The State Game and Fish Department has decided to not implement its proposal to limit deer hunters to only one license for the 2015 season.
While it is still months before the 2015 season is set, that means deer hunters will again be able to apply for deer gun and muzzleloader lottery licenses, and also purchase an archery license.
Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand said the decision involved several factors, including substantial public input both for and against the proposal, and significant costs needed to put the new system in place.
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.
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.”
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 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:
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 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:
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds winter anglers to clean up the ice after fishing. This not only applies to trash, but fish as well.
It is not only unsightly, but it is illegal to leave fish behind on the ice. According to the fishing proclamation, when a fish is caught anglers must either immediately release the fish back into the water unharmed, or reduce them to their daily possession.
It is common practice for some anglers to fillet fish on the ice, but if they don’t clean up after themselves, it’s a problem.
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.
North Dakota anglers are encouraged to refer to the 2014-16 North Dakota Fishing Guide or the State Game and Fish Department’s website for winter fishing regulations.
Some winter fishing regulations include:
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program has scheduled a one-day darkhouse spearfishing class Jan. 10 at the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge northwest of Minot.
North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season opens on most state waters Dec. 1. The season extends through March 15. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.
Darkhouse spearing is allowed for all residents with a valid fishing license and for residents under age 16. Nonresidents may darkhouse spearfish in North Dakota if they are from states that offer the same privilege for North Dakota residents.
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.