North Dakota’s 2014 deer seasons will look pretty much the same as in previous years.
Through a series of public meetings and an open comment period that ran through March 17, however, deer hunters have provided a lot of input for the State Game and Fish Department to consider for 2015 and beyond.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department invites landowners to attend upcoming informational sessions about private land conservation program opportunities.
The sessions coincide with each of the eight district advisory board meetings scheduled around the state starting the week of March 31-April 4.
Whooping cranes are in the midst of their spring migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.
Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department advisory board meeting in their area.
These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel.
The governor appoints eight Game and Fish Department advisors, each representing a multi-county section of the state, to serve as a liaison between the department and public.
All spring light goose hunters, regardless of age and residency, are reminded that Harvest Information Program registration is required before hunting this spring.
The HIP number can be obtained online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or by calling 888-634-4798. The HIP number is good for the fall season as well, so spring hunters should save it to record on their fall license. Hunters must HIP register in each state for which they are licensed.
North Dakota’s 2014-16 fishing proclamation is set, with regulations effective April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2016. Anglers are reminded that new fishing licenses are required April 1.
Noteworthy regulation changes include:
North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 28,600 deer during the 2013 deer gun hunting season.
The State Game and Fish Department made available 59,500 deer gun licenses in 2013, and more than 98 percent were issued. Overall hunter success was 55 percent, and each hunter spent an average of 4.6 days in the field.
Hunter success for antlered white-tailed deer was 62 percent, and antlerless whitetail was 55 percent.
Mule deer buck success was 82 percent. No mule deer doe licenses were issued in 2013.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will host a bluebird and tree swallow educational workshop April 14 at the department’s main office in Bismarck. The 45-minute presentation is free and begins at 7 p.m.
Outreach supervisor Chris Grondahl said participants will learn about bluebird and tree swallow nest box placement, maintenance and biology. “Even though bluebirds require open spaces and cavities in dead or dying trees, nest boxes can help take the place of natural habitat where it is not available,” he said.
The 2014 spring wild turkey lottery has been held and hopeful hunters can check individual results by accessing the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov.
More than 600 licenses remain in 11 units. The governor’s proclamation allows a maximum of two licenses, and hunters who did not apply in the first drawing are also eligible.
North Dakota’s 2014 bighorn sheep, elk and moose proclamation is finalized and most season information is the same as last year.
Wildlife, shooting, fraternal and nonprofit civil organizations are urged to submit an application for the Encouraging Tomorrow’s Hunters program, a State Game and Fish Department grant program developed to assist recruitment of the next generation of hunters and shooters.
Outreach biologist Pat Lothspeich said the intent is to introduce youngsters to a positive shooting or hunting experience. “Hopefully this will increase the chance that young people will continue to participate in these activities in the future,” Lothspeich said.
State law requires permanent fish houses to be removed from North Dakota waters by midnight March 15.
Fish houses may be used after March 15 if they are removed daily.
In addition, it is illegal to leave fish houses on any federal refuge land or on any state-owned or managed land after March 15.