This year’s midwinter bald eagle survey conducted Jan. 10 along the Missouri River revealed 61 bald eagles, slightly above-average since the survey started in 1986.
Patrick T Isakson, conservation biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey route from Bismarck to the Garrison Dam is conducted at the same time each year, and in coordination with other surveys nationwide.
North Dakota citizens with an interest in supporting wildlife conservation programs are reminded to look for the Watchable Wildlife checkoff on the state tax form.
The 2012 state income tax form gives wildlife enthusiasts an opportunity to support nongame wildlife like songbirds and birds of prey, while at the same time contributing to programs that help everyone enjoy all wildlife.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will have 180 any-deer bow licenses available to nonresidents in 2013. Similar to last year and pending the final proclamation, antlerless mule deer may not be legal to harvest within a large area of western North Dakota.
The deadline for applying is March 1. A lottery will be held if more applications are received than licenses available. If licenses remain after March 1, they will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants can apply together as a party. A separate check is required for each application.
State Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand has appointed Duane DeKrey as the agency’s new deputy director.
DeKrey began his new position Jan. 1. Game and Fish had been without a deputy director since June when Roger Rostvet, who had served in the position since 1998, retired.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will once again track hunting and fishing issues during the 2013 legislative session.
Interested outdoor enthusiasts can follow proposed outdoors-related bills by logging onto the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
A brief description of each bill will be included, along with the bill sponsor and hearing schedule. To view each bill in its entirety, click on the hot-linked bill number.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has scheduled an examination to select candidates for the position of district game warden. The test is at 10 a.m., Jan. 18, at the department's main office in Bismarck.
Applicants must register to take the exam by submitting a letter of intent to chief game warden Robert Timian, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501 5095. Letters of intent must be submitted before 5 p.m., Jan. 17.
Winter anglers are reminded that any fish house left unoccupied on North Dakota waters must be made out of materials that will allow it to float.
A popular question this time of the year is if campers qualify as legal fish houses. The answer is the same for any structure taken on the ice – if it’s left unattended, it must be able to float; if it’s not able to float, it must be removed when the angler leaves the ice.
Other fish house regulations include:
Mountain lion hunting during the late season in zone 1 is closed immediately. The seventh cat was taken Dec. 14, filling the zone’s late-season quota.
Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.
Individuals interested in taking a hunter education class in 2013 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.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is accepting registrations for a one-day winter workshop Jan. 26 at Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Darling, and a three-day workshop Feb. 22, 23 and 24 at Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau.
A darkhouse spearfishing class is offered for $50 at Upper Souris.
North Dakota anglers are encouraged to refer to the 2012-14 North Dakota Fishing Guide or the State Game and Fish Department’s website for winter fishing regulations.
In addition, anglers can access the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, for an extensive list of fishing questions and answers, and a winter fishing preview from North Dakota Outdoors magazine.
Some winter fishing regulations include:
Winter anglers are encouraged to consider early ice conditions before traveling onto and across North Dakota lakes.
Keep in mind: