Even with thousands of hunters in the field during the opening week of the pheasant season, the State Game and Fish Department received only a few reports from hunters who found dead deer in southwestern North Dakota.
Game and Fish personnel have been monitoring the deer population in the southwest since late August, when the first reports of dead deer, attributed to epizootic hemorrhagic disease, came in from Bowman, Grant and Burleigh counties.
North Dakota’s Sportsmen Against Hunger Program is again accepting donations of deer at select processors across the state. In addition, the program is also able to accept light goose breast meat (snow, blue and Ross’s geese) for the first time this fall.
Canada goose meat, while accepted during the early goose season, is not eligible for donation during the regular waterfowl season.
Wet conditions over the past two weeks have delayed the fall harvest of row crops.
With most hunting seasons open, North Dakota hunters are reminded that hunting in unharvested crops is not allowed without a landowner’s permission, including waterfowl hunters driving on land to set up decoys.
To maintain proper landowner-sportsmen relations, hunters are urged to stay off harvested fields in wet conditions.
Fisheries biologists who questioned how a late spring and delayed ice-off would influence fish reproduction in North Dakota waters finally have a few answers.
“It looks better than we expected,” said Scott Gangl, State Game and Fish Department fisheries management section leader. “Our biologists have been seeing some pretty good numbers of young-of-the-year yellow perch in lakes statewide, signaling some good reproduction this year. This was especially true in our larger lakes that traditionally provided a perch fishery.”
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently stocked seven waters with catchable trout.
Jerry Weigel, fisheries development and production section leader, said these trout will provide exciting fall and winter fishing opportunities. “Shasta strain rainbow trout average more than one pound each, with some up to five pounds,” Weigel said. More than 800 were stocked in the Turtle River near Arvilla in Grand Forks County, while 115 went in the Owls Pond in Burleigh County.
North Dakota’s waterfowl production areas will be open to hunting on the pheasant opener after all.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday afternoon rescinded its closure of WPAs to public access, including hunting and fishing, effective immediately.
That means the WPAs in North Dakota will be available to hunters for the state’s pheasant opener on Saturday, Oct. 12.
The Oct. 4-5 snowstorm that covered southwestern North Dakota may present some challenging travel conditions for hunters when the 2013 pheasant season opens this Saturday.
State Game and Fish Department officials say that while most of the foot or more of snow that fell in some counties will likely be gone, the moisture left behind may still make travel difficult on some section line trails and other unimproved roads.
The deadline is months away, but now is the time to frame the perfect photograph for a contest that will determine the cover of the 2014 Private Land Open To Sportsmen guide.
From end-of-day hunting shots, to scenic action or landscape shots, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department wants to feature hunter photos on the 2014 PLOTS cover and elsewhere that showcase North Dakota’s strong hunting heritage.
Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways, especially this time of year, because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges.
October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents. Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways. Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department urges deer hunters to find their license and check it for accuracy.
Every year the Game and Fish Department’s licensing section receives last-minute inquiries from hunters who can’t find their license. When that happens, it’s difficult to try to get a replacement license in time for the season opener.
Another reason to check the license now is to make sure the unit and species is what was intended.
Out-of-state hunters are reminded that state law does not allow nonresidents to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department owned or managed lands during the first week of the pheasant season.
Private Land Open to Sportsmen acreage and state wildlife management areas are open to hunting by resident hunters only from Oct. 12-18. Nonresidents, however, can still hunt those days on other state-owned and federal lands, or private land.
North Dakota hunters are reminded to be cautious on roadways, as farmers and ranchers are currently busy with fall farm duties.
With most hunting seasons open and producers harvesting crops, moving cattle and hauling bales, road traffic is busy at times, even on rural gravel roads. With that in mind, hunters are asked to move to the side of the road to allow wide farm vehicles to pass, park their vehicles in a place that will not block a roadway, field approach or gate, pick up trash and empty shells, and not clean game in the road ditch or approach.