Decent hunting season: As the hunting seasons wind down, ups and downs leave some satisfied and others notMost of the hunting seasons are winding down and all that remain open are elk, partridge, pheasant and tree squirrel.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Most of the hunting seasons are winding down and all that remain open are elk, partridge, pheasant and tree squirrel.
After hearing good experiences and bad experiences, my conclusion on the hunting seasons were overall decent.
Many hunters filled their tags, whether it was deer, elk or pheasants. The downside for some is that their tags were not filled or had higher expectations.
Despite having many good seasons of deer, elk and pheasants, hunters had to expect a turn downward at some point.
The decline can’t and won’t last forever. The seasons will pick back up sooner or later.
The start of hunting season came in the form of another closed sage grouse season.
Not a great start to the hunting season.
The elk population wasn’t hurting one bit as the Theodore Roosevelt National Park held its second straight elk reduction program.
Deer hunting came next. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department handed out its lowest amount of deer licenses in over a decade.
One aspect that hit deer hard even before deer season started was epizootic hemorrhagic disease. Another sickness to a lesser extent was chronic wasting disease.
The amount of deer affected from EHD caused the NDGF Department to issue refunds to certain counties in southwest North Dakota.
Despite EHD and CWD, hunters still tagged deer this season.
Pheasants were next on the list.
The number of birds expected to harvest from the NDGF Department was just under 500,000 birds.
The biggest problem with pheasant hunting was the maturity of the birds. Once the season progressed hunters found it easier to decipher between a rooster and a hen.
One point that was made to me by Jeff Anderson, the president of the Dickinson chapter of Pheasant Forever, told me you hunt birds, not shoot them.
All together the hunting haven’t been perfect, but hunters from North Dakota and other parts of the countries have had good opportunities.
The words that I kept hearing throughout the season were ‘the three harsh winters.’
Dealing with the winter that we have now could turn our luck around. It’s too early to tell , but so far the winter he has been desirable.
Can we have the same expectations for next season? With hunting, you always have to stay optimistic.