I've always tried to inform hunters, anglers and anyone else who appreciates the outdoors about the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's role in the state's legislative arena. The topic actually comes up quite often, when hunters and anglers might suggest that Game and Fish should change this rule or that regulation. It's important to remember that rules, regulations and season dates can come about in one of two ways: through state law passed by the legislature; or through governor's proclamations that establish hunting, fishing or trapping seasons.
After writing recently about the whooping crane, an endangered bird species that migrates through North Dakota in spring and fall, I got a text message from a friend who was reporting the spring sighting of dozens of bald eagles in one spot. While the area of interest was from northeastern South Dakota, a news story in the Aberdeen (S.D.) American News indicated the estimated number of bald eagles congregated on a place called Amherst Slough was close to 300.
Over the past six weeks or so, North Dakota has had a lot going on that relates to hunting, fishing, trapping and conservation that isn't always tied in directly with fishing on frozen water or hunting the first flocks spring snow geese in frozen fields. Since it's a legislative year, many North Dakota Game and Fish Department administrators are busy keeping track of all the outdoors-related bills, and providing committee testimony and other information to legislators before votes take place.
BISMARCK — Even if hunters are enjoying the variety of fall hunting seasons — from ducks, geese, pheasants and grouse — November is deer season, and most of the questions coming in have to do with deer or deer hunting. Hunters with further questions are encouraged to call the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, or access the hunting link at the department's website, gf.nd.gov. This week, we'll take a look at some more questions and answers that typically arise while the deer gun season is in progress.
FARGO—Last week's column on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's Private Land Open to Sportsmen, or PLOTS, program generated some questions about other agency efforts to work with private landowners. The PLOTS program falls under the Game and Fish Department's Private Land Initiative, which is designed to work with private landowners on managing wildlife and wildlife habitat. The PLI has three main goals. • Conserve habitat for fish and wildlife populations.
FARGO—I've learned over the years working and playing outdoors to always pack extra boots and socks, plan to leave early and get home a little bit late. Jumper cables, a tow rope and extra sandwich are worth turning around and going back to get.
FARGO—Let's cut to the chase this week and get to the important details of the 2016 waterfowl hunting seasons. Technically, they already started with early goose in mid-August, and now continue on with youth weekend, the resident opener and regular opener on three consecutive weekends.
FARGO—A decade ago, North Dakota still did not have its first documented case of chronic wasting disease in a wild deer.
For hunters my age, the acronym HIP associated with the outdoors isn't anything new. While anywhere beyond two decades ago, HIP might have meant "aware" or "fashionable," to those of us familiar with the migratory bird hunting world today, it also refers to the Harvest Information Program. What is HIP? HIP is a survey method developed by states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a means to collect more reliable estimates of migratory bird harvests throughout the country. The program provides agencies the information necessary to manage hunting seasons.
FARGO Walleye are the most popular fish for a good share of North Dakota anglers, so it was good news when the North Dakota State Game and Fish Department announced a couple of weeks ago that this summer's walleye production effort hit record marks for both the number of fingerlings produced, and number of lakes stocked.