The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is prohibiting all open burning, including campfires, until further notice on the Oahe Wildlife Management Area along both sides of the Missouri River.
Bill Haase, wildlife resource management supervisor, said excessive dry conditions are making these woodlands prone to wildfires.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department requests local entities and water recreationists to monitor for new aquatic nuisance species infestations when pulling and storing fishing piers, boat docks and lifts prior to ice up.
Fred Ryckman, ANS coordinator, said it is especially important to look for zebra mussels. “Zebra mussels will attach to hard surfaces,” Ryckman said. “Inspecting these types of structures provides a good opportunity to determine if mussels may be present in the respective water body.”
Families looking for a fun afternoon filled with outdoor activities are invited to attend the first annual Teddy Roosevelt Family Day on Sunday, Sept. 30 at McDowell Dam just east of Bismarck.
The free event runs from 1-5 p.m. and families can come and go at any time. It features many hands-on activities including archery, BB gun shooting, fishing, canoeing, animal tracks, duck identification, plant identification, camping, games, prizes and more.
The first 500 kids who attend also receive a free Teddy Roosevelt patch.
North Dakota’s two-day youth pheasant season is Oct. 6-7. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger may hunt roosters statewide.
Resident youth hunters, regardless of age, must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. Nonresident youth hunters from states that provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents qualify for North Dakota resident licenses. Otherwise, nonresident youth hunters must purchase a nonresident small game license.
Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall 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.
North Dakota’s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August suggests much improved production this spring, meaning more young birds added to the population and a better fall population in all areas of the state.
Photographers are reminded that the deadline for submitting photos to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest is Sept. 28.
The contest has categories for nongame and game species, as well as plants/insects. An overall winning photograph will be chosen, with the number of place winners in each category determined by the number of qualified entries.
Contest entries are limited to digital files submitted on disk or via email. Contestants are limited to no more than five entries. Photos must have been taken in North Dakota.
Governor Jack Dalrymple has appointed Tom Rost of Devils Lake and Dwight Hecker of Fairfield to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s advisory board.
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.
Rost, an avid hunter and angler, replaces Tracy Gardner, Devils Lake, in District 3. Hecker, a farmer-rancher, replaces Wayne Gerbig of Amidon in District 8. Gerbig and Gardner’s terms expired on June 30.
Waterfowl hunters are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species into or within North Dakota.
Waterfowl hunters must remove plants and plant fragments from decoys, strings and anchors; remove plants seeds and plant fragments from waders and other equipment before leaving hunting areas; remove all water from decoys, boats, motors, trailers and other watercraft; and remove all aquatic plants from boats and trailers before leaving a marsh or lake. In addition, hunters are encouraged to brush their hunting dogs free of mud and seeds.
North Dakota's deer gun lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the State Game and Fish Department's website, gf.nd.gov.
More than 2,200 antlerless deer gun licenses remain.
While many of the state’s western big game populations remain at low population levels, bighorn sheep numbers are strong, according to Brett Wiedmann, big game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Dickinson.
A July-August survey in western North Dakota showed a minimum 299 bighorn sheep, a slight increase from last year and just 17 below 2008’s record summer survey. “Our bighorn sheep population remained stable following three epic winters, so we’re pleased to see an increase subsequent to last winter’s mild conditions,” Wiedmann said.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s May and July waterfowl surveys indicate hunters can expect another large fall flight. Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 22 for ducks, coots, mergansers and geese. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Sept. 29.