pronghorns rebound to a level that can sustain harvest. The good news is that we are poised to see additional units open next year, providing Mother Nature cooperates with a moderate winter,” Kreil said.
Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply for a 2014 pronghorn license. Kreil said people who have accumulated preference points and choose not to apply this year will not lose their points.
In addition, state law allows youth who turn age 12 on or before December 31, 2014 to apply for a license.
Online applications for regular and gratis licenses will be available the week of July 21 at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will also be available from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors, or by calling 800-406-6409.
The pronghorn license fee is $30, and the deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 6.
 

Current Status of North Dakota Pronghorn

Management Region

2014 Estimate

Population Objective

Harvest Strategy
Western Bowman

1,656

1,500-2,500

Limited harvest, encourage population growth.
Southern Badlands

1,268

1,500-2,500

No Season.
Northern Badlands

(955)

1,500-2,500

No Season.
Slope (southern, central, and northern)

(1,786)

3,000-4,000

No Season.


 

North Dakota Spring Pheasant Count Tops Last Year

North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is up slightly from last year, according to the State Game and Fish Department’s 2014 spring crowing count survey.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was up about 6 percent statewide from 2013, with increases ranging from about 2 to 9 percent depending on the region.
While the spring number is a positive indicator, Kohn said it does not predict what North Dakota’s fall population will look like. Brood surveys, which begin in mid-July and are completed by September, provide a much better estimate of summer pheasant production and what hunters might expect for a fall pheasant population.
Last year, the fall population was down from 2012 because of rather poor production, but Kohn said low winter pheasant mortality, particularly in the southern one-third of the state, helped boost this year’s spring count.
Another positive is that abundant moisture has provided for good habitat conditions heading into the prime nesting period. However, Kohn noted that since 2008, North Dakota has lost more than 2 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands, much of it in the pheasant range. That means total nesting habitat in the state is significantly reduced from where it was when the spring crowing count index peaked in 2008.
The 2014 index is down about one-third from that peak. “Loss of CRP acres continue to reduce the amount of nesting and brood-rearing habitat on the landscape,” Kohn emphasized. “This and other grassland conversion is going to negatively affect our pheasant population in the future.”
Pheasant crowing counts are conducted each spring throughout North Dakota. Observers drive specified 20-mile routes, stopping at predetermined intervals, and counting the number of pheasant roosters heard crowing over a two-minute period during the stop.
The number of pheasant crows heard is compared to previous years’ data, providing a trend summary.

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.