“It’s likely there are more bighorns today than before North Dakota’s statehood in 1889.” But will the all-time record count mean more hunting licenses?
North Dakota Game and Fish Department Reports
“We’ve had an unusually mild winter with little snow accumulation. Availability of food should have been good and overall wintering conditions were excellent.”
In the first seven days of this year’s walleye production, haulers traveled more than 8,200 miles and stocked over 150 lakes with 7.6 million fish.
Two mule deer taken in September have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, including one taken during the archery season from deer gun unit 4B in McKenzie County, where CWD had not previously been found.
Observers recorded five broods and 39 pheasants per 100 miles. Sharptails observed per 100 miles are up 113% statewide from 2018, and partridge are up 58%.
Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel recently finished stocking more than 140 lakes across the state with walleye fingerlings, completing one of the largest stocking efforts in the history of the agency.
Statistics from the spring sharp-tailed grouse census indicate a 9 percent increase in the number of male grouse counted compared to last year.
The invasive was verified in the James River near LaMoure.
72nd annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of 3.4 million birds, up 20 percent from last year. That’s the 22nd highest index on record and stands 40 percent above the 71-year average.
The primary regions holding pheasants ranged from up 14 percent in the southeast and up 17 percent in the northwest, to down 8 percent in the southwest, and the count in the northeast, which is not a primary region for pheasants, was up 33 percent from last year.
Increases in all categories add up to 65,500 licenses available to hunters this fall, 10,350 more than last year.
But population is said to be above objective and remains at a level able to support more hunting opportunities this fall.
And mule deer buck success was 81 percent, and antlerless mule deer was 83 percent.
Following the positive detection, Game and Fish removed an additional 52 deer for testing. All tested negative.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s enforcement division has tallied the number of hunting, angling and boating citations for 2018, and failure to carry a license was the number one violation. Game wardens issued more than 2,400 citations last year, compared to 2,500 in 2017 and 2,300 citations in 2016. Counties with the most violations were Ramsey (343), Williams…
It’s said that the number likely would have been higher, but the blizzard that hit North Dakota in late December undoubtedly pushed some birds south prior to the survey.
While two positive deer were taken in unit 3F2, an area of North Dakota known to have CWD, a third was taken from Divide County in deer unit 3A1, previously considered free of CWD.
Average size of Lake Sakakawea female salmon was 6 pounds, and once again there was an abundance of young male salmon, which typically forecasts a good run the next couple years.
Big game biologist: Mule deer fawn production has been on a positive trend since 2013.
Lake Sakakawea had the eighth highest catch of young-of-the-year walleye on record. And Devils Lake saw fair to good numbers of walleye, with the catch close to average even though Game and Fish didn’t stock any walleye in the fishery this year.
Palmer amaranth seedlings have egg-shaped leaves with a hair-like protusion at the leaf tip. (Photo by Christy Sprague, Michigan State University)With pheasant season opening this weekend, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is asking hunters be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth, an invasive weed that was recently identified in the state for the first time. Palmer amaranth is…
This year’s duck brood index was up 37 percent from last year, and showed 5.11 broods per square mile, an increase of 39 percent.
North Dakota’s 2018 pronghorn hunting season is set, with 1,075 licenses available in 10 open units. That’s way up from 410 licenses and five open units last year. But if you’re not from North Dakota, you’re out of luck – the hunt is only open to state residents.
While catch-and-release is often encouraged under the right conditions, fish reeled in from this depth will likely die if released.
“Considering not many went into Lake Sakakawea, this was one of the largest stockings of more than 8 million fingerlings into the smaller fishing waters across the state.”
Population index is down 30 percent from the same time last year; number of roosters heard crowing this spring reportedly down statewide, with decreases ranging from 15 to 38 percent in the primary regions holding pheasants.