The State Game and Fish Department and University of North Dakota are collecting information from resident deer hunters who either applied for or received a 2015 hunting license.
UND will mail a questionnaire in mid-April to 4,000 randomly selected deer gun, archery, muzzleloader and gratis applicants. Questions will focus on hunter satisfaction and experiences, and public perception related to recent declines in deer numbers and corresponding licenses. Hunters who receive a questionnaire are asked to complete the form and return to UND. The return postage is prepaid.
A paddlefish tag is required to participate in North Dakota’s paddlefish snagging season, which opens May 1 and is scheduled to continue through the end of May. However, depending on the overall harvest, an early in-season closure may occur with a 24-hour notice issued by the state Game and Fish Department.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will conduct a certified Boat North Dakota Safety Course on Saturday, April 16 at the department’s main office in Bismarck.
The class is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., and is limited to 25 students. The course is free, and all materials are provided.
The North Dakota Game Wardens Association, Ray Goetz Memorial Fund and Kupper Chevrolet are providing $1,600 in scholarships to a graduating high school senior or current higher education student, majoring in fisheries, wildlife management or law enforcement.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is once again celebrating Earth Day by sponsoring clean-up days on public-owned or managed lands.
With Earth Day recognized April 22, each member of a school, Girl Scout, Boy Scout, 4-H club or youth organization who participates in cleaning up public lands through May will receive a specifically designed conservation patch.
A total of 39,470 North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 26,700 deer during the 2015 deer gun hunting season, according to a post-season survey conducted by the State Game and Fish Department.
A total of 530 archers competed in the North Dakota National Archery in the Schools Program state bull’s-eye tournament March 18-19 in Minot.
The State Game and Fish Department reminds anglers that live white suckers are not legal baitfish anywhere in North Dakota, except for the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers.
The next guide and outfitter written examination is May 14 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office in Bismarck. The test is given periodically to anyone interested in becoming a hunting guide or outfitter in the state.
In addition to passing a written exam, qualifications for becoming a guide include a background check for criminal and game and fish violations; certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid; and employment by or contract with a licensed hunting outfitter.
North Dakota’s 2016-18 fishing proclamation is set, with regulations effective April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2018. Anglers are reminded that new fishing licenses are required April 1.
Noteworthy regulation changes include:
· A free fishing weekend was added for North Dakota residents during the ice fishing season. In the coming winter, the free weekend will be held Dec. 31 – Jan. 1, 2017.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual bighorn sheep survey revealed a minimum of 292 bighorn sheep in western North Dakota, up 8 percent from last year and 3 percent above the five-year average.
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.