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Notebook: Bill would allow party hunting for deer in North Dakota

Minnesota allows party hunting for deer in most situations, but the practice has historically been prohibited in North Dakota.

NDGF deer hunters.jpg
Big game hunters scan the North Dakota horizon in this undated photo.
Contributed/North Dakota Game and Fish Department
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BISMARCK – A recently introduced bill in the North Dakota Legislature would allow party hunting for deer, providing certain conditions are met.

HB 1377 is described as follows in a legislative update on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website:

“Any member of a party of 10 or fewer may take or kill the number of deer which is equal to the number of valid deer licenses held by the participating members of the party. Each person in the party must hold a valid combination license to be eligible to party hunt.”

READ MORE OUTDOORS ISSUES COVERAGE:
Aquatic nuisance species violations were the top issues in the fishing realm, followed by anglers exceeding the limit for fish species.

Authors of the bill in the House are Reps. Donna Henderson, R-Calvin; Mike Brandenberg, R-Edgeley; and Dawson Holle, R-Mandan. Senate authors are Sens. Larry Luick, R-Fairmount; and Janne Myrdal, R-Edinberg.

The bill was referred to the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

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Minnesota allows party hunting for deer in most situations, but the practice has historically been prohibited in North Dakota.

In other legislative news, a bill that would not have prohibited the use of firearms between .22 caliber and .50 caliber when big game hunting on private land, has been withdrawn from consideration.

As of Thursday, Jan. 19, there had been 19 hunting-, fishing- or trapping-related bills introduced in the North Dakota Legislature.

– Herald staff report

Budget includes hatchery, water access funding

ROGERS, Minn. – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has included $110 million in his proposed state budget to fund outdated hatcheries and public water access improvements throughout the state, the nonprofit MN-FISH Foundation fishing advocacy group said Thursday. The money would come out of the General Fund – a first in many years – and through bonding.

“This is a great first step,” Ron Schara, MN-FISH president, said in a statement. “Now, the Legislature needs to join with Gov. Walz and pass this historic reinvestment in fishing.”

According to MN-FISH, surveys and state licensing statistics reveal that 25% of Minnesota’s population consider themselves anglers – roughly 1.4 million people. Historically, Minnesota has made significant public access and fisheries-related investments, but that has not been the case over the last decade or so, MN-FISH says. Thursday’s announcement demonstrates re-dedication to a very defining aspect of what makes Minnesota such a great state.

“This is huge news,” said Mark Holsten, MN-Fish executive director and former commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “The main goal of MN-FISH since it was launched was to work on behalf of Minnesota anglers and improve the quality of fishing throughout the state.”

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– Herald staff report

LWCF application period opens Feb. 1

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is seeking applicants for approximately $1 million in grants through the Land and Water Conservation Fund to be awarded to eligible projects in North Dakota communities.

Applications will be available on the Parks and Recreation Department’s website at parkrec.nd.gov/business/grants/land-and-water-conservation-fund starting Wednesday, Feb. 1, and continuing through Tuesday, Feb. 28, according to a news release from the department.

The grant program aligns with the state’s Main Street Initiative to build healthy, vibrant communities that attract and retain a skilled workforce by providing critical outdoor recreation opportunities. Eligible project sponsors include cities, counties and townships; park and school districts; state agencies; water management districts; and federally recognized tribes.

The LWCF provides grants for outdoor recreation projects such as ball fields, pools, campgrounds, playgrounds and land acquisitions for park development. Some previously awarded LWCF grant projects can be viewed on the Parks and Recreation Department's YouTube channel series, Miles and Moments.

The LWCF is a federal program funded by offshore oil and gas royalties that was created by Congress in 1964 to safeguard natural areas, water resources, cultural heritage and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. This 50/50 matching grant reimbursement program is administered at the state level by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department and funded at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service.

For more information, check out the Parks and Recreation Department website or contact Char Langehaug, grants coordinator, at (701) 328-5364.

– Herald staff report

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NDGF sets spring turkey season

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is offering 7,412 wild turkey licenses for the 2023 spring hunting season, 235 fewer than last year.

Two of the 22 hunting units have more spring licenses than last year, eight have fewer licenses and 11 remain the same. Unit 21 (Hettinger and Adams counties) is again closed due to lack of turkeys in the unit.

Spring turkey applicants can apply online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov .

The deadline for applying is Feb. 15.

Applicants should note that a general game and habitat license is required when applying for a turkey license. The applicant has the option of having the general game and habitat license refunded if their turkey license is not drawn in the lottery.

In addition, hunters 16 and older must possess a small game license, or combination license.

First-time spring turkey hunters 15 or younger are eligible to receive one spring license valid for any open unit. To be eligible, the youth hunter must be 15 or younger on opening day of spring turkey season and never received a spring turkey license in North Dakota.

The spring turkey season opens April 8 and continues through May 14.

– N.D. Game and Fish Department

DNR offers 200 paid summer internships

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is looking to fill 200 paid internships this summer and is seeking passionate and dedicated students interested in learning more about natural resource careers. In a news release, the DNR said summer interns “gain valuable training, build meaningful experience and share their knowledge and perspectives to help create a healthy, sustainable and inclusive Minnesota.”

The DNR has a wide variety of internship opportunities available throughout the state, including positions in fisheries, forestry, park operations, watercraft inspections, communications and more. Interns work 20 to 40 hours per week and are paid $15 an hour. To be considered for an internship, applicants must be enrolled students fulfilling an academic requirement or receiving academic credit.

To apply for an internship position:

  • Go to the state of Minnesota careers website (mn.gov/careers).
  • Select “Search for jobs” from the toolbar.
  • Select “Search for jobs now” in the External Applicants box.
  • Select “View all jobs.”
  • Filter by “Natural Resources Dept” in the Agency category and “Student Worker and Internships” in the Job Family category.

Applicants will be accepted through Jan. 31. Positions will start in May and June.
– Herald staff report

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