Anglers are reminded that North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season closes March 15.
Individuals who would still like to get out for the first time this year must register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Registration is available through the department’s website, gf.nd.gov, or through any Game and Fish Department office.
March 15 is also the deadline for anglers to remove permanent fish houses from state waters.
Harvest statistics released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show overall hunter success during the 2013 season for bighorn sheep was 100 percent, 91 percent for moose and 50 percent for elk.
The department issued three bighorn sheep licenses and auctioned one. All four hunters harvested a bighorn ram.
North Dakota spring light goose hunters can track general locations of geese as birds make their way through the state.
Hunters are able to call (701) 328-3697 to hear recorded information 24 hours a day. Migration reports are also posted on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Updates will be provided periodically during the week as migration events occur, until the season ends or geese have left the state.
Adults and children looking to take a hunter education class in 2014 are reminded to enroll now as the majority of all classes are held by the end of May.
The North Dakota Game Wardens Association has a $300 scholarship available for a graduating high school senior entering college in fall 2014 who enrolls in fisheries or wildlife management with an emphasis on law enforcement.
Applicants must be North Dakota residents and have maintained a 3.25 grade point average. The scholarship will be awarded to the student upon proof of enrollment in college.
Volunteer instructors for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department were recognized Jan. 4 at the annual banquet in Bismarck.
Skip Balzer, Bismarck, received the volunteer of the year award. Balzer was mentioned for volunteering thousands of hours at rifle ranges and wildlife management areas, Family Fishing Days, Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, state fair and fish camps.
Bismarck resident Clair Huwe was named instructor of the year. Huwe was recognized for his work with the Hooked on Fishing program, including Family Fishing Days, fish camps and the state fair.
North Dakota’s spring light goose season opens Feb. 15 and continues through May 18.
Residents can hunt during the spring season by having last fall’s 2013-14 bird licenses. Otherwise, hunters will need to purchase either a 2014-15 combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license.
Eight public meetings to discuss deer management in North Dakota are scheduled to begin in mid-February.
State Game and Fish Department officials will present an overview of current deer population and prospects for the future, and look for input on possible options for changes in the way deer licenses are allocated.
Each meeting will begin at 7 p.m. local time.
The state Game and Fish Department is offering 5,880 wild turkey licenses for the spring hunting season, a decrease of 50 from last year. The decrease is a result of poor production and chick recruitment.
Two of the 22 hunting units have slightly more spring licenses than in 2013, while 16 remain the same. Unit 21 (most of Hettinger and Adams counties) is again closed in 2014 due to lack of turkeys in the unit.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual midwinter waterfowl survey in early January indicated 71,500 birds were in the state.
Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird biologist, said an estimated 40,700 Canada geese were observed on the Missouri River, and another 12,000 were scattered on Nelson Lake. Lake Sakakawea, declared iced-over on Dec. 14, had no geese on the lake itself. Szymanski said after summarizing the numbers, a total of 52,700 Canada geese and 18,700 mallards were tallied statewide.
The state Game and Fish Department’s annual Earth Day awareness campaign is accepting entries for design of a 2014 Earth Day patch. North Dakota students ages 6-18 are eligible to participate. The deadline to submit entries is March 15.
The Game and Fish Department will announce a winner in three age categories – 6-9, 10-13, and 14-18. Each winner will receive a pair of 10x42 binoculars. The final patch design will be chosen from the three winners.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department hunter education instructors are invited to attend one of four regional workshops scheduled in 2014.
The workshops are Jan. 25 at the Pizza Ranch in Grand Forks; Feb. 15 at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge in Dickinson; March 15 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo; and March 29 at the Riverside Holiday Inn in Minot.
Conference invites, workshop topics and registration information will be mailed out to all certified instructors. Instructors are asked to preregister by returning the registration form.