The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding deer hunters to keep in mind the Sportsmen Against Hunger program this fall.
While this year’s deer proclamation allows only one deer gun license per hunter, families with more than one license might want to consider donating a deer to this worthy cause. In addition, hunters with an archery and muzzleloader license can help as well.
The State Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2015 hunting season, by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis from 17 units in North Dakota. In addition, all moose and elk harvested in the state are eligible for testing.
Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken in the western portion of the state will be tested from units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3, 3B1, 3B2, 3D1, 3D2, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F.
Fall turkey licenses remain in Unit 25 for hunters who do not have a license, or for those who want additional licenses. Hunters are allowed a maximum of 15 licenses for the fall season.
Unit 25 covers McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties.
Resident and nonresident hunters can apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
The fall turkey season is open through Jan. 3, 2016.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists have evaluated fish spawning and stocking success across the state.
Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said Lake Sakakawea produced good catches of walleye and yearling perch. “We had a good hatch on perch in 2014, and our guys were still seeing a lot of those in the nets this year,” Gangl said. “Our walleye catch was above average with a combination of stocking and natural reproduction. Smelt numbers aren’t compiled yet, but other forage fish remain fairly stable when compared to prior years.”
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s law enforcement division recently conducted check stations on boats coming into the state in an effort to ensure compliance with aquatic nuisance species laws and regulations.
Robert Timian, enforcement chief, said check stations on Interstate 94 and U.S. Highway 2 revealed the majority of hunters and anglers are keeping their equipment free of unwanted species.
“Our main focus was directed toward duck hunters trailering boats,” Timian said. “All total, there were less than a handful of individuals with minor violations.”
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds deer hunters to find their license and check it for accuracy.
Every year the Game and Fish Department’s licensing section receives last-minute inquiries from hunters who can’t find their license. When that happens, it’s difficult to try to get a replacement license in time for the season opener.
Another reason to check the license now is to make sure the unit and species is what was intended.
The number of pheasants taken last year in North Dakota was up from 2013, according to statistics compiled by the State Game and Fish Department.
Last year, more than 78,000 hunters (up 2 percent) harvested 587,000 roosters (up 31 percent). In 2013, 76,000 hunters took 447,000 roosters.
Three adult zebra mussels found last week on Sorlie Bridge in Grand Forks serve as a reminder for local entities and water recreationists to thoroughly check for new aquatic nuisance species infestations when pulling and storing fishing piers, boat docks and lifts prior to ice up.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department ANS coordinator Fred Ryckman said the adult mussels were found on Red River sampling equipment by staff from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways, especially this time of year, because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges.
October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents. Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways. Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is taking orders for its North Dakota OUTDOORS calendar, the source for all hunting season and application dates for 2016. Along with outstanding color photographs of North Dakota wildlife and scenery, it also includes sunrise-sunset times and moon phases.
To order, send $3 for each, plus $1 postage, to: Calendar, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095. Be sure to include a three-line return address with your order, or the post office may not deliver our return mailing.
The Estenson Boat Landing on Devils Lake will close Monday, Oct. 5 for approximately 3-4 weeks for ramp reconstruction.
Although this work may cause a temporary inconvenience for anglers, the new ramp will be a major improvement over the existing facilities.
The boat landing is located 15 miles south of Devils Lake on N.D. Highway 20.
Waterfowlers hunting from boats are encouraged to wear properly-fitted life jackets while on the water.
Hunting jackets with life jackets already built in are light and comfortable to wear. In addition, wearing a life jacket will not only keep the overboard hunter afloat, but also slow the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.
Capsizing and falling overboard from small boats are the most common types of fatal boating accidents for hunters.